Stepping outside my box and going gluten free.
Cookie FM Rating – 4/5
Last week was Peroni Gluten Free Restaurant Week (February 5-11th), during which participating restaurants took part in hosting gluten-free dinner options. The Italian dish of choice would be enjoyed with a complimentary bottle of Peroni Gluten Free beer, that had been especially designed to compliment the beer too. Lawson and I were invited to have a taster, opting for The Exchequer on a Monday evening, that was a great start to our week. I had never been to this venue before, let alone for dinner, therefore I was delighted to attend with Lawson. We were seated in the corner of the petite dining room at the back of the restaurant, dotted with unique artwork, candles and a faux fireplace.
For this occasion, I decided to go outside of my comfort zone, and opted for the Buffalo Wings to start – fun fact: I don’t like sticky fingers or eating with my hands! But to my surprise, I really enjoyed them! Slathered in the ‘house’ hot sauce, the chicken was very well cooked and still moist with crisp skin. Although I’m not a fan of blue cheese in general, I did try it and it did compliment the chicken wings and sauce. Lawson opted for the Sweet & Spicy Glazed Baby Back Pork Ribs, which not only looked delicious but were so well cooked the meat just fell off the bone. We were each served a cold Peroni Nastro Azzurro Gluten Free beer, that helped hold down the spiciness of the Buffalo Wings.
There wasn’t a choice for the main course, as both Lawson and I were served the Braised Lamb Shank dish, which was another step outside of my box as I don’t eat lamb. But, as I’m a foodie, I’ve got to be more adventurous and just eat the meat! I will admit that I pleasantly enjoyed the lamb, its flavour wasn’t too overpowering, one of the factors that often has turned me off this. Its sauce was hearty and packed with flavour from the meat, vegetables and herbs, and was perfectly seasoned.
The lamb had obviously been slow cooked as it slid off the bone, similarly to the ribs, with very little fat and a lot of succulent meat. Served with the root vegetables that were all beautifully al dente while the cherry tomatoes added a touch of freshness. No additions or sides were necessary for this dish as the large portion of meat easily made up for that, of which I ate every last bit! The Peroni Gluten Free beer was the only addition needed for the meal, cutting through the hearty meat with its refreshing twist, that was much lighter on the stomach than other beers.
Although nearing defeat, we both ordered dessert, I chose the Chocolate Nemesis Crème Fraîche while Lawson decided upon the Pear & Clove Panna Cotta. My afters was a slice of heaven that was deep and dark in both colour and flavour, as well as being surprisingly light. It was served with raspberry coulis, fresh raspberries as well as a delightful mint chocolate chip ice cream that complimented the chocolate dessert and elevated it even more.
It was an enjoyable meal and I was rather proud of myself for eating two dishes I never usually order too. The flavours were excellent and the cooking of all the meats were on point. For a small dining area, the service was good and friendly, and there was great atmosphere for a Monday evening. As well as eating dishes, I also drank beer, which is not my conventional drink of choice. The Peroni Gluten Free was very enjoyable, and I would happily recommend it to my beer-loving friends.
Peroni Nastro Azzurro has created the gluten-free variant to cater for coeliacs and for those choosing to lead a gluten-free lifestyle. The product has been certified and endorsed by the Italian Coeliac Association and will enable even more people to enjoy the crisp, refreshing taste of Italy’s most iconic beer.
Using their extensive skills and experience, the Italian brew masters have perfected the special gluten-free recipe, involving the use of enzymes to remove gluten molecules, without compromising on taste. Through this process, Peroni Nastro Azzurro Gluten Free is able to offer the same delicate balance of bitterness and citrus aromatic notes, combined with the refreshing, clean finish, which Peroni Nastro Azzurro admirers have come to love.
Peroni Nastro Azzurro Gluten Free is available now at Dunnes Stores, Molloy’s Off Licences, other independent off licences, and many of Ireland’s best bars and restaurants.
TRIED & TESTED
Buffalo Wings served with Hot House Sauce and Blue Cheese Dip
Mains (see full Gluten Free menu)
Braised Lamb Shank with Root Vegetables, Tomato and Rosemary
Chocolate Nemesis Crème Fraîche
Peroni Nastro Azzurro Gluten Free Beer
The Exchequer, 3-5 Exchequer Street, Dublin 2
CALL ON (01) 670 6787 // CLICK TO VISIT The Exchequer
Images © Nirina Plunkett, Peroni
*I did attend as a non-paying guest for this experience, but that does not influence the authenticity of this review.