Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Chianti's Charming GF Option In Geneva

Chianti's a quaint little place in Geneva, IL. It’s located just down the street from Sweet Natalie’s GF bakery. My parents had been to Chianti’s previously and suggested it because their menu highlighted on the low back corner, they have  a vast variety of GF options. They have 3 stars next to items that are able to be made GF, or are naturally GF. A bit of a grey area because we had the most round-about conversation with our waitress on what was already GF and what needed modifications, but alas we ordered the Mushroom appetizer. We weren't sure if there were gluten free modifications or if it was naturally GF. We did emphasize to her that if it wasn't gluten free I'd be horribly ill. Turned out they were Fabulous. We all pretty much agreed we could order a serving for ourselves next time and be content! For an entree I went with the Shrimp and Broccoli Alfredo with GF rotini pasta. I went with the lunch portion because their portions are HUGE. They don’t have any sort of GF table bread which was a bit sad, but I'm use to that. They provide packaged bread sticks that look sort of like Japanese Packi.

Entrees come with a choice of soup or salad. They do not have any gluten free soup options, but all of their salad dressings are safe. 

My pasta was very tasty. I really enjoyed it. The one thing I might change is not getting something so rich next time, so I can really enjoy my food. The main drawback on our dinner was the slow service and oblivious wait staff! We had a party of 6, and the waitress positioned herself at the head of the table and Shouted to each person to get their order. In turn making us shout back at her to place our orders. After we got our food we didn’t see her again, until a good 15 minutes after our plates had been cleared, and two of our diners had left because it was getting late. Reading other reviews online I guess this is the norm for this place… That being said, I’m not putting this at the top of my “Must Go Back” list, but it’s on the reserve for “If I’m in the area”….

I give them 3 Dragonflies service, and availability of the waitstaff does rank high on my list. Especially if there is an issue with your meal you shouldn't have to track down the staff to address the issue, or get a refill on your drink!  

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Crockpot Chili for Two

As the weather is getting colder Chili always hits the spot. Plus in my house growing up on Halloween we'd go Trick-Or-Treating, come home to mom's chili, and then head out for more goodies once we warmed up! 

This was so easy it was dummy proof. So we’re not big on the set and forget, and go to work aspect of the crock pot. Set and forget, while at home, totally. So on my loving boyfriends work from home days I get up a little earlier prepare him breakfast, and set the crockpot for dinner. 

The day before you’ll need to brown your ground beef. I personally add a bit of garlic or onion powder to spice of the meat. 
1 Can Joan of Arc Kidney Beans
1 8oz can of Contadina tomato Sauce
1 packet of McCormick’s Chili Seasoning
1 lb of Ground Beef
1 teaspoon of diced garlic
1 tomato Diced
½ a cup of water
½ an onion diced
½ a green or red pepper diced
In the morning I combined everything, Ground Beef, seasoning packet, water, diced tomato, tomato sauce, garlic and kidney beans. Set the crockpot on low and let it simmer for 6 hours. If you are around while it's cooking I might suggest stirring every few hours. though it was fine not stirred when I came home, but the top was a little more well done then the rest.

The one issue was the water mostly cooked out, so I had to add about another ½ cup and simmer a bit longer when I was ready to serve.

Top with your favorite topping, Sour Cream and Cheese are my favorites!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Emilio's Tapas Gluten Free Tasty

Emilio’s Tapas – Has been serving amazing tapas for 27 years. Emilio himself started out with the famous Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises and was the chef at Café Ba Ba Reeba in Chicago. He eventually moved on to operating his own tapas restaurant. Café Ba Ba Reeba was one of the first Spanish Tapas restaurants in Chicago and really started a movement of great Tapas in the city and surrounding neighborhoods. Emilio’s keeps winning awards year after year for the great food and service, and now even have gluten free offerings. 

I’ll admit I was excited when I heard a review that they had over 30 gluten free menu options. I called to make sure since nothing on their website mentioned gluten free. The hostess told me not to worry they had a separate menu and that the staff was trained to handle gluten free items. I was stoked! I started to browse the menu to see what they had and compare against what we get at other Tapas restaurants.

We have gotten more and more into Tapas and even have my parents and brother’s girlfriend into it now too. My boyfriend’s family has done some family parties here in the past and raved about how great it was. I will say one thing compared to other places I’ve been. They kick up the heat here for sure. There is nothing that is bland there is a LOT of flavor in everything. They didn’t bring out the bowl of olives like Tapas Gitana does, but their Sangria is just as good, and seemed like a larger pitcher.

The only thing I had time to snag a picture of was the menu – The food would get snatched up too quickly to get a picture, but it was all good. We got an order of the spicy wings. They were tiny little wings, but WOW did they pack some punch! My allergies were acting up so my sinus were a bit stuffed, not after those wings! They were so good. We had called ahead and told them we were there for a birthday. They put a bunch of balloons on the table so it looked really pretty. The only downside was they brought out a birthday dessert cream puff with ice cream – NOT GLUTEN FREE… It’s ok mom and dad picked up a GF cheesecake from chesapeake at Fresh Thyme so I held out for dessert at home. 

Over all they get 4 dragonflies’ great staff, written menu so it was easy to pick put items and share. Food was tasty and worth going back for more.