Many of Atlanta’s finest chefs have family members maintaining a gluten-free diet. This personal connection coupled with an increase in gluten-free requests challenged them to fill their menus with dishes sans gluten. And they realized that these well-crafted menus appeal to a broad audience.
Gluten, a sticky protein that wreaks havoc for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, is no stranger to a restaurant menu. Yet, the menus at staple restos like Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, Atlas and Bar Margot reflect just how simple it is to make ingredient substitutions that render gluten an unnecessary component.
Davio’s owner Steve DiFillippo has a daughter who follows a gluten-free diet due to having Lyme disease. Because of his family’s personal struggle to find gluten-free options when dining out, DiFillippo created gluten-free recipes and a separate menu to accommodate others facing the same issue. Choose from homemade rosemary Parmesan bread and handrolled gnocchi made with Cup4Cup’s gluten-free flour. All pasta dishes can be made with gluten-free pasta since all sauces are always free of gluten. Bonus: There’s even a gluten-free brunch menu.
At Atlas, executive chef Chris Grossman’s fascination with gluten-free baking and cooking can be attributed to his wife’s gluten-free diet. “I offer the same approach and caliber to guests with allergies and dietary restrictions as I do to guests without,” says Grossman. And his hard work paid off: Atlas has perfected fresh, housemade gluten-sensitive pasta (made on shared equipment) and made-from-scratch gluten-free bread. A separate menu is printed daily to simplify the ordering process.
The gluten-free scones included with high tea service at the Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta are the creation of a former pastry chef whose wife and daughter are sensitive to gluten. The tradition is carried on by Bar Margot’s pastry chef Lasheeda Perry, who has tweaked its recipe and shape. “A few years ago, I co-authored a book where I shared exclusively gluten-free dessert recipes. Now that I’m with the Four Seasons, I’m always sure to cater to the dietary needs of any guest—and my gluten-free scones do just that,” she says. May we suggest slathering them with a selection of clotted cream, lemon curd and seasonal jams? As for the rest of the dessert menu, flourless chocolate cake and French macarons round out the selection. Plus, tea sandwiches are served on local bakery UDI’s gluten-free, vegan bread.
Gourmet gluten-free cuisine is prevalent in Atlanta, thanks to the hard work of talented chefs with a desire to treat all guests to an outstanding meal—gluten or no gluten.