Brasserie Ten Ten in Boulder has Gluten-Free Options on the Brunch, Lunch, and Dinner Menu!By Evan Sandsmark -
Downtown Boulder has tons of great restaurants, and if you happen to be gluten intolerant, this characteristic alone should not prevent you from eating at any one of them. It seems cruel to deny people the pleasure of an excellent dining experience just because they have a food allergy. But this is of course a normative statement – because something shouldn’t be the case doesn’t mean that it is in fact not the case – and perhaps our desire to open up all restaurants to gluten-free dieters is a mere wish, a vain hope grounded in nothing more than the fleeting mist of private whimsy. This is probably true overall – not all restaurants can accommodate the gluten-free diet – but it is certainly not true of one of the great restaurants of Boulder’s downtown, Brasserie Ten Ten, which has gluten-free items available during every meal they serve: brunch, lunch, and dinner.
Before jumping into a survey of some of the items on the menu, we would like to first note the pleasant atmosphere of Brasserie Ten Ten. When you enter the door, you immediately know you’re in a restaurant that is a cut above the average eatery. The servers and hosts are always dressed in a pleasing and uniform style, and the combined dining area and bar has a certain elegance that is hard to precisely describe. There tend to be well-dressed professionals standing around the bar near the entrance, chatting gregariously as they enjoy their after-work drink. One side of the dining room – the side that lines Walnut Street – is flanked with large, nearly floor-to-ceiling windows that are kept open during warm days, often leaving the restaurant suffused with light and a calm breeze. All of these small details and many more have a cumulative effect that makes Brasserie Ten Ten an excellent place to dine.
But lovely breezes and sharp-looking servers make a good restaurant not, so let us move on to the gluten-free food available. The measure of an excellent restaurant is the quality of its food.
Fortunately for people like us who closely review menus and write articles largely based on them, Brasserie Ten Ten has an impressive number of food items spread across several different menus. First, there is the brunch menu, which has over a dozen gluten-free options to choose from. On the lighter side, there are some salads that can be made gluten-free, and a granola and yogurt dish made with fresh fruit is offered that sounds amazing. There is also a section of the menu that features “Fruits de Mer,” and every one of these seafood dishes are gluten-free. Featuring a half-pound of steamed mussels covered with creme fraiche, thyme, and butter, the Moules a la Marinere are delicious, as is the case with all the seafood dishes we’ve encountered at Brasserie Ten Ten (on the brunch menu or elsewhere). Finally, there are some more traditional brunch items that are gluten-free, like the Ten Ten Scramble (featuring scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and cream cheese) and the Denver Omelet (with black forest ham, roasted jalapenos, and caramelized onions).
The lunch menu also has a lot of GF options that vary widely in style. There are a few gluten-free salads – as is almost always the case with restaurants that serve salads – and there are also a number of Fruits de Mer, just like the brunch menu. (In fact, the much-hyped Moules a la Marinere from the previous paragraph is on the lunch menu.) If you’re interested in a more substantial meal, there are also several entrées that can be made gluten-free. It’s hard to go wrong with seafood at Brasserie Ten Ten, so it should come as no surprise that the Bouillabaisse, which is basically a seafood stew, is very good, and the same can be said of the seared Alaskan halibut (called “fletan,” the French term for “halibut,” on the menu).
Lastly, there is the dinner menu, which has a lot in common with the other two menus. The are of course several salads that can be made gluten-free, and there are also many of the same Fruits de Mer that are on the brunch and lunch menus (evidently, the really good stuff spans all three menus). However, the dinner menu is set apart from the other two in that there are more entrées available (of both the regular and GF variety). In addition to the five gluten-free entrées on the lunch menu, the dinner menu has three more, and they all look as hardy as they do great. For example, the Cote de Porc, with its 12 oz. pork chop, is quite robust, and this is made all the more true given that the large cut of meat is paired with tomato provençal, sautéed greens and a garlic herb butter. To diversify the protein selection, there is also an excellent-sounding salmon dish and a filet mignon.
At this point, you probably have GF seafood and other French-inspired dishes of your mind, so we’ll let you go so you can address this however you see fit.
Check out the many menus of Brasserie Ten Ten here:
(Note: The items that can be prepared gluten-free have a round, gold symbol by them, as the key at the bottom of the menus indicates.)
If you want to check out the menus and actually eat something, Brasserie Ten Ten is located at the following address:
1011 Walnut Street
Boulder, CO 80302
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