Nothing says summer like enjoying some food and drinks outside! But for those of us with Celiac Disease or gluten intolerances, it’s not always easy to find a place that offers it all.
Thankfully, there are a few places in the area where you can enjoy great food along with great drinks and atmosphere just like your gluten-eating companions (because no one likes when wine is the only gluten free thing on the menu).
If you’re looking for a casual spot with delicious gluten free options, Wood N’ Tap in Southington is your spot. They have a gluten free fryer which means French fries are fair game with your burger. They also offer gluten free pasta and pizza as well as gluten free mixed drinks using Tito’s vodka.
For beer, they serve Omission Gluten-removed beer. You can even enjoy dessert with their Madagascar Fudge Nut Brownie!
I tried the Choice Chicken Sandwich — grilled chicken topped with jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle, and honey Dijon served with fires, the Blacked Chicken Pasta — mushrooms, tomatoes, and blacked chicken served in a Cajun cream sauce tossed with gluten free penne, and the Strawberry Coconut Martini.
The patio features heated lamps, tables with fire pits, and live music on Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 4 to 7 p.m.
If you’re looking for a more upscale spot and want to feel like you’ve been transported to a European resort, Viron Rondo Osteria in Cheshire is the place to be! Pictures truly do not do the patio justice. It was recently given a multi-million-dollar facelift and it shows. It’s a sprawling setup, with ample seating amongst a large stone-top bar, greenery, and umbrella covered tables.
The gluten free items are marked right on the menu and include everything from appetizers, salads, pizzas, entrees, and pasta.
I recommend the house favorite — Insalata Grecca, made with March farm tomatoes with English cucumbers, green bell peppers, red onions, kalamata olives, barrel feta, and extra virgin olive oil. Also the Black pear organic salmon served over wax beans, leeks, fingerling potatoes, broccoli, capers, and lemon butter sauce. As well as the Chef’s Special — a gluten free and vegan dish made with roasted cauliflower, squash, farm stand green beans, chickpeas, Calabrian spiced Romesco sauce, and gluten free penne.
To drink — the Pompelmo Cosmo made with Viron Rondo Gluten Free Vodka, organic basil honey, grapefruit, cranberry and lime.
Meaghan Penrod lives in Connecticut and is the creator of the gluten free food blog Low Key Gluten Free. She shares recipes, restaurant finds, products, and tips for living with Celiac Disease. You can follow her at @lowkeyglutenfree on Instagram and Facebook or check out her blog at lowkeyglutenfree.com.