Great Gluten-Free Dining Experiences: Part 3



This summer has kept me close to home, which means my restaurant experiences have focused on summer dining on the East Coast.  Here are four restaurants that provided great gluten-free dining experiences.

Summer dining on the East Coast means two things to me:  locally-grown fruits and vegetables and out-of-this world fish and shellfish.  What’s great about both for those on a gluten-free diet?  The food speaks for itself, requiring little more than fresh herbs and spices to taste great.  And that equates to delicious and easy gluten-free dining.

Not Your Average Joe’s. This chain of restaurants in and around the Boston area is perfect for a quick business lunch or casual weekday dinner.  What makes it even better is its gluten-free menu consisting of a large variety of dishes to choose from.  When the yummy looking bread and oil/cheese dip were put on the table, my business colleague (who had previously dined there with a gluten-free individual) asked for gluten-free bread and a separate dipping dish for the oil and cheese.  One minute later I had delicious gluten-free bread and my own special dipping plate.  I chose the line-caught haddock and was quite pleased with the quality of the dish.  The gluten-free menu includes appetizers and salads, main entrees and desserts.

The Legal Test Kitchen.  You guessed right.  Located in Boston, this is the public test kitchen for Legal Sea Foods, a restaurant chain known for its knowledge of and sensitivity to food allergies.  The server takes the initiative to ask if anyone has food allergies or intolerances upon his first visit to the table, which is a really nice touch.  All menu items are subject to being prepared gluten-free (if possible), however the raw bar and mix and match portions of the menu are a great way to go.  I thoroughly enjoyed my mix and match of grilled shrimp and two sides of veggies.  And while I refrained from ordering an appetizer, I would have been confident ordering from the raw bar and several of the salads. 

Freeman’s.  This is a great spot in New York’s Lower East Side for a fun dining experience with a great vibe and bar scene.  But the restaurant also serves really good food.  Many dishes are simply prepared, making them great gluten-free options.  I was perfectly happy with the Summer Salad of greens, pickeled green beans and watermelon and the grilled brook trout, prepared only with oil, garlic, lemon and thyme, was one of the best pieces of fish I’ve eaten in a long time.  I was talking about it for at least 10 minutes during dinner.

BLT Steak. I love this chain of steakhouses within Laurent Tourondel’s empire of BLT restaurants.  It is my go-to restaurant for business dinners when you want high quality food, a great bar scene and easy dining for those eating gluten-free.  Steaks, fish and shellfish are all prepared simply and those that aren’t can be with a simple request to the waiter.


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