January 29, 2014

Gluten Free Options for Chicago Restaurant Week

We're in full swing of this year's Chicago Restaurant Week, the 14-day dining event that started January 24th and runs through February 6th at a little over 300 restaurants throughout downtown, the neighborhoods and suburbs.

The annual culinary celebration features prix fixe menus starting at $22 for lunch and $33 and/or $44 for dinner (excluding beverages, tax and gratuity). This is a great way to check out some of Chicago's trendiest restaurants.  It's best to make a reservation since some of the restaurants are quite popular and it may be extremely difficult to get a table.

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of joining fellow Chicago gluten free bloggers, Frannycakes and GeekilyGFfor lunch at Siena Tavern. We all ate off the restaurant week menu safely and drooled over Frannycakes' friend's gluten-full choices - lots of dough!!

Here's what I enjoyed:

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with
parmesan and toasted marcona almonds

Brick Chicken withsticky parmesan potatoes, balsamic roasted garlic, and grilled lemon

Brown Butter Peanut gelato

Needless to say, everything was delicious. Our server was incredibly helpful and understood our need for gluten free options. She pointed out which items could be altered to be gluten free and even went back and spoke with the chef to get answers for all of our questions. Siena Tavern already has a gluten free menu, but since we were celebrating Restaurant Week, we wanted to eat off the prix fixe menu. It was a win all around.

There are so many restaurants participating in Chicago Restaurant Week that have gluten free options on their prix fixe menu. Even if it does not specifically say "gluten free", most places are willing to make substitutions for you and accommodate your gluten free needs (Shout out to Roy's Restaurant for making up a gluten free Restaurant Week menu on the spot for me a couple years ago!)

Here are some of my picks where you can most likely* enjoy a gluten free meal. *Always ask your server or chef about the ingredients, even if they look or sound like they are gluten free. You never know which additives are in in the dish. Tell them that you are gluten free and to let the chef know so he/she can do their best to prevent cross contamination. 

There are several more restaurants that would have gluten free options, but these listed are good places to start!

Did you check out any of the restaurants that participated in Chicago Restaurant Week? 

January 23, 2014

Choosing My Next Adventure

So many things!

First off, Happy New Year! 

I hope the first few weeks of 2014 have been good to you and everyone has been keeping warm. The lovely Polar Vortex has been about as much fun as -50° wind chills can be. In a little over a week I'll be rooting for Punxsutawney Phil to not see his shadow, as I imagine you all will be too. C'mon Spring!!

Secondly, I'm switching things up on the ol' glutenfreebetsy.com.

Don't worry, I'm still gluten free. That celiac disease thing just doesn't go away on its own. (Or with anything else for that matter. Seriously, don't buy into those fake gluten-blocker pill gimmicks.) As much as I love sharing everything gluten free with you, there is so much more to my life than being gluten free.

I'd like to incorporate a lot more fun stuff here on glutenfreebetsy.com. I want to spotlight my awesome full of gluten friends' projects, talk about gettin' my fitness back on, some DIY projects and crafts, entertainment, my vintage obsession and etsy shop (about to open soon!), and Chicago fun times. You are so in for a treat!

I still plan on including lots of gluten free content as always. I have some great gluten free book and product reviews in the works, so look out for those soon.

In the meantime...

I've been updating the Gluten Free Chicago Restaurant list like crazy lately, thanks to everyone who has emailed me with restaurants that have gluten free menus or who are super accommodating to gluten free diners. Seriously, thanks for all the heads up, everyone. I didn't even know about half of these places and now I'm super excited to check them out! Hello, gluten free hot dogs (in buns!!!), anyone?!

The Gluten Free Chicago events calendar has also been constantly updated. Be sure to check that out if you're looking for cooking classes, support groups, or group dinners.