Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Going Gluten-Free Never Tasted So Good

Loving leaving gluten behind? No longer is that a tale of woe. You know, “Whoa! That tastes like cardboard. What else can I eat -- enjoyably?” Atlanta chefs are taking advantage of naturally gluten-free foods and the ever-growing list of gluten-free, sowing their wildly appealing “GF” oats to create dishes full of flavor yet devoid of gluten. Menus clearly designate gluten-free and modifiable options so playing the do/don’t guesswork game is a thing of the past. This list of area restaurants offering gluten-free menu items (along with yummy selections) is definitely a keeper.

Start with a toast to new dining opportunities. 
Revival in Decatur offers Angry Orchard Stone Dry cider, which like all Angry Orchard ciders is naturally gluten-free. Cheers!

The menus at all 
Bantam + Biddy locations clearly designate gluten-free options, and there’s a whole flock of dishes scattered across all menu categories, starters through dessert. Entrées such as fried chicken tenders, meatloaf, oven-roasted chicken and the Southern Breakfast (served all day) are a few tempters. Covet Bantam + Biddy’s popular jalapeño cornbread? Score. The golden, gluten-free bread accompanies all entrées and is available as a side. When only a sandwich will do, the kitchen will swap in gluten-free bread. Good to remember when dining in Midtown (Ansley Mall or Crescent Avenue), Lenox Square or Avalon.

Chick-a-Biddy in Atlantic Station also identifies gluten-free items on its lunch/dinner and weekend brunch menus. Flip over almond pancakes with ginger apples ($10) or a protein scramble ($12.50) at brunch as well as onion rings ($6), a chicken tender basket ($13.50) and Cobb, Club Med and Power House salads ($10).

Lunch, dinner or in between, 
Ormsby’s shrimp and grits is an all-around favorite, rocking palates with succulent shrimp, red peppers, caramelized onions and cream sherry ($16). Ask servers about more gluten-free menu options.

Saltwood Charcuterie & Bar, a plethora of gluten-free options await. You can’t go wrong with the pan-roasted lamb sausage with creamy grits and smoked Gouda, charred okra and harissa jus ($10) or the Southern paella with Carolina gold rice, pan-seared red snapper, mussels, scallops, smoked andouille and shrimp ($21).

In Midtown, 
10th & Piedmont harmonizes sweet, salty and savory for gluten-free and paleo devotees in its bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin with roasted apples, currants and cane syrup crème ($6.95)

At the magic hour of 5 p.m. every evening, 
HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern starts serving its fall-apart tender pot roast. Midtowners can’t get enough of the comforting short ribs sided by buttermilk mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables and red wine gravy ($14.50).

Seed Kitchen & Bar generously peppers its lunch, dinner and brunch menus with gluten-free options. Smoked chicken tacos with pimento grits, chipotle-lime crema and piquillo peppers ($8.95); deviled eggs served with short smoked salmon, jalapeño cream, pickled onion and capers ($7.95); and Georges Bank sea scallops with butternut squash-Parmesan risotto, apple and pancetta ($26.95) are a few of the palate-rewarding selections at this East Cobb restaurant.

Thankfully, most wines get the go ahead. Small plates at 
Stem Wine Bar in East Cobb also get the green light. Everyone’s happy to share “Deviled Eggs Three Ways” -- Spanish, French and Italian ($6); shaved Brussels sprouts with warm bacon vinaigrette, apple, pine nuts and Parmesan ($9); Spanish octopus “A la Plancha” slow braised in red wine and accompanied by fingerling potatoes, chorizo and salsa verde ($14); and garlic chicken wings with preserved lemon, black pepper, Calabrian chiles and parsley ($10).

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