Sunday, November 6, 2011

Las Cruces' Celiac's Answer to Fine Dining: De La Vega's Pecan Grill and Brewery


               A Las Cruces' Celiac's Answer to Fine Dining: 
                    De La Vega's Pecan Grill and Brewery

The Springer Family didn't have any plans to ever go into the restaurant biz, but when the restaurant renting the space from Tom and Jeanine Springer moved on, they decided to give it a try. The outcome of their novice effort has been nothing short of remarkable. A million dollar renovation that created an upscale dining environment and the building of a strong team has made this eatery blossom into something extraordinary.

Tom and Jeanine brought back their daughter Ashley from her life as a journalist to run the restaurant operations and marketing. Thanks to Ashley the restaurant has become highly aware of the need to  provide fine dining fare to gluten free and vegetarian diners. Ashley has worked with Executive Chef and Catering Manager Bob Brainard to develop a menu that rivals some of the best, with more gluten free options than any place I have yet to dine.

Chef Bob, staying true to the agriculture of the area, builds his menu around fresh, seasonal ingredients. He has dedicated twenty years to the restaurant business and the proof is in every delectable bite.  The team has been made even stronger with the addition of the new pastry chef, Scott. Scott is making gluten free desserts that no one could recognize as gluten free. The Gluten Free desserts at De La Vega's are truly divine.

I have sampled and will recommend all of the following gluten free dishes (though I have yet to try something that I did not fall in love with, so don't be afraid to branch out and forge your own way through the menu!) :

Hatch Chicken Pasta: Pecan wood-grilled chicken over GF linguine with green chile alfredo, bacon and fresh parmesan.

Smoked Beef Brisket: 8 oz. of thinly sliced brisket smothered in house made chipotle BBQ sauce.

Stuffed Squash:  Squash (seasonal) stuffed with seasonal vegetables white and mozzarella cheeses topped with fresh basil. 

Portabella: Filled with Feta and white Cheddar cheeses, artichoke hearts and red bell peppers.

 Green Chili Turkey Melt: Roasted turkey, whole Hatch green chile and Swiss cheese, on gluten free bread.

 Green Chili Stew: Spices, green chile, and pecan wood-smoked pork, topped with white cheddar cheese.

 Summer Strawberry: Roasted chicken breast, sweet strawberries, blackberries, apples, goat cheese and candied pecans in house-made strawberry vinaigrette. (yum!)

That, my friends, is just a sample of what De La Vega's Pecan Grill and Brewery has to offer. Gluten free, Vegetarians, and carnivores alike will all find many options to thoroughly enjoy, I promise.

They also cater. They have an on-site bakery and will even make birthday and wedding cakes!

One last recommendation, dare to be bold and try the blackberry jalapeƱo margarita you will not regret it!

Peace and happy gluten free exploration,