Time's running out to try Lucky Santo's beef heart burger, or sweet potato and cauliflower falafel.

Lucky Santo, the Ballard restaurant with a menu any allergy-sensitive diner can appreciate (that is, no gluten, grains, legumes, dairy, gluten, soy, canola oil, or refined sugar), will close on December 1. 

Executive chef Nikki DeGidio cites various reasons for the closure: the snowpocalypse and strange summer weather; the cost of good food and help; it being her first business. The biggest factor, though? "There's just not enough business volume at this location to sustain us," she says. Soon the chef will take time to focus on her health. "Few people understand how much of yourself you truly have to give to make a restaurant successful, and the long hours and stress of running a business are catching up to me faster than I ever thought possible."

DeGidio opened Lucky Santo at the beginning of this year, and wanted to run a healthy–but not too healthy–restaurant after being diagnosed with celiac disease. It was one of few Seattle restaurants that catered to those with allergies, while also offering hearty options like a beef heart burger and changa brownies. In our restaurant review of Lucky Santo from the June/July issue, Allecia Vermillion writes, "Flavors are often excellent, she works wonders with texture. If a pot roast bowl occasionally needs salt, or the fan favorite, sweet potato and cauliflower falafel, could use more herby coconut sauce, well—this is still food that doesn’t send your body directly to nap mode." Not to mention DeGidio's knack for drawing big flavors from non-allergen ingredients.

"I'm so happy we were able to give people some tasty gluten-free memories while we could and shine a little light on a different style of cooking than folks are used to," says DeGidio about Lucky Santo's run. "The restaurant scene is pretty saturated at the moment, so it was really gratifying to be able to do something absolutely different than everyone else and have it be so well loved." 

As for what's next, DeGidio dreams of leading some cooking classes or possibly writing a cookbook. 

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Lucky Santo

$$ American/New American, Gluten-Free 3127 NW 85th St

Nikki DeGidio’s celiac diagnosis ushered her out of her role making pasta at Stoneburner and, eventually, into a relaxed cafe on Sunset Hill. The menu takes ...