Front Entry of the Roseville Chianti Grill Location
Date of Visit: 5/19/2012
Time of Day: Lunch
Tablecloths: White Linen
Would we go back? Yes
Location: 2050 North Snelling Ave, Roseville, MN
Chianti Grill has a rather large dedicated gluten free menu which is separate from the regular menu. The typical cost for supper is from $15 – $30 for an entree. Lunch time is more reasonable, you can get lunch portions of the pastas for as little as $9.
We started going to Chianti Grill before they moved to their new location near Har Mar Mall on Snelling Avenue a few years ago. I think our first visit was to celebrate my graduation from Augsburg College. My last class finished in December 2008 just a few months after being diagnosed with Celiac. I still remember that meal, I had the Ribeye steak. I remember it being juicy and tender. It was also huge! It was a great first experience for me there. We have been back many times.
On this most recent visit, we arrived at Chianti Grill with a coupon for a free appetizer. It was sent to us for our wedding anniversary which happens to be this month. We received the coupon as a part of their “bread card” club. Ironic name isn’t it?
Crab Claws Appetizer
We started off with the free appetizer of Crab Claws ($12.99 value). This appetizer is very simple, it comes with 6 small claws that have the shell partially cut off so that you can remove the meat more easily. The crab is seasoned with what appears to be Old Bay Seasoning or something similar. This is served up with a small dish of melted butter. This is a favorite of ours as we love crab.
Next we received house salads that are included with the entree cost. As the salads arrive we are given the option of adding parmesan cheese and freshly ground pepper. They have several options for gluten free dressing including a blue cheese dressing which I chose. The salad is a basic green salad with iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, red onions, cucumbers, carrots, cherry tomatoes, and sunflower seeds. Those with no need for gluten free will also get croutons and a basket of bread. Usually the servers ask if you’d like to have bread at the table. I’m not sure if they ask every table or if they only ask those that have a gluten free menu sitting on the table. Personally I could take or leave the salad as I am not very fond of iceberg lettuce, I wish they would use something a little more green.
The entree I decided to get was the GF Spicy Chicken Penne ($10.99 lunch portion). Here is the description from the menu: GF penne with basil pesto and parmesan cream sauce topped with sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and Cajun-spiced chicken breast. I’m not quite sure I can imagine the dinner portion of this meal as the lunch portion was quite large. I was really full after the meal and actually didn’t get hungry until many hours later. Again we were offered the option of freshly ground pepper and parmesan cheese. I happen to know from previous discussions with servers that this particular location keeps a pot of water boiling exclusively for gluten free pasta. Most places (including their other location) do not do this (they usually start it boiling when an order comes in) but this location gets enough gluten free business to warrant it. They use Tinkyada pastas which are a very good quality brown rice pasta that holds up well even as a left-over! This dish is quite tasty and one I have had several times. I enjoy the creamy pesto sauce and the cajun spiced chicken slices have a good flavor. The sun-dried tomatoes really add something to the dish. The fresh red pepper they add to the dish doesn’t do much for me, I’d rather they add more tomatoes. If you are worried about the name of the dish including the word “Spicy”, there really is nothing to be concerned about. This dish really has no business being called “Spicy” as it is very mild in my opinion.
GF Spicy Chicken Penne
The wait staff we came into contact with were all very pleasant, especially our server (named Sean) who had a great smile and eye contact with us during the times he visited our table. He seemed quite knowledgeable about gluten free as are most of the staff at this restaurant. Another small thing that I really like is that the person bringing out the main entree makes a point to say that the gluten free entree is indeed gluten free. It just adds a little extra reassurance that they are communicating back there in the kitchen.
Matt enjoyed his own gluten filled meal including their tasty bread and the Seafood Cannelloni. Our total bill after the coupon discount was $30.78 not including tip. We also each had a brewed Ice Tea with lemon.
The pictures were taken with my android phone as I forgot my camera at home. The photo of the main dish was taken after I had already sliced up the chicken and added parmesan cheese.