Do you remember what it was like, eating out and not having to worry about allergies or celiac or food sensitivities or intolerances or checking with the managers and chefs about cross-contamination issues and ingredients and such? I vaguely do. Vaguely.
I was reminded of that rather carefree kind of dining experience earlier this month, when I was in Chicago for the Nourished Food Blogger Conference and GFAF Expo. I met up with a native-Chicagoan friend who graciously drove us from the airport to the hotel and then to this incredible Italian restaurant.
Da Luciano's gluten free path began when four of the owner's seven kids were diagnosed as having celiac disease. Can you imagine? Bread, pasta, breaded meats, Italian food…all those gluten-laden foods suddenly were off the table! They tell more of their gluten free story here.
I am going to try really hard not to gush. I learned recently at a food blogger conference that gushing is not the best way to do a restaurant review, so I shall give it my most valiant effort to avoid all things gushy. Note to self: Perhaps I should have selected another restaurant to review today…this one is totally gush-worthy.
The servers were very attentive. The place was obviously well-run. Diners consisted of smiling whispering couples, groups of laughing friends, as well as a few families with young children. The atmosphere was relaxed yet professional. ;The dance of visible anticipation, excited impatience, and finally the contented satiety was replayed over and over throughout the restaurant at each and every table. I had the distinct sense that these diners had been here many times before. We dined on Fried Mozzarella Wedges, Garlic Bread, and Mushroom Pizza. All gluten free, and all foods that I was shocked to find gluten free. It was fantastic! Every single item was incredible (stop gushing, self!). Okay. Just, try it. Go. Now. DO IT. Myself, I am dreaming up reasons and excuses that my husband would believe in order to fly my whole family up there from Texas just for dinner.
We also had the delicious gluten free cannoli…I was so enamored with the whole sensory experience of the dinner that I forgot to grab a photo first (in other words, I totally ditched my readers to dive head first into the first authentic cannoli that I have had in ages. True story. And I am not even the teensiest bit sorry. You can't really blame me, can you?). Okay, I am gushing. I know. I also purchased some of their dried gluten free pasta and toted it home in my luggage. Loving it! I recently posted a recipe using their anellini pasta in a buttery garlic-herb sauce.
I am still I'm shock this incredible food was gluten free. We enjoyed many gluten free restaurants and dining experiences while in Chicago, but this one was my absolute favorite! Their full gluten free menu is located here. If you are anywhere in the vicinity, I highly recommend Da Luciano's. They are located in the River Grove area of Chicago.
Tags: anellini, celiac, Chicago, eating out, friend mozzarella, garlic bread, gluten free, Italian, pasta, pizza, restaurant, review, River Grove