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!