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Reviews Written by Tigrhwk:  



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Enoteca Casa Porciatti
2 Piazza IV Novembre
Radda in Chianti, 53017
Italy

4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Exploring pays off -- found gluten free in Siena, Italy Oct 30, 2015
reviewer: Tigrhwk from Iowa City, Iowa

Wandering down an inviting little passageway in Radda, (a recommended village near Siena) we found the Casa Porciatti, which was still serving lunch at 3 pm. This little gem turned out to be a butcher shop, wine bar, wine shop and delicatessan. The enoteca featured local showcase wines, including Chianti Classico Dal 1716, Brunello di Montalcino, and Nobile di Montepulciano. Fine wines all. The kitchen, although shared, prepared me the best salad I had in Italy. It was super fresh greens with fresh tomatoes and formaggio caprino ( soft goat cheese). I dressed it with local olive oil and a balsamic from Modena. This syrupy balsamic vinegar isn't called " nectar of the gods" for nothing. It is unlike any you've had before and is truly delicious. It can be ordered online. This deli would not be the place for a full gluten free meal, but the salad lunch was perfect.

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Bastioni del Moro
18 Via Pilade Bronzetti
Padova, 35138
Italy

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Gluten free dining in Padua, Italy Oct 30, 2015
reviewer: Tigrhwk from Iowa City, Iowa

Knowing I had celiac disease and needed to eat gluten free, the proprietor of our B&B, Filipo, recommended this restaurant and called in the reservation. We were greeted at the door with, "Are you dining gluten free?" (senza glutine?) Then, as we were being seated, the maitre de double checked with me that I was celiac! I thought I was going to cry...I love Italy!! He pointed out the gluten free meals on the menu. My husband and I shared a whole baked flounder, roasted vegetables, tomatoes, olives, salad, rolls, dessert, espresso and gratis homemade Baileys. All were delicious. (Also had a bottle of Padova red Reserve). The dessert was called semifreddo and is made with pistachio and hazelnut. It's a cross between gelato and mousse. Fantastico.
Oh yes, fish is sold by the etto, which is 100 grams or 3.53 ounces. Average price of whole fish on the menu is 10 euros per 100 grams, often requires a 2 person minimum. Sounds confusing, but just ask what they recommend for 2 people and don't be shy about asking quanta costo? (total price of fish, since it may be listed per atto).
Very homey, warm, welcoming restaurant and personnel with plenty of charm and a touch of elegance. Yes, go here!

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Tuscan villa in Lucca, Italy
1470 Squires Beach Road
Lucca, 55100
Italy

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Gluten free getaway at villa in Tuscany, Italy Oct 27, 2015
reviewer: Tigrhwk from Iowa City, Iowa, USA

If there exists a gluten free heaven-on-earth, I'm pretty sure I've found it.

After receiving a celiac disease diagnosis three years ago, I was afraid my international travel days were over until, here on GlutenFreeTravelSite.com, I spotted information about a gluten free culinary getaway in Italy. This seemed like the chance to travel to Europe with relative confidence in food safety, so my husband and I flew to Italy. Here is our story of the gf cooking school. What an exceptional experience!

The week-long cooking school unfolded in a gorgeous villa, built in 1729 near the historic walled city of Lucca in northern Tuscany. The magical week was a dream-come-true for persons with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or gluten allergy. All food and cooking ingredients in the villa complex were gluten-free. All pans, utensils, and toasters were dedicated to GF cooking and baking.

The week was sponsored by Jovial Foods, a small Italian pasta, olive oil, and tomato company dedicated to producing fine-quality products. Jovial products can be found in the U.S. or online. Jovial Foods founder, Carla Bartalucci, taught the cooking classes, which included theory and history of Italian cooking and baking, modified for gluten free flours and ingredients. Participants made pasta, pastries (e.g. Torta della Nonna), breads (e.g. sourdough and focaccia), pizza, desserts, and rolls. After cooking classes, the fruits of our labors were served for dinner, complete with red and white vino (including a delicious Solgirato Mulerna rosso) and mineral water, desserts, coffee, and cappuccino.

Breakfast at the villa was a smorgasbord of gluten free offerings including breads, rolls, cereals, muesli, eggs, prosciutto, pecorino cheeses, fruit, jams, Nutella, yogurt, coffee, espresso, cappuccino, blood orange juice, milk and a special dish each day -- such as frittata or caramelized potatoes prepared by Carla.

The villa was built at a time when it was customary for wealthy families to retreat to the countryside on holidays. The complex sits on many hillside acres lush with vegetation, including herb gardens and many fruit trees such as lemons, oranges, persimmon and pomegranate. Olive trees are plentiful and vineyards are interspersed. Rose or grapevine covered gazebos and pergolas abound and flowers are everywhere. The villa's owners raise their own chickens and maintain two swimming pools. The villa itself is luxurious, complete with ballroom, library, multiple living rooms, enormous kitchen, pantry, huge dining rooms, and at least two floors of bedrooms, all with private baths. Three vine-covered guest houses offer additional sleeping space.

Carla was aided by a staff of assistants who were knowledgeable, fun, and very helpful with classes and meal preparation as well as useful resources regarding local foods, food preparation, travel, and Italian customs. They made recommendations for safe dining senza glutine (without gluten) in restaurants on free days and helped with dinner reservations. The week also included plenty of free time to explore Lucca, the Garfagnano region, Cinque Terra, Pisa, Florence or other cities, villages, and landscapes in northern Tuscany.

Indeed, we are still in awe of the experience. Bellissimo! Contact Heidi Gordon from Jovial Foods at the number above or visit Jovial's website to learn of future dates for their Gluten Free Getaways. They usually happen twice per year -- Spring and Fall.

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Posana Cafe
1 Biltmore Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Gluten free doesn't get any better than this Jul 06, 2014
reviewer: Tigrhwk from Iowa City, IA

100% gluten free food. Beautiful upscale restaurant in the heart of Asheville, NC. Food was amazing, even (especially) for my non-celiac companions. They get it now--what gluten free dining can/should be. Appetizer: lobster Mac and cheese, made with gnocchi. Real food, just delicious and with no worries of CC or non GF ingredients, it was heaven. Prices more than reasonable. Chef and owner came to table twice to acknowledge we had traveled 400 miles out of the way to patronize Posana. Chef has at least one celiac in the family. We plan to go back yet this year. I have dined at 100% gluten free restaurants in Austin, TX , Chicago, and Sarasota---- and while I totally appreciate their efforts, Posana is unbeatable for menu diversity, quality, price, atmosphere, and peace of mind. It deserves 6 palms.

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