Mexican food is one of the most naturally gluten free cuisines in the world, which is great news for me since I LOVE Mexican food! After an afternoon of exploring the CN Tower with two colleagues who were on business trips in Toronto (one from India, the other from Texas), we were on the lookout for food. Since my colleague from India had never had Mexican food before, I couldn’t resist stopping at Milagro Cantina for a late dinner. It’s a tacky decorated Mexican chain restaurant with three different locations across the city – but it serves good food and big servings. I mean what’s a better dinner lineup when you’re starving than guac and tacos with a margarita?! Yum!
Earlier this week I had a romantic Winterlicious date night at Aria. But on Friday night it was ladies’ night, no fellas allowed. Word spread and it seemed like everyone was in the mood for a late night Winterlicious dinner at Sorrel followed by a night on the town.
It ended up being one of those nights where the company far exceeds the food. My meal was pretty good, but by far nothing to write home about. Thankfully the wine was delicious and flowing, and all night we laughed and had a great time catching up with amazing friends.
I have wanted to eat at Aria Ristorante since I read it was one of Toronto’s best new restaurants in 2012. So I jumped at the opportunity to eat dinner there during Winterlicious. I’m pretty new to the concept of Winter/Summerlicious, having only been to my first last summer at Toula. My advice to anyone gluten free or with other food intolerances/allergies, do not be scared of the prix fix menus. You’d be surprised at how many of the participating restaurants have at least one naturally gluten free option available for each course. All it takes is a quick phone call to learn about your options, every restaurant that I have called has been more than willing to make me a safe, delicious meal. Don’t let gluten hold you back!
This week I met my friend Lisa for dinner after work. Lately we have been in a habit of either eating in Yorkville or getting take out pizza from Magic Oven. But following my foodie resolutions, I figured it would be best to try something new. Once again, I found out about The Gabardine from Toronto Life. If you’re ever stuck trying to find somewhere to eat, check out their website – you can search by neighborhood and type of food amongst other criteria, which makes it so convenient! A quick search of the Financial District brought up The Gabardine and boy it did not disappoint!
Lisa and I both ordered the risotto. We happily exclaimed that it was the best risotto we have ate since Italy. The Gabardine offers a daily vegetarian risotto, priced daily and naturally gluten free of course. We lucked out and had cauliflower and artichoke – I never would have guessed roasted cauliflower would be such a superstar in risotto!
Today Ryan and I went out for a delicious brunch at Barque Smokehouse. It was a mild winter day, so we thought we’d take the opportunity to get out and explore another area of Toronto. It was our first time in Roncy and not only did we thoroughly enjoy brunch, we also had a great time walking up Roncesvalles Ave. visiting cute coffee shops and health food stores. We actually managed to stop in at four places recommended by Toronto Life (getting a good start at my foodie resolutions!)
Barque Smokehouse was the highlight of our afternoon in Roncy. I was happy to discover that they offer several naturally gluten free dishes on their menu, including their dry rub ribs, brisket and pulled pork! Yum! Who doesn’t like smoked BBQ?! The staff was very friendly and explained that the dry rub used on their smoked meats is both gluten and soy free. They also kindly warned me against ordering anything from their fryer because of cross-contamination (that means I won’t be enjoying their fries, which look amazing).
My go-to restaurant in Port Credit is The Pump House Grille. Around the time that I discovered I had to go gluten free I spotted a ‘New Gluten Free Menu’ sign outside it. It was such a relief at that time knowing that there was a restaurant within walking distance that had a dedicated gluten free menu. Since then, my friend Kaitie and I have made it a habit of eating there together and have quickly narrowed down our standard order.
The Pump House Grille has a larger than expected gluten free menu including hearty chili, nachos, salads and pasta dishes, as well as steak and salmon entrees. My favourite thing to order is the blackened chicken alfredo. It’s delicious – nothing fancy, just a big serving of creamy comfort food! The pasta is so tender thanks to the creamy alfredo sauce that at first you might think they gave you gluten pasta, but nope – it’s just that damn good!
Last week, my Mom and I went out on one of our mother-daughter nights! We went to see the National Ballet of Canada perform Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland! It was a fun night out, I hadn’t seen a ballet in about 15 years! I am still a Broadway girl at heart, but this ultra modern ballet with elaborate sets and a tap dancing Mad Hatter was entertaining!
But you know that mad scramble to find dinner before a theatre production? Well we managed to avoid it this time. Within a two minute walk of the Opera House we came across Estiatorio Volos. The menu looked promising and it had a pre-theatre prix fix menu to select from so we decided to get a table.
Ever since going gluten free, Oliver and Bonacini has been a staple restaurant of mine. I have been to three different locations: Bayview, Front and Blue Mountain. Needless to say, I have narrowed down some of my favourite dishes – mac & cheese and lemon posset being top of the list.
The gluten free macaroni and cheese with chicken and green peas is comfort food at it’s best! Like most kids, I grew up on Kraft Dinner, so it’s always a nice treat to eat this grown up version made with goat cheese, Fontina and aged white cheddar. The staff are always very knowledgeable about allergies – which is what is expected at such a nice restaurant. They always have gluten free pasta on hand. When you order the mac & cheese gluten free, the kitchen skips using flour as a thickener to the sauce and doesn’t add breadcrumbs to the top. This makes the cheese sauce a bit more runny, but hey you’ll never hear me complaining – it’s delicious!