Chef Nikki DeGidio opens her mostly allergen-free restaurant, Lucky Santo, on Wednesday, January 9. The restaurant is perched at the top of the Golden Gardens stair climb and will serve brunch, lunch, and dinner; the menus will be entirely gluten free, with many other allergens — soy, legumes, dairy, refined sugar, and canola oil — mostly left out.
DeGidio’s menus range from smoothies to cassava waffles to braised short ribs with cauliflower rice. She will also sell her own dog treats, available from a take-out window. DeGidio plans to pre-package take-away items and fill a pastry case with energy balls, superfood bars, carrot cake muffins, plantain chips, and more. Beverage director James Lechner, who also works at Bastille and Stoneburner, will stock the bar with gluten-free beer and organic and natural wines.
The new restaurant is in many ways a response to DeGidio’s own food allergies and sensitivities — soy, gluten, and dairy — which she discovered while working as chef de cuisine at respected Ballard restaurant Stoneburner. In fact, her former boss there, Jason Stoneburner, is a partner in the venture, along with Holly Robinson and Ben Capdevielle of Big Gin.
Lucky Santo replaces Cocina Esperanza at 3127 NW 85th St. in Ballard’s Sunset Hill area. The restaurant is named for DeGidio’s dogs, Lucky and Santo, and will be counter-service only. It seats 45 inside and on a back patio, which will open later in the spring.