My brother chose this restaurant as a place to go for my birthday dinner. Both of us have celiac disease. He has eaten there previously without any issues. I was impressed when we entered - the restaurant was lovely and the service was friendly. Our server brought copies of the menu with check-marks next to items that were gluten-free or could be adapted to be gluten-free. None of the menus we received had the same items checked (or not checked). The server quickly remedied this verbally, and also used a pen to correct the menus themselves.
For starters, my brother's friend (who has a wheat allergy) and I both ordered the winter vegetable soup, but without the meatballs. My brother ordered cauliflower soup. When the soup came, my brother's friend and I looked at the soup, and then each other. There were small white objects in the soup. They didn't look like barley - I thought they were small beans or maybe tapioca pearls. Both of us ate the soup. About five minutes later, the manager comes and starts talking to my brother's friend.
It turns out that the little white balls in the soup were pasta. Not the gluten-free kind, either. The manager was sincere in his concern for our well-being, asking if we needed medical assistance. I pulled a card from my wallet describing celiac disease and asked him to take it back to the chef to read. The manager talked to my brother and promised to follow up the next day to see how we were.
The rest of our dinners were boxed up to take home, and we weren't charged a thing - not even for the wine we'd had.
Overall, the service and the atmosphere of The Blue Duck Tavern were wonderful. But with such a blunder from the kitchen and how bad my reaction was, I just don't know if it would be worth it to go back. And that's too bad.