Flaherty’s: oysters and gluten-free fried seafood in Carmel

On a sunny Saturday a few weeks ago, bk and I decided to take a trip down the coast to Carmel solely because I’d never been there and because we could bring Ruby Tuesday. (Apparently Carmel is considered one of the most dog-friendly places in the country.)

Uncharacteristically, we didn’t really research any potential spots for lunch and decided to just take our chances.

While walking down a street, I spotted a sign for Flaherty’s Oyster Bar and Restaurant. A quick perusal on Yelp showed decent results and the wine list looked promising, plus…oysters. Sold.

We ordered some a pair of pinot grigios and began to peruse the menu. After asking the waitress if she knew which menu items would be safe for me, she informed me they have an entire gluten-free menu. And not only that, but I discovered what is truly a Holy Grail of gluten-free dining: they have a separate deep-fryer. I swear, the angels in my head sang hallelujah at the realization I could order GF fried oysters, fried calamari and clam chowder. Amazing.

Given our good luck at this oh-s0-rare occurrence, we ordered a bit more than I might have otherwise. We had the GF fried oysters and calamari, as well as cups of the lobster bisque and the clam chowder – all gluten-free. Everything was good but I think I particularly loved the fried oysters and the lobster bisque.

After discovering the restaurant had blue point oysters that day — his favorite — bk also ordered us a half dozen raw oysters. I’m very hit-and-miss when it comes to raw oysters. Sometimes I really like them, but most of the time one is plenty. These were great though, enough so that I happilg slurped down a few.

Oh, and for 75 cents extra, I was given my own little plate of GF bread and butter to start. It was far better than many GF breads — a housemade rosemary foccaccia-type. So cool.

We also had a couple more glasses of wine.

Flaherty’s is not a cheap experience. We shelled out far more than I normally would for lunch because I just couldn’t believe my good fortune to have stumbled upon a place with such great GF options. As anyone eating GF knows, finding a place with a separate fryer and special fried foods is like finding a white buffalo. The caveat is the fried food will take an extra few minutes because they will probably need to get the GF deep fryer heated up, but I’m not complaining about that one bit.

I don’t really think I’d have much reason to go to Carmel again, but if I do, I definitely want to go back and try the fish and chips, and the po’boy, and the crab melt… and the dinner menu.

More photos after the jump.

Gluten-free rosemary bread

 

GF fried oysters
GF fried calamari

 

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