For me, one of the trickiest parts of going out to eat is having self control. And not just the usual, "Oh, I'll have an extra bite of my dinner," sort of control, but more consistent with the "I need to have everything because I don't know when we're coming back here and OMG everything is gluten free and safe and I must have it now," mentality. A bit of an issue, don't you think? :)
This may be the case with other people with specific food allergies/dietary restrictions, but I haven't met them yet. I'd love to! But it hasn't happened. So, until then, I'll stir in my own gluten-free-goodness of our dinner at Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse. There was a gluten free menu, great bar seats, and a joyful atmosphere as we kicked off an extra-long holiday weekend.
I cannot stress enough how calming it is to be out to dinner at a restaurant where there is a large gluten free menu, AND you want everything on said menu. Sometimes places will have GF menus, but they consist of salad, bland protein, and more salad. Terribly disappointing! And not exactly encouraging of a fun night out. Part of what I love about dining out is having a great menu to read and enjoy, knowing that I'll be able to order something delicious that I don't have too often. At Davio's, the GF menu is huge, I was in GF heaven, and ordered everything. Or rather, I ordered every carb-focused item possible (maybe because I was starving? maybe because I had just gone to the gym?) #treatyoself.
My husband and I ordered cocktails, and then decided to split a GF pizza to start. The following is a fact about me: I am incapable of not ordering an appetizer. Anyone else? I ordered the pizza because gluten free pizza is rare outside of my own home, and because I was starving. And I was hoping that it would be filling enough to encourage ordering a smaller dinner. HA! Think again.
Leisurely sipping our drinks, having pizza, and relaxing together - what a night! But we kept ordering. Did I mention the GF rolls we were served? Holy mackerel, they were delicious. It was crunchy, salty, fluffy, and warm. Was this truly gluten free!? I was so shocked I had to ask our server, and she confirmed it was GF, and made in-house. I would return for these rolls, alone. Salivating as I type, no joke.
Moving right along, I placed my order for the simple GF Spaghettini with basil and San Marzano tomatoes. My husband had Kobe beef sliders (not GF, but he said they were perfect). My pasta dish was exactly what I wanted, and was somehow still hungry enough to eat: fresh, light, and super flavorful - lots of tomatoes! I asked for shredded parmesan to add a little kick on top. By about half-way through the dish, I hit my food wall. Rolls, pizza, and pasta is quite a combo that I rarely have all in one night, but my self control goes haywire when it's all available in the same evening.
That's not all! Much to my surprise, and my husband's, we ordered dessert. What was I thinking? Once again, this was a rare treat having all of those foods, and a GF dessert, in the same meal. I chose the molten chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream. It was incredible. Rich, chocolate-y, and served hot. The inside of the cake was very similar to brownies before they are done in the oven (YUM). If I hadn't been so full from the rest of the meal, I would have finished it. Alas, we left a little on the plate. And decided it was time to go home feeling fuller than ever.
Apparently, tonight was all-carbs, all-night. But it was worth it and I cannot say it enough, again, how much we enjoyed the food, and the attentive staff: the manager even came over and let me know that he made the kitchen aware of my allergy and that they take them very seriously. So do I, sir! I appreciate you! And your kitchen! We had a wonderful night out.