where have i been?

holy moly. i've been gone a long long time. sorry guys. but i have a good reason for this... sort of. i'm in the midst of job turmoil (thanks economy!) and wedding planning, all rolled into sunless days and tax due dates. fun fun! well, the sun has finally emerged from hibernation in chicago and thanks goodness for that.

i feel human again!

due to my absence i have much to say. let's start with some restaurant reviews. although i've been MIA lately, i've been paying a few GF restos a visit to test their wares and use myself as a gluternini guinea pig. here goes:

went here for dinner with the fiance and wound up with a waitress that seemed like she hit the woodstock party scene with a little too much gusto. the restaurant does not have a GF menu and so having a rather astute server would be of utmost importance in my opinion, and this chica just made me a tad nervous. i asked what was available GF and she said that i should pick something that looked good and she would talk to a chef and see if it was possible.

hmm... shrimp fra diavolo, please. and away she went.

seconds later a chef appeared dressed in his white and you all know how i feel about making a scene with chefs and loud talking and special treatment and all that stuff that is just so embarrassing. he scooted right next to me and crouched down at the table, staying out of the way of the bustling scene and also avoiding making one. fabulous. he went over options with me saying that they have GF pasta in stock, however, the spicy tomato sauce that puts the devil in diavolo is made with flour. but, if it's okay with me, he'll mix up a batch of something close but not quite. sure.

it was so good.

i haven't eaten pasta at a restaurant since my pre-gluterini days. this was certainly a special treat. i also haven't eaten anything fra diavolo due to the pastalessness, and i have no idea how close or far the sauce i ate is to the original, but it was so spicy and good there are no complaints. the portion was good and i wound up enjoying the rest as a late night snack and breakfast the next morning. i did not get sick. it indeed was truly gluten-free. the waitress was a space cadet but that chef was awesome and to him i give an "a-0k."

you've read many-a posts about bistro 110 lately, because they are hosting an allergy series here in chicago. well, when i saw that they were also hosting an easter brunch, i made reservations and off we went.

first off, the place is charming. really cute and it reminded me of my favorite brunch place in my old stomping grounds of austin, texas called chez zee. while not as quirky as chez zee, bistro 110 was not lacking in charm and the atmosphere was great. there was a live music performance for the occasion and the place was just filled to the brim with people dressed in spring attire... all turning their noses up at the snow patches still lurking in corners and icy breeze. we all thought "spring" even if mother nature wasn't ready to give into us just yet.

i thought that the "french quarter frittata" sounded just great ("baked in a cast iron dish in our wood-burning oven with roasted red and green peppers, onions, tomatoes, garlic, thyme and rosemary") but wanted to make sure that none of the fluff came from flour. the server we had was well-versed in gluterini and double-checked for me. nope. it was safe. so i enjoyed that with a nice little mimosa. it was delish.

i enjoyed the fact that the server seemed educated and comfortable with dealing with food allergies. i've read all about the chef and know that he's a cuisine-y expert in the matter. so of all the places i've been in chicago thus far i'd have to say that this one takes top rank in terms of GF comfort level. i trust them. that's hard to come by.

so those are my two new resto posts for now. plans are in the works to expand the reviews so stay tuned as time goes on. and i'll try to post more often. in fact, i already have my next post: planning a GF/nut-free/peanut-free wedding in rhode island while training for a 10-mile race in may.


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