The Duluth Grill
One of our favorite places is the Duluth Grill. Located on the east side of the city in the less "touristy" area, Duluth Grill was once an Embers and seems to be very popular among the locals. Moderately prices, the menu options range from standard Embers fare such as burgers and sandwiches, to more contemporary dishes such as wraps, gourmet omelets and a Curried Polenta and Fire Roasted Tomato Stew.
|Smoked Salmon Wrap|
Va Bene Berarducci's Caffé
Another one of our favorite places is an Italian Restaurant called Va Bene Berarducci. Since there aren't that many GF restaurants in the Twin Cities that have GF pasta options, it's always a treat for me to go here. It's located along Superior Street past Fitger's and the ice cream shop. If you go before sunset, try to get outside seating because you have a great view of the lake. But beware of the gulls (Minnesota vultures) who like to scavenge for food and are not shy. The deck does get cold after the sun goes down, but they also have a covered porch which also has a view of the lake.
Even though it's customary to have a coffee drink after dinner and/or with dessert, I sometimes opt to have one right away before dinner. (We also sometimes stop in for a morning espresso when they open around 9:00, but that's another story). My spouse and I like to split a salad and then order separate entrees. This time around we shared a Spinaci Salad - spinach leaves, pine nuts, honey and goat cheese with a honey peppercorn vinaigrette.
Being gluten free, it's easiest for me to order the pasta bar - a sauce, a pasta and three items of your choice. I had the gluten free noodles with San Marzano Tomato Sauce along with sausage, asparagus, and roasted red peppers. Very satisfying!
|pasta bar option|
New Scenic Café
One more great place, a bit nicer, and higher prices, is the New Scenic Café. It's a nice drive up the shore, and when you think you've gone too far, go a little farther and it'll be right there on the lake surrounded by its colorful garden.
|pecan crusted goat cheese on mixed greens|
|seared sea scallops|
One of my favorite salads has delightful medallions of pistachio crusted goat cheese nestled in mixed greens. (Being also dairy free, goat cheese can sometimes be an option, as long as I don't overdo it.)
Their menu options change often, but I had an amazing dish of seared sea scallops on top of butternut squash and corn masa. Among this decorative little "tower" was cilantro, grape tomatoes and sweet corn.
While these three restaurants vary in style of cuisine and price, they have one thing in common: The staff were always willing to work with you if you had food allergies. Restaurants like that always deserve five-star ratings.