Charlotte, of Mommy and the City, is a witty blogger that I have been following for about a year now. Last week, Charlotte shared her gluten-free pre-travel tips. Now she gives some tips about her favorite and most accommodating gluten-free restaurants in Santa Fe, New York City, and Chicago. Please remember, these are Charlotte’s opinions and experiences so I cannot vouch for any of these restaurants personally.
- The Shed (http://www.sfshed.com/home.html) – I would have eaten here every day. The entire menu – except the bread and mole sauces – is gluten free. They quickly offer up alternatives to the mole sauces.
- El Farol (http://www.elfarolsf.com/gluten-free) – I dream about their mussles regularly. I visited Santa Fe about 9 years ago (long before my diagnosis). I had to go back when we visited recently and was thrilled when I called to check on the restaurant’s GF options that a lot of the tapas I recalled were safe. They take great care to let you know what has potential cross contamination and to keep you clear of it.
- Rooftop Pizzeria (http://www.rooftoppizzeria.com/index.php) – While there is no GF option listed on this menu, I did find it based on the findmeglutenfree app. I called and was well cared for there. I was boarding on a breakdown, having just left a restaurant for the first time because I was uncomfortable. I hadn’t eaten since lunch. They could tell I was nervous and upset. They took great care of me and my food. The pizza was amazing. Their topping options are great and the have good practices in place to avoid cross contamination.
- Again, I go with any Mario Batali restaurant, though they can be pricey.
- Nizza on 9th and 45th (http://nizzanyc.com/menu#gluten-free) — fantastic. GIG reviewed menu a great reco from @gfreefun. I cannot wait to go back again. I had the Socco with caramelized onion. It was so good. Who knew Chickpeas could make such a great crust.
- Eolo 7th Ave at 21st ( http://eolonewyork.com/menus/) they had a GF pasta option and I could pick any sauce. I chose the cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, peas, spring onions, asparagus & string beans. It was so fresh and very yummy.
I am going to be honest, I have a steady rotation of Joe’s Chicago , Prasino and Chicago q going on and I am working hard to broaden my options but these are two of my favorites.
- Joe’s Steak and Stone Crab – Grand & Rush (http://www.joes.net/). I love them. They take very good care of me there. I dine there regularly and when someone is in from out of town this is likely my #1 recommendation. We go for every special occasion/celebration in our family.
- Prasino (2 locations but I have only been to the Wicker Park one) (http://www.prasino.com/home.php) – I am fortunate to have this as our local GF option in walking distance from our house. The kids love it, my husband and I love it. It is super “hip” if you want it to be and super “approachable” if you want it to be. We have celebrated New Years’ Eve there and we have just popped by on a Tuesday to sit on the patio in the summer or in the winter by the fireplace. My kids and the host, Reggie, are on a first name basis. My favorite lunch/dinner dish is the Lobster stuffed avocado (yes, it looks this good in real life too http://www.prasino.com/gallery_food.html) and for breakfast I love the omelet with the feta and red peppers and you can ask for GF bread.
- Salpicon (Old Town) (http://www.salpicon.com/) – I just went on Saturday night. It was some of the most fun we have had in recent history. This great upscale Mexican restaurant was ready for me. Anything with an * by it has Gluten. Other than that enjoy. The chef participated in the Spring Flours benefit (supporting @cureceliac at University of Chicago) this year. I met her, she was lovely, and she told me all about the precautions they take in the kitchen to assure no cross-contamination. I cannot wait to go back again and try more. Four days later and my husband and I are still talking about it.
Chicago q (Old Town) http://chicagoqrestaurant.com/menus/gluten_free.php) – few things make me happier than BBQ. I am originally from Kansas City, where for my money the best BBQ exists. For the over 15 years I have lived in Chicago, I have searched desperately for BBQ. My standards over the years had slipped, I used to search for GOOD BBQ, then it was acceptable and then it was a place that at least recognized that Ketchup is a different condiment than BBQ Sauce; forget about understanding that BBQ is more of a skill set to cooking and seasoning than sauce alone. So imagine my joy when learning about Chicago q. Chef Lee Ann Whippen is a pitmaster and a certified BBQ judge for the Kansas City Barbecue Society. AHHH music to my ears! I discovered Chicago q shortly after it opened and am grateful that the team there understands my Gluten Free needs because it is hands down the best BBQ in Chicago. Just order the competition ribs and enjoy and don’t be shy about those chips and pickles when they are brought out. They fry the chips in a clean fryer at the beginning of every day for the whole day.
- Hub 51 (Shockingly at 51 W Hubbard, http://www.hub51chicago.com/) – We are regulars on the HUB51 lunch scene. They have a great GF menu and save room for the Butterscotch Pot de Crème, you will be so glad you did! (My mouth is watering right now).
- FoodLife – the Chef & Team that run Mity Nice Grill ( a great GF option) also run the stations at FoodLife in the WaterTower Shopping area. There is a large variety and it is very budget friendly. If you are tourist looking for a quick, good, GF option to satisfy every craving, FoodLife is perfect.
- At this point I am going to refer you to the Lettuce Entertain You Gluten Free Menu list. It is extensive and I would trust it. But always ask your server; ask for a manager if you need re-assurance and leave if you don’t feel your needs will be met. It is inconceivable to me to have anything but a great, gluten free experience at any Lettuce spot. (http://www.leye.com/gluten-free-menus)
I would also like to give a cocktail shout out to one of the hottest new restaurants in the city:
- NellCote – (http://nellcoterestaurant.com/) They mill their own flour there and for cross contamination reasons I will never eat there. However, they were transparent with me, telling me all about how it would be impossible to not cross contaminate due to the milling. They encouraged me to come in for cocktails instead. I appreciate their straightforwardness and the space and the drinks were amazing. So I support restaurants like this, I like it when places are honest and kept me healthy instead of trying to tell me that they can make me something without gluten. Cheers NellCote.
While, my list could go on and on and on, for now this will suffice. I will just say, I am relieved, relieved to have so many options, relieved to have so many resources, relieved to be empowered to make my life better through diet and not medicine, relieved that when I am on the road, for work or for fun, I still have adventures. They are just Gluten Free adventures now.
I live in Chicago and travel for work all the time. I am obsessed with wine, mostly California wines. I have two kids (3 &5) an amazing husband and we all love Chicago! We live in the city and love all that it offers my family. I am trying GF menus where I find them one daring bite at a time. Keep up with my adventures at http://glutenfreemommyandthecity.blogspot.com/ or more regularly via twitter @MommyAndTheCity