Italian food on a night out is usually out of the question for the gluten-intolerant diner. But every once in a while, we happen upon a restaurant like Maggiano’s Little Italy that surprises us by providing a rice or corn pasta option. That makes a gluten-free cat like me purr with happiness to be able to eat pasta somewhere besides my own kitchen. Usually there’s one type of pasta offered, maybe spaghetti or spirals, and the chef is willing to work with me to make sure that the sauce is gluten free as well. I always want to hug him.
But rarely do we find an Italian restaurant that will offer a gluten-free menu that provides delicious options that you wouldn’t think were possible. Can you imagine ordering gluten-free lasagna or manicotti while out for dinner? How about ravioli or cannelloni? Or what if the waiter asked if you’d like gluten-free bread once he found out that you were gluten intolerant? Would you ask him to marry you? I almost have.
My family discovered such a gluten-free dream come true just outside of Chicago, and let me tell you, DaLuciano’s is a restaurant worth flying to Chicago for.
Luciano and Ignazio, owners of DaLuciano’s, share their story of why they began offering a gluten-free menu here. It’s a touching story that you can read on your own. But take a look at their delectable gluten-free offerings from my eyes.
For appetizers, we ordered the bruschetta on gluten-free bread.
This treat was fresh in my mind on Thanksgiving Day, inspiring my bruschetta recipe.
And while gluten-free spaghetti is a nice offering, DaLuciano’s far surpasses that thoughtful gesture with entrees like this:
Yes, that’s cheese ravioli with meat sauce in all of it’s steamy deliciousness.
Homemade Cannelloni! Yes, the tender cannelloni are down there under that rich sauce, stuffed with pure goodness.
And should I mention dessert? Or do you need a little time to recover first?
Homemade Cannoli? Yes, that’s right, magical enough to bring back memories of Italian Christmas Eves with Coleen’s family and walking down the brick-paved streets of Little Italy in Boston while munching a cannoli from an Italian bakery. Mmmmmm.
But hold on, there’s more.
If you’re in the Chicago area, give DaLuciano’s a try. If not, jot this restaurant down on your “must try” list for the next time you’re even close to Chicago. No travel plans in the near future? Well, you’re in luck. DaLuciano’s also has an on-line Gluten-Free Shop offering their dried pastas, frozen entrees, and frozen bread. I’m thinking we just may need to do a little shopping for Christmas Eve dinner.
This restaurant definitely gets two paws up from the Gluten-Free Cat. Meow!