When I went gluten free four years ago for my rheumatoid arthritis, I was given strict instructions not to ingest any wheat, rye or barley, even in the tiniest amounts. This limited my restaurant choices to almost nothing. When you are avoiding all gluten, you pretty much have to find restaurants that understand that your meal cannot contain any gluten in the preparation. People are surprised to find out that even ingredients like soy sauce often contain wheat.
I think I was in my second year of being gluten free when we discovered Da Luciano's. It is about a forty-forty five minute drive for us and we went for my birthday. This family owned Italian restaurant is small and always full. When you ask for a gluten free menu, the manager comes to your table to meet you. She has you sign her gluten free book which has names from all over the United States. After feeling like a freak pretty much everywhere you eat, it is fabulous to have a sense of being some place that really understands you.
The best part of the experience at Da Luciano's however, is when you open the menu. It isn't one or two meals that are often presented at restaurants with a gluten free menu, but here you have a full menu. You can choose from pizza, pasta, lasagna, chicken parmigiana, etc. And there are desserts. Beautiful, beautiful desserts! Although I am a wine drinker, I believe they also even carry gluten free beer! Okay, so the first time we went, I cried when I opened the menu and saw so many choices. It was the most beautiful thing ever!
Anyhow,yesterday I opened my mail and there was a nice letter from Da Luciano's sharing their great news that they now have a gluten free online shop. So, if you can't make it to Chicago for a special night out and enjoy the wonderful atmosphere and people at Da Luciano's, now you can order ahead and have a fabulous gluten free meal at home!