Thursday, September 19, 2013

Osteria Mozza is a Must!


If you are a fan of Italian food...especially mozzarella, then you must visit Osteria Mozza! With two locations, one in Los Angeles and one in Singapore, there aren't many location options. But if you visit either LA or Singapore, make Osteria Mozza your choice for fancy Italian dining. They were very accommodating to my gluten-free needs.  For a starter, I had the prosciutto-wrapped melon, which was wonderful. As they are known for their mozzarella bar, I didn't want to miss out on that. I got the burricotta with braised artichokes. I also highly recommend trying one of their pastas for the pasta course. It's a small portion, so don't be worried about getting too full from that. It's meant as sort of a second appetizer. And yes, they can offer most of the pasta dishes prepared with gfree noodles! I ordered the tagliolini with Maine lobster and roasted sea urchin. For my main course, I ordered the duck al mattone and it was fantastic! My overall visit to Osteria Mozza was a great one. Classy, romantic atmosphere, amazing food, excellent wine and super service. If you want to celebrate a special occasion or impress someone, this is a good bet.
The website of Osteria Mozza
Skeptic's Star- Rating: 5 stars

Cruising Gluten-Free on the Carnival Valor


I was incredibly impressed with the service I received on the Carnival Valor Cruise Line. We ate dinner in the dining room every evening. There were many options to choose from, most of which could be prepared gluten-free. Every evening, while dining, a woman came to our table to ask me which dishes I would like to pre-order to be prepared gluten-free for the next night. The best part about it is that you're able to order as many dishes as you want! I often ordered two appetizers, a dinner and a dessert. Most of their pasta dishes (aside from ravioli) can be prepared with gluten-free pasta.
Dessert options were creme brulee, ice cream, gfree cheesecake, and melting chocolate cake. The melting chocolate cake was by far the best! A little pot of melty, goo-ey chocolate goodness. But the creme brulee was pretty good too. If you choose to eat breakfast in the dining room, it's possible to order gluten-free french toast and gluten-free pancakes. Just be sure to pre-order it for the following morning. 
Skeptic's Star-Rating: 4 stars

Friday, June 7, 2013

Macaroons, Je t'aime

I discovered this lovely little treat while in Paris. Every morning, my traveling companions enjoyed the amazing croissants and confections specific to France while I ate yogurt. That's when I found the french macaroon...and discovered that they are usually gluten-free! You see, they are made of almond flour. (Warning: Before eating any macaroons, be sure to verify if they contain gluten or not. Not every macaroon is the same and all of our bodies react the same way to gluten).  The best thing about the french macaroons is that they come in many different flavors. (Pistachio, strawberry, rasberry, blueberry...) They also have a great texture, slightly crispy on the outside, but soft and chewy on the inside. They are little sandwiches of sweet, scrumptious joy. Find them in shops all over Paris. You can also find them in the US, but be careful! You may find yourself eating way too many.
Skeptic's Star-Rating: 4 stars

Pappadeaux, Please

I've known about Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen for many years, but never actually tried it until I was in the Houston airport. Boy, what a good experience! They actually have a gluten-free menu and when I ordered the "chef's special" (Pan-seared tilapia covered with shrimp and crabmeat in a brown butter sauce), they prepared it in a gluten-free way. You can also order "Naked Fish", which is fish without sauce or breading. This was the best airport dining experience I've had. But you don't have to book a flight to Houston just to try this great seafood place. Pappadeaux has other restaurant locations in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, New Mexico, Ohio and Texas.
Skeptic's Star-Rating: 4 stars
Click Here to visit the website of Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen

Raving about Rosti

If you're looking for a great Italian restaurant in Los Angeles that offers gluten-free pizza and pasta, please go to Rosti Tuscan Kitchen. Almost all of their pasta dishes can be ordered with gluten-free pasta...usually penne. Their pizza selection is wonderful too. My favorite is the gluten-free pizza with pepperoni, peppers and artichoke hearts. The toppings are fresh and tasty and the gfree crust has a great texture. The gluten-free pizza is only available in a small size, enough for one hungry person or two moderately hungry people. Before you go, know that Rosti does not offer alcoholic beverages. However, they do not charge a corkage fee. So bring your own wine or beer! Great atmosphere. Good for romantic or group get-togethers. Locations in Calabasas, Santa Monica and Encino, CA.
Skeptic's Star-Rating: 3 stars

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Domino's Does Gluten-Free!

Congratulations to Domino's for being a major pizza chain that offers gluten-free crust! FINALLY. I was lucky enough to discover this when trying to find a pizza place that would not only offer gfree crust, but also deliver after 10pm. (Quite the challenge in Los Angeles). My experience with Domino's was an excellent one. From the nifty, user-friendly website to the speediness of delivery to the taste of the gluten-free pizza, I am a fan. I ordered one of Domino's specialty pizzas on a 10-inch gluten-free crust. (The only size offered in gfree). But it was enough to feed 2 moderately hungry people or 1 extremely hungry person. The crust was thin and a bit crispy, but not like cardboard. The toppings were excellent. My particular pizza cost $20 (including delivery fee). That's a little more than I'd like to spend on a small pizza, but all things considered, it was worth it. I'm just grateful to find a pizza chain that offers a tasty gluten-free pizza. Hey, Pizza Hut and Papa John's...when are you going to jump on the bandwagon?
Skeptic's Star Rating: 3 stars
Click Here to visit:
Domino's Website

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Frosted Cupcakery Makes My Day!

Frosted Cupcakery in Hollywood offers an array of fancy, delicious cupcakes...as well as a special gluten-free option! Their current gfree cupcake is vanilla bean with chocolate buttercream frosting. The flavor is wonderful and the "cake" part is actually moist! (I'm sure we've all tasted those dry, dense gfree cupcakes from other sources). The next time you plan a party, wedding or event and need a handful of gluten-free dessert options, check out Frosted Cupcakery. Skeptic's Star-Rating: 4 stars

Hostaria Happy Hour

I love a good happy hour. Hostaria del Piccolo in Santa Monica has great happy hour drink and food deals from 5-9pm. Gluten-free items include grilled fresh calamari, cheese potatoes with polenta and roasted pork ribs. They also offer some of their pizzas on a gluten-free crust! (for an extra $3.00) I've tried the Moderna, the Quattro Per and the Regina. Not all of their pizzas can be ordered on the gfree crust. The pizzas I've tried had an excellent flavor, but the crust wasn't the best. You can definitely tell you're eating a gfree crust...it's quite bland and dense. However, I am extremely grateful that Hostaria even offers gfree pizza! So they get points for that. Just expect the gfree pizza flavor to be great, with a somewhat disappointing crust. And definitely try their happy hour! The cocktails are awesome. Skeptic's Star-Rating: 2 stars (for the gf pizza crust)
Click Here to visit: The Website of Hostaria del Piccolo