Many restaurants are getting hip to their gluten-free customers and printing special gluten-free menus, just for us. I guess enough people are spending 20 minutes grilling the waiters and waitresses about hidden sources of the wheat-beast that the big chains are thinking about ways to preempt our long line of questioning… That’s ducky, and I fully plan on sampling these places, although, truth be told, I’m more of a small mom-&-pop restaurant kind of gal… BUT-T-T! This is not the reason for this post! The reason for this post is because I have found Mecca. A mom&pop restaurant that has a gf menu like no other. And it is in my very own city, the City of Big Shoulders: Chicago.

Ok, fine. It’s not technically in Chicago. Bravo, you called my bluff. It’s in River Grove, IL, but it’s oh so close to Chicago that I’m taking the liberty of adopting it. It’s almost too good to be true. Their story? A family-run biz running an Italian ‘straunt. Four of six kids are suddenly diagnosed with celiac. Not deterred, they adapt their traditional wheat-filled recipes to work with our world of wacky flours. The result? A FULL menu of normally depressing-for-the-celiac dishes (fried calamari, tiramisu, eggplant parmigiana, pasta and pizza) that are 100% risk-free for wheat-tards like you and me.

It’s called DaLuciano’s. I dined there last night and let me tell you, it took some getting used to – to have an entire menu not only labeled gluten-free, but made by celiacs who understand the insidious nature of gluten? B L I S S ! They also offer a selection of their fresh pastas, desserts, breads, etc. frozen so you can take the bliss home with you. Hot dig von dog!

I was too overwhelmed with joy to have the sense to photograph the cannoli we ordered for dessert, but let me tell you, I will be dreaming about it for years to come. There is a special place in heaven for you (and your gluten-free cannolis), Libreri family!