Friday, March 20, 2009

GF Italian in Wilmington, NC

Hello, blogland!  Where to begin?  I have been on the road lately and working a lot.  Not much time for cooking, or blogging.  But that's why I've got quantities of food frozen ahead and Glutino bagels.  Trader Joe's frozen Enchiladas.  Brown rice flour tortillas and corn tortillas to make quesadillas (AKA mexican grilled cheese).  Bags of frozen veggies to cook up in the microwave, in a hurry.  These types of things.

Wilmington, NC

While I was there, I did an internet search for gluten free dining, and
 found a really great place to get some GF Italian food!  I hadn't eaten out for pasta/Italian for about 3 years until I went to Bella Monica in Raleigh a few weeks ago with the Gluten Free Greenie Blogger (Wendy).  But now, it seems that new opportunities are surfacing all over for GF dining.  This is so amazing compared to even just a couple years ago!

I was able to talk a carpool friend of mine into going with me to Toscana Cafe in Wilmington.  I could hardly contain my excitement--you always feel like such a wet blanket when you say, "no, I can't eat out Italian."  I asked this friend if Italian was OK, and he said, "I love Italian!"  So I felt like way less of a buzzkill...  

Toscana Cafe.  I had the Penne (Tinkyada) w/Grilled Shrimp, mushrooms, and sundried tomatoes in a tomato cream sauce.  It was amazing, and I was so delighted.  I haven't had good Italian food in so long (not counting Bella Monica).  It was very simple for them to just substitute the GF pasta with their sauce and ingredients.  But it was so far beyond anything I ever make for myself at home, and such a treat.  I hope more independent (mom & pop) restaurants realize they can substantially grow their customer base by offering safe GF choices!  If they cook it, we will come!

I met the manager, and the owner, and they both were very nice.  They explained they have more and more people, of all ages (even 60s, they mentioned, many recently diagnosed) who are ordering GF pastas all the time.  I thanked  them for providing the option for us.  They were very careful and I think they understand how to minimize the chance of cross-contamination.

I was very pleased, and hope you are, on your next vacation to Wilmington when you drop in for some Penne!


  1. I wish I could have been with you to share this experience too!! I love eating at local places, I wish there were more! I'm glad you had such a grand outing!

  2. Very nice. It sounds like it was great!

  3. Nicola's on Oleander Drive in Wilmington NC offers gluten free dining as well. All dinners are made to order so it is no problem to substitue gluten free pasta as well as accommodate many food allergies.