Girasole (Now “Farm Table”): Foods of the Earth

In 2014, Farm Table opened in the space formerly occupied by Girasole Trattoria. It is operated by the same owners. I have yet to visit this new incarnation, so if you do, please feel free to share your Gluten-Free experiences with us!

Happy 2011! With a new year and new restaurants, there’s plenty to celebrate.

Terrific news: the National Restaurant Association has named Gluten-Free food the No. 8 Restaurant Trend for 2011.

Today’s featured restaurant, Girasole Trattoria, recognizes this trend and goes the extra mile to ensure that your GF dining experience is extraordinary.

Where: Girasole Trattoria, 960 Gateway Commons Circle (NC Bypass 98 at Jones Dairy Road), Wake Forest, NC

GF Menu: No. The staff, however, are well-versed in Gluten-Free needs, and the kitchen carries a GF pasta prepared in separate GF cookware.

What I ate: Shrimp Scampi Appetizer, Crab Risotto, and a Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Torte

How to order it: At Girasole, the GF dining experience was easy. When our lovely server, Lisa Herrin, found out that we were dining Gluten-Free, she notified the kitchen and offered to answer questions we had about the menu. Chef Greg even came to our table to explain how the kitchen handles GF food preparation and assured us that the staff were looking out for our dietary needs. 

What it looks like:

All right, GF Readers, you know that moment when the breadbasket is brought to your table and everyone else dives in? At Girasole, this moment includes you! When the olive oil came to the table, it was accompanied by plates of of cut veggies for dipping. What a delicious idea!

This is the GF version of the Jumbo Shrimp Scampi appetizer. The succulent shrimp and roasted tomatoes with rosemary packed a flavorful punch.

The Crab Risotto, from the Antipasti menu, was my main event. This Italian rice dish was prepared in a GF broth and contained fresh crabmeat, corn, tomatoes, cubes of pancetta, basil, and freshly shaved parmesan. Rich and creamy in consistency, this was a heavenly bowl of warm comfort on a cold day.

This is the Gluten-Free dish my friend, Sue Ivy, enjoyed. Sauteed beef medallions nestled themselves in a wild mushroom port wine au jus, with roasted poblano and braised pecans over creamy polenta, butter-braised green beans, and cinnamon caramel-glazed apples.

Girasole has their own pastry chef, Jill Lazarus, who made this flour-less Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Torte.  A torte is a cake that is made primarily with eggs, sugar, and ground nuts, typically eliminating the need for flour. This version had a luscious texture. Frangelico-infused apricots, toasted hazelnuts, and a bittersweet ganache glaze elevated this dessert to “such stuff as dreams are made on.” Yes, this cake was so full of romance, I just quoted Shakespeare.

Green Note: In addition to the Tuscan-inspired open dining room, Girasole features an outdoor garden with a dining patio that fills up quickly when the weather is fine.

This tidbit is taken from their website:

We emphasize foods of the earth, natural and healthy, prepared in the tradition of simple Italian cooking. We strive to use local ingredients whenever we can, assuring absolute freshness. We selected herbs right from our own Girasole Garden.

Girasole Trattoria on Urbanspoon

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