Since been diagnosed with coeliac disease 10 years ago, I have seen such an improvement in the gluten-free options available in restaurants. I recently enjoyed a great meal with friends at Jamie’s Italian Restaurant in Manchester and thought I would share my experience with you! We had a great waitress and although I was not given a separate gluten free menu she explained that a lot of things would be suitable for me and that I should make my choice and she would advise me if the dishes were gluten free or not. This worked out fine as order was taken on a keypad and anything that was not gluten free was highlighted on the pad… perfect, makes things nice and easy!!
I was delighted to discover that I was able to opt for the meat plank combination consisting of cured meats; fennel salami, pistachio mortadella, prosciutto & schiacciata piccante, Italian cheeses; Buffalo mozzarella with chilli & mint, pecorino & amazing chilli jam, pickles, green chillies, green olives, gaeta, caper berries and a crunchy salad, shaved carrot & beets with lemon & loads of mint… yummy especially the flavours within the salad! My friends did have bread with their planks but I was just happy that I was able to have everything else on the plank and it didn’t matter that I couldn’t have the bread.
For my main course, I picked something I’ve never had before when eating out – gluten free pasta. Although it’s listed on the menu as Crab Spaghettini, the gluten free pasta was fusilli rather than spaghetti. It was a delicious combination of Devonshire crab, tossed with capers, chilli, fennel, parsley, anchovies & lemon. I think gluten free spaghetti would have worked a little better than fusilli for this dish, just to allow the sauce to be a little more evenly distributed, but the pasta was well cooked, the flavours were lovely and it was brilliant to be able to enjoy something different when eating out. If you would like to recreate this at home you could use a recipe on Jamie’s website which is similar; Crab, Lime & Chilli Spaghetti, and use Juvela Gluten-Free Spaghetti as a base. We have lots of recipe ideas on our website, if you’re feeling adventurous you could even make your own gluten-free pasta!
For Pudding I had a light fruit jelly served with citrus fruit and yoghurt which was light and refreshing, this was followed by a cappuccino, which finished the meal off perfectly.
My experience at Jamie’s was a really good one and I would be more than happy to recommend a meal there, as the staff instilled confidence that they understood about catering for a gluten free diet. The restaurant I visited was King Street Manchester, however there is a full list of the restaurants on their website. They have a gluten free menu and also a really good section with regards to Allergens for you to check out to!
Feel free to share tips and advice about places you have been to which have good options for coeliacs or even a dedicated gluten-free menu!
It is just great to see how aware restaurants are becoming of the Coeliac condition and responding with gluten free options on their menus! The restaurant chains offering a gluten free menu that I am aware of are Ask Italian, La Tasca, Pizza Hut, Pizza Express and Jamie’s to name a few, I am sure you may have heard of a many more! Perfect venues to enjoy a meal with the rest of “the gang” whether it be a stop off for lunch whilst out shopping, dinner after work or a bite to eat after a trip to the cinema… how good is that!!!
Please note: We would always advise you ensure that dishes are gluten-free before ordering, gluten-free options may vary in different restaurants.