Tag Archives: italian

Due Lune – CLOSED

28 Apr

IMG_4059.jpegTre Lune in Montecito has been a family favorite of ours for the past decade. We’ve enjoyed countless meals there as they have always taken care of our multitude of dietary restrictions while serving up delicious food. Because of that, we were looking forward to trying their new location, Due Lune located at State and Cabrillo. There are great views of the water from both inside and their patio. It was a windy night so we opted for a window seat inside. I started with the Garden Party Salad which had kale, zucchini, beets, tomatoes, goat cheese, pear, cranberries and walnuts. The ingredients were very fresh, however there was too much balsamic on it for my liking. It was also a much larger portion than I had anticipated.

IMG_4062.jpegJust like Tre Lune, they have gluten-free pasta available as a substitute for their pasta dishes. After speaking with our waiter, he confirmed that they would cook the gluten-free pasta in a clean pot and use a clean colander. I ordered their bolognese which similar to the salad, was enough to feed 2 people. Is it just me, or is a huge portion unappealing? Although there was nothing wrong with the dish, I would probably try something else if I were to go back. 

River Edge Pizza Kitchen

13 May

Chicken Parm HeroWe were back on the East Coast recently to see a pediatric allergist for our daughter. While there, we found an amazingly gluten-free friendly spot called River Edge Pizza Kitchen. The owner, Francine, has three celiac grandchildren so she has taken it upon herself to have safe Italian food for them to eat. I had the chicken parmigiana hero – something I haven’t had in 11 years. Eating it brought back so many great memories. I also had the cheesy garlic bread since it would have been wrong to not order gluten-free cheesy garlic bread.

Cheesy Garlic BreadI inhaled these during the short walk from the restaurant to our car. They did not disappoint. As good as this place was, it was a reminder that there isn’t a place in Santa Barbara for safe gluten-free comfort Italian food.

Speaking of reminders, GFSB will be meeting at Lilac this Sunday at noon! For more information or to RSVP, visit our Facebook page.

Trattoria Vittoria

11 Dec

Burrata con Prosciutto e RucolaThis weekend we went to Trattoria Vittoria with some friends of ours. I started with the Burrata con Prosciutto e Rucola. This consisted of mozzarella drizzled with a balsamic reduction and served with prosciutto and cherry tomatoes. This is one of the few Italian places in town that does not offer gluten-free pasta. So, I ordered the pork chop for my main dish.

Braciola di Maiale alla GrigliaThe pork chop was grilled and topped with parma prosciutto and melted mozzarella. It came with sauteed green beans and potatoes. In spite of all the pork consumed, I would like to sincerely wish those of you who are celebrating Hanukkah a very happy holiday.

Riccardo Trattoria

6 Sep

The first night we were there, we dined at Riccardo Trattoria with my cousin and her soon-to-be husband. The brother of the owner used to own a restaurant in NYC that we always went to, so we were excited to try this place. I called ahead of time to let the know that I was coming and to ensure that they would have GF pasta on hand. We all shared a couple of dishes to start. The first was the Fava Beans with black truffles and Tuscan pecorino cheese. We then had the Eggplant and Zucchini Timbale au gratin Parmigiana.

After our waiter assured me that there were no breadcrumbs in the preparation of this dish, I dug in. I am such a sucker for dishes that are gooey and cheesy. I then had the arugula salad which was prepared with artichokes and shaved Parmesan.

This was simple and light with a lemon vinaigrette. For my main dish, I had their special pasta dish which had lobster meat in a spicy tomato based sauce.

The flavor on this dish was so wonderful. Our first dinner in Chicago was a success!


24 Jun

We lived in Baltimore City for three years and came to love the area. There are so many great options for GF dining there and it is just a city with a lot of personality. We had a great time visiting our old stomping grounds while taking in the Blue Angels flying over the area in celebration of “Sailabration“, an incredible event that the city put on to commemorate the Bicentennial of the War of 1812. After reminiscing and catching up with friends, we headed over to one of our favorite restaurants, Cinghiale. This spot offers GF pasta and the servers are always knowledgable about what is safe to eat. I ordered the gluten-free pasta with the Cinghiale Ragu. Even though I don’t have a picture of it, trust me when I say that it was wonderful.


23 Jun

We were going to meet a friend in Central Park after a race, so we headed to a place called Pappardella since I had read that they were gluten-free friendly. They had a GF menu with tons of exciting Italian offerings. I was still pretty full from lunch, so I took it a bit easy. The first thing I ordered was the Bruschetta with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. I then ordered the GF garlic bread served with marinara.

This was amazing. Seriously. I am still not sure that it was GF because it was that good. My last dish was the carpaccio di manzo. This was all right. The entire time I was eating it, I was contemplating ordering a second portion of the garlic bread. This restaurant was a great find with GF pizza, pasta, panini and more on the menu!

La Riviera Trattoria

10 Jun

We were back in New Jersey visiting family, so I took it upon myself to search for a new gluten-free restaurant to try. I read about La Riviera Trattoria and their GF menu online, so we decided to try it the first night we were there. We started with the stuffed artichoke with GF breadcrumbs.

I had never had a artichoke with bread crumbs (for obvious reasons), but I really enjoyed this. We also shared the fresh roasted peppers with mozzarella that were consumed too quickly for a photo opp. My husband ordered the GF gnocchi with a butter and sage sauce so that I could sample it.

This was incredibly rich and good. It is a good thing I don’t live closer to this restauant or else I could see myself eating this dish multiple times a week, and growing horizontally quite rapidly. I ordered chicken parmigiana for my main dish.

I can’t remember the last time that I was able to order this at a restaurant. It was always one of my favorite comfort foods growing up so it made me so happy to be able to have it again, bread crumbs and all. And… since I tend to overorder when given a GF menu, we also had an order of the GF penne with garlic and broccoli.

This was a lighter pasta that went well with my chicken parmigiana. I wasn’t going to get dessert but then I looked at the menu and there was a gluten-free brownie with vanilla ice cream demanding to be ordered.

Thank goodness I had my parents, grandparents and husband to help out with this since I had eaten way too much at this point. The brownie had a really good consistency and taste to it though. This restaurant was so overly accommodating thanks to the owner’s daughter having celiac. They take great pride in ensuring that there is no cross contamination in the preparation of the GF items. If you can even think about food at the end of your meal (which I personally couldn’t), they have pasta, bread crumbs and other assorted GF products available for puchase on your way out.

A Feast with the Family

12 Apr

My parents are in town so we decided to get some good Italian food for dinner. Once again, Olio e Limone proved to be one of the best restaurants in town. I started with the Insalata Primaverile which had mixed baby lettuces, grilled eggplant, roasted bell peppers and goat cheese with their olio e limone dressing. For my main dish, I had the Petti di Pollo Saltimbocca alla Val d’Ostana. Typically, the chicken is dusted with flour, so they just prepared mine without the flour.

This chicken breast was pounded very thin and then topped with prosciutto, fontina cheese and marsala wine. The dish was served with a side of potatoes and broccolini. Every time we eat here, it is just so darn good.

Arnoldi’s Cafe

6 Jan

Last night, we were both craving Italian food, so we decided to check out Arnoldi’s. I had called ahead to see if they had gluten-free pasta, and they confirmed that they do! I started with a Caesar Salad. Even after doing my whole GF speech, the salad arrived with croutons. Not the best start, but the waiter was quick to have them make me a fresh one. It was a solid Caesar Salad. I then had the GF pasta with the Arrabiata sauce.

This was as straightforward as you could get but the sauce was really good. We sat outside along the Bocce Ball courts. This seems like the perfect place for a first date or a double date. We didn’t try our luck with the Bocce Ball this time, but we definitely want to return!

Trattoria Mollie

4 Dec

Tonight we decided to get dinner and then put up our Chrismukkah decorations. We went to Trattoria Mollie’s so that we would have plenty of energy to put together our fake tree that has made it through two cross country moves. I had a salad with a lemon dressing and shaved parmigiano. It was nice and light. I then had the Medaglioni di Melanzane alla Piastra con Speck al Profumo di Pesto.

This consisted of  grilled eggplant with mozzarella, smoked ham and pesto sauce. I then had gluten-free pasta. You heard right…. ANOTHER restaurant that offers GF pasta! Are we lucky or what?

I had the Spaghetti con Pancetta e Ricotta salata. It was GF spaghetti, smoked Italian bacon and ricotta cheese in a light tomato sauce. It was quite yummy. They use the Trader Joe’s brand rice flour pasta. To finish off the meal, they made me a small portion of their Panna Cotta.

This naturally GF dessert had a wonderful chocolate drizzle and was surrounded by a strawberry sauce. I don’t know how we got anything done after eating the amount that we did. However, after rummaging through our moving boxes, we were able to locate our tree and box of ornaments. The stockings are still MIA, but who needs stockings when you have a festivities bush like ours?