Dish of the Week: Baked feta in red sauce at Mediterranea
Dining out can be tricky for those who suffer from celiac disease. They, and anyone who adheres to a gluten-free diet can get excited for Mediterranea, a new bakery, restaurant and bar in Grant Park.
“Everything on the menu is gluten-free, except for a couple of beers at the bar. And the kitchen is completely gluten-free,” Mediterranea co-owner and baker Gerard Nudo told the AJC’s Bob Townsend in an interview last month. “Most of the dishes, except some of the baked goods, don’t use substitutions and are just naturally gluten-free,” Nudo said.
But the gluten-free aspect is not what strikes you upon first glance at the menu. Rather, what stands out is a carte chock-full of vegetable-forward Mediterranean eats like dolmas, beet risotto and involtini that features fried haloumi cheese wrapped in eggplant, yellow squash and zucchini. The vegetarian and vegan crowd will find numerous options among starters, mains and sides.
Our pick of the moment from executive chef Rob Haan’s dinner menu (Mediterranea also offers baked goods weekdays and brunch on weekends) is the baked feta in red sauce. A square of hot, browned Greek feta holds up to a thick tomato sauce spiked with the heat of Indian chile flakes and Calabrese peppers, and lovingly slow cooked.
It’s a great shareable plate, the presentation in a cast-iron skillet lending a bit of rustic flair, and you’ll want to use the accompanying strips of grilled house-made gluten-free focaccia to swipe up that delicious sauce.
When the weather cooperates, enjoy it on the rooftop overlooking Ormond-Grant Park. Better still, come for dinner on a Thursday and partake in free wine tastings before you head upstairs.
Mediterranea, 332 Ormond St. S.E., Atlanta. 404-748-4219, mediterraneaatl.com.