Wild Goat Bistro is a charming cafe located just steps from the riverfront in downtown Petaluma. Serving up gluten free options galore, Wild Goat Bistro offers the lunch items you’re used to drooling over before having to order a salad without croutons. Gourmet pizzas, inspired sandwiches, and even pasta is all available sans gluten. Their in-season pizzas are topped with mouthwatering combinations like fig & goat cheese or grapes & gorgonzola with a pinot noir reduction sauce. Craving a traditional pizza, I opted for their margherita and loved it. I was also delighted to find that a few of their beautiful cakes on display were gluten free. The carrot cake was utterly fantastic.

*Wild Goat Bistro offers Still Riding Pizza crusts for all of their pizzas (aside from the one with meatballs) and local artisan gluten free bread for sandwiches.

Address: 6 Petaluma Blvd N # A5, Petaluma, CA

 

 

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of family outings to a hole in the wall restaurant in New York City’s little Italy called La Mela. The walls in the place were plastered with polaroids of their well fed customers, and family style tables were covered in brightly colored plastic cloths. At La Mela, a menu was never offered. Instead of choosing an item or two off the menu, the waiter served course after heaping course of homemade italian food until no one could swallow another bite.

I can’t help but look back on the mountainous trays of fresh ravioli, manicotti, zitti, and lasagna and sigh, because sometimes rice flour just doesn’t cut it. I get my hands on gluten free ravioli maybe once a year. The time I tried to craft my own, the kitchen looked like it had been turned upside down and inside out, plus they didn’t taste that good.

It wasn’t until I attended Jeffrey Larsen’s gluten free pasta class this past weekend that I learned of a world of possibilities in gluten free pasta making. The talented chef has been cooking his whole life and his passion for food seemed to only strengthen after discovering his own gluten intolerance. Instead of settling on store bought brown rice and quinoa noodles like the rest of us, Jeffrey has tirelessly experimented with a gluten free pasta dough, and his seems perfect.

Set in a brightly lit studio in Potrero hill, Jeffrey’s classes run about 2 hours. A thorough demonstration of the entire process will ensure that you won’t leave the place wondering how to accomplish his recipe on your own. Jeffery encourages students to snap photos of the process, and let us all try the finished product: fresh ravioli and fettucini that boiled up in just 3 minutes.

Jeffrey has exciting plans for upcoming gluten free courses. He’s got a great recipe for pizza dough, pies, tarts, and potstickers. After trying a slice of his mock rye loaf, I’ll definitely be at his next bread class. Check his schedule for upcoming classes here.

 

Potrero Hill may not be the first neighborhood that comes to mind as having the city’s most buzzed about restaurants, but the hilltop community houses a number of neighborhoody cafes and upscale eateries that are undeniably worth the cruise across town (or for me, a jaunt up the hill). Over the past couple of years that I’ve called Potrero home, it’s been exciting to discover the gluten free awareness popping up here and there among the handful of restaurants that line 18th street. My most recent find? gluten free crusts at Goat Hill Pizza. As Potrero’s oldest restaurant, the locally owned pizza place has developed a loyal following since its humble beginnings back in the 1970’s. On the nights we’d stroll past this neighborhood favorite to get sushi, I’d hold my breath. I just couldn’t bare inhaling the intoxicating pizza smell whose heavenly aroma spans half the block. After recently getting wind that Goat Hill now serves gluten free crusts supplied by Mariposa Bakery, I headed straight to the once forbidden restaurant and without hesitation waltzed through the door and ordered up one of the best gf pizzas I’ve had.  Above pizza looks small, but was plenty for two. I was told measures are taken to avoid any cross contamination.

300 Connecticut Street
San Francisco, CA 94107-2816

(415) 641-1440
 

At Bar Bambino in the mission, notable sous chef Ben Robert has perfected several varieties of handmade gluten free pasta made from a combination of potato, brown rice, tapioca, quinoa and corn flour. Gluten free menu choices are not simply an addendum to their fantastic Italian menu, instead they are integrated with forethought. Entrees like gluten free pappardelle with foraged mushrooms and crispy prosciutto or tagliatelle with braised guinea fowl are dishes that make eating gluten free not feel like a restriction at all. As if fresh homemade pasta isn’t enough of a celebration for the gluten free diner, Bar Bambino also offers a number of other menu items suitable for celiacs; Grilled octopus and radicchio salad, or an entree of farm fresh poached eggs with local spring greens and artichoke hearts are hardly what most would call a compromise. Waiters are knowledgeable about sources of gluten, making your dining experience at Bar Bambino less about the typical gf questions, and more about the outstanding food.

2931 16th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 701-8466

 

 

When was the last time you had really good pizza delivered to your door step? Yeah, I didn’t think so. At select locations, Extreme Pizza serves Still Riding 12″ gluten free pizza crust, and it’s the best I’ve tried in the city.  If your unfamiliar with Still Riding Pizza, definitely take a look at their website, they supply gluten free New York style pizza crusts to hundreds of restaurants across the country. Still Riding Pizza educates new clients about cross contamination while setting up safe kitchen practices to ensure their 100% GF crust remains that way. If your house does not fall within Extreme Pizza’s delivery zone, enjoy your crisp gluten free crust in one of their many locations in the bay area. Pictured above is their pizza titled “Green with Envy,” topped with homemade pesto sauce, fresh tomatoes, feta, mozzarella and basil.

1062 Folsom Street, San Francisco
(415) 701-9000

1730 Fillmore Street, San Francisco
(415) 929-9900

1980 Union Street, San Francisco
(415) 929-8234
 

One of the few spots in the city you’ll find a gluten free New York style pizza is Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria. With a full gluten free menu offering an extensive array of pizza toppings, salads, GF cheesecake and beer, this place seems to take great pride in catering to celiacs. Their pizzas are made on a 12″ thin crust and baked to perfection in a wood fired brick oven. Though the price is a bit steep, (about $25.00 per pie) one of these pizzas is a perfect size for two hungry people. If you live within their delivery zone, order the pizza straight to your house, or enjoy the New York style diner at their Lombard St. restaurant in San Francisco (the only one in the city with a gluten free menu.) Other locations in the Bay Area and beyond should have all have the GF offerings (please check their website for specifics).

Featured:  “New York” Mozzarella and tomato sauce (added some italian sausage.)

2200 Lombard St
San Francisco, CA 94123

(415) 885-4500

 

This recipe, adapted from the book Gluten Free and Easy by Robyn Russell, combines a whole roasted pumpkin with lasagna. It requires quite a bit of prep time if you don’t have tomato sauce already made. It’s a good idea to start cooking on a Sunday afternoon so there’s plenty of time to finish before dinner time. Enjoy leftovers for the rest of the work week.

Serves 8-10

total time: about 2 hours

Ingredients:

1 medium pumpkin from the farmer’s market

1 box Tinkyada lasagna noodles

15 oz. fresh ricotta

1 bunch fresh basil, coarsely chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped finely

1 cup Parmesan cheese

For the tomato sauce: (use your favorite homemade version or…)

1 15 oz can diced tomatoes

1 28 0z can tomato sauce

1 can tomato paste

1/2 a medium yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

4-5 crimini mushrooms, chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano or italian seasonings

salt and pepper to taste

For the white sauce:

1/2 stick butter

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon cornstarch or brown rice flour

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

To roast the pumpkin, preheat the oven to 350 and fill a Pyrex baking dish with about 1/4″ of water. Cut the pumpkin in half vertically and scoop out the seeds and fibers (reserve seeds to make a delicious snack later). Place pumpkin halves face down into the prepared Pyrex dish. Roast for 30-40 minutes.

While the pumpkin is roasting, start the tomato sauce (bonus if you already have a good tomato sauce made- this will save time and the lasagna will be more flavorful with a sauce that’s had time to sit at least overnight). To make the sauce, heat the olive oil on medium.  Add the diced onion and the mushrooms, cook 3-5 minutes. Add the 2 cloves minced garlic and saute 1-2 minutes more. Scoop the tomato paste into the pot and mix well with onion, mushrooms and garlic- then add the canned diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. While bringing this to a boil, add oregano or italian seasonings, a handful of chopped basil, salt, pepper, and maybe a splash of red wine. Once at a boil, reduce to simmer for at least 30-40 minutes.

While the tomato sauce is finishing up, bring a large pot of water to a gentle boil and place the Tinkyada lasagna noodles in, stirring occasionally for 7 minutes. DO NOT follow cooking instructions on the box or you will end up with a very mushy lasagna. The noodles only need to be cooked a maximum of 7 minutes, trust me, I have made the mistake of overcooking them more then once! Drain noodles carefully and rinse with warm water, gently separating the sheets.

While the lasagna noodles cook, whip up the white sauce by melting the butter in a small saucepan, adding the heavy cream, heating for about a minute, and then whisking in the flour or cornstarch. Whisk together until smooth, and then add the Parmesan cheese. Stir and set aside.

Remove the pumpkin from the oven if you haven’t already, and scoop out its contents into a large mixing bowl, discard the shell. Add the ricotta cheese and stir until well mixed. Fold in a handful of chopped basil, 2 cloves of finely diced garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Now that you have all of your components, spread a couple heaping tablespoons of sauce on the bottom of a clean Pyrex dish. Layer 3 noodles across the bottom of the pan. Spread 1/4 of the pumpkin ricotta mixture (about 1 cup) over the first layer of noodles then spread about 1 cup of your tomato sauce on top and sprinkle a handful of Parmesan cheese. Repeat these steps until you run out of noodles. End with the ricotta-pumpkin mixture and spread the white sauce evenly atop lasagna. Place into a 350 degree oven. Cook for about 40-50 minutes, or until topping is nicely browned. Garnish with fresh Parmesan and basil.