Gluten Free Lunch at Pub Italia in Ottawa

Pub Italia Ottawa

We spent last weekend visiting our dear friends in the suburbs outside of Ottawa. During our visit, we ventured into the nation’s capital to do some shopping and go out for lunch at Pub Italia.

Pub Italia is located in Ottawa’s Little Italy. It’s a cross between an Italian trattoria and an Irish pub. That means casual Italian food with an extensive beer bible, and menu items like Irish nachos.

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Cavallo Nero Trattoria in Ancaster

Cavallo Nero Gluten Free Pasta

Recently we had a joint birthday celebration with family from out of town. Instead of one party having to drive two hours to visit the other, we decided to meet in the middle and go out for dinner. The halfway point put us around Hamilton, Ontario — an area I had yet to explore since my gluten days. My mother-in-law found Cavallo Nero online, a restaurant located in Ancaster, Ontario. It showed promise since its website said, “We pride ourselves on serving only the freshest ingredients by adopting the farm to table approach with our local partner purveyors.”

Cavallo Nero has a decent sized dining room with nice décor. We had a great round table in our own little area which provided the opportunity for conversation that everyone could hear and follow. Too often you go out for dinner and can barely hear the conversation across the table.

I had the Wild Mushroom Chicken served with gluten free penne. The pasta dish was comprised of field mushrooms, spinach, and chicken breast with a white wine cream sauce. The mushrooms tasted quite good, but overall it was somewhat average. It tasted more like pasta in mushroom soup, and my bowl was pretty full of liquid. The sauce really didn’t coat or stick to the pasta.

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A Family Dinner at Terroni Adelaide

Family dinners are typically home cooked with everyone sitting around the dinning room table. Usually it’s a stretch to convince my parents to go out with all of us for a nice dinner downtown (a burger joint is more of my Dad’s style). But a couple of months ago, we all went out for a celebratory dinner downtown. Seeing as the kids were treating on this occasion, I was allowed to pick the restaurant. We went to Terroni Adelaide because I had heard great things about the food, it was able to accommodate our party of eight, and let’s be honest I’m always drawn to Italian food. My aunt who is Italian has spoke really highly of Terroni (especially about its panini), so I was excited to finally be able to test the food out myself.

Terroni has three locations across Toronto. The Adelaide location is gorgeously set inside the historic Adelaide court house built in 1852 in Toronto’s financial district. It has a great atmosphere, and the bathrooms provide an interesting topic of conversation since the stalls are the old holding cells.


Italian restaurants are often able to easily accommodate gluten free guests. When I called to make the reservation I double checked with the restaurant that they had gluten free options. Of course they did.

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Gluten Free Pasta at The Hot House in St. Lawrence Market Neighbourhood

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Impromptu dinners out are great; however, they can be a bit nerve wracking if you are gluten intolerant or have Celiac Disease. I bet I’m not alone when I say that I like to plan my dinners out since it gives me an opportunity to check menus online and call the restaurant ahead of time to see if they’d be able to serve me a gluten free meal. Thankfully, over the past few years I have found several staple restaurants around the city that are able to prepare safe and good tasting gluten free meals. They have become my go-to places when I suddenly find myself out and about, and ready to eat.

The Hot House in the St. Lawrence Market area is one of those places as it has gluten free pasta on its menu. The restaurant was first introduced to me a couple of years ago by an elementary school friend. She worked nearby and recommended it when we met for dinner to settle a bet over an NFL game. The staff at The Hot House is really knowledgeable about gluten intolerance/Celiac Disease and they have always served me well. Plus, it has a huge patio with couches, which is very appealing during summer. It’s conveniently located at the corner of Front and Church, which offers a stellar architectural view of the city.

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