Hello from Charlotte! I’ve been having a lot of fun catching up with my parents and completely forgot to write up a post yesterday, but I wanted to tell you guys all about my wonderful birthday dinner at Buku in Raleigh.
The concept might say “street food,” but it’s a really nice restaurant that is perfect for special occasions. I stumbled across their gluten-free menu when I was researching my guest post for the Gluten-Free Traveller, and it was immediately at the top of my list for my birthday dinner.
They have copies of the gluten-free menu at the hostess stand, so be sure to ask for one when you arrive and reiterate to your server that you are gluten free, as they have a separate fryer that they use for gluten-free guests. We learned this fact when we ordered the empanadas small plate as an appetizer and our server realized that she had been given the wrong one off the pass as soon as she set it down on the table, so she whisked it away again and replaced it. That made me a bit nervous, but at least we knew she was paying attention!
The empanadas were absolutely to die for, they were easily our favorite part of the meal. They were hot and perfectly crispy, and filled with a mildly spicy chipotle-braised chicken and topped with fresh guacamole, diced tomatoes and queso fresco.
For my entrée, I chose the Ashley Farms frenched chicken breast with goat cheese risotto, patty pan squash and asparagus. What a beautiful plate! There were a few crunchy bites in my risotto so I think it could have been cooked longer, but the flavors were totally on point – I am definitely stirring some goat cheese into my risotto the next time I make it. YUM.
All in all, it was a wonderful way to celebrate my milestone 30th birthday. We will definitely be returning to sample some more of those gluten-free small plates!