A Gluten Free Meal for the Ages

266-300x225This is a re-post of my article on Examiner.com

If you are a gluten free person, what’s the first thing you think when you hear that you are going to a restaurant that has no set menu–they just serve whatever they feel like making that day!!??  In Italy??  Well, I will tell you what I thought–I had visions of a four-course meal of pasta, pasta, and more pasta, followed by an Italian Cream Cake for dessert!!  This would be a no-go!!  BUT, the person who recommended the restaurant understood that gluten was a problem for me and my daughter, and he called the restaurant to ask if they could accommodate our special food needs.  Of course they gave an enthusiastic “yes”!  No problem!  They said they didn’t have gluten free pasta, but they would come up with alternatives.  Oh boy!!  This is going to be interesting.

I will now tell you briefly about our fantastic gluten free meal at Cane e Gatto in Siena, Italy.  It was the most thrilling culinary experience of my life!

We enter this charming tiny restaurant (about 5 tables), and we are seated at a beautifully set table with tiny bowls of home made dried fruit mix, and beautiful flowers.  Needless to say, I nearly fell over when the waitress brought out baskets of homemade bread, along with a plate full of gluten free bread just for me and my daughter.  I was additionally thrilled when the charcuterie plate was served to my daughter and I, with the pate on gluten free toast points!!  Things were move along quite well.  On to the mushroom risotto, then the beef tenderloin smothered in black truffles.  Then dessert!  This was the most delicious thing I have ever tasted.  It was a meringue ice cream including that great meringue-y crunch.  I don’t know how they did it.  Our desserts were served with some other items that were fruity and good.  The non-GF people at the table were served a custard in a pastry crust.  Everyone had a fabulous meal and I have never felt so “taken care” of in any restaurant.  The restaurant staff seemed perfectly at ease with the situation, kind of like they must do this all the time.  What a great experience.  I highly recommend that more restaurants take a cue from Cane e Gatto and learn how to accommodate the GF community with ease.

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