Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. My best friend from college, Rachael (who happens to have Celiac disease too), came to visit for the weekend so we have plenty of opportunities to check out some more gluten free restaurants! After having a wonderful Italian dinner at Fellini’s, I HAD to make my next blog post about gluten free Italian restaurants in Charlottesville, VA. Enjoy!
Also: Excited to announce that Rachael will be in LONDON for a year and will be contributing to this blog for London restaurants so stay tuned!!
Fellinis: (http://www.felliniscville.com) Located on the downtown mall at 200 West Market Street. My FAVORITE Italian restaurant here! The wait staff is incredibly knowledgeable about gluten free and food allergies. Our waitress even has a severe gluten allergy so she understood our needs completely and made sure that the kitchen did too! The menu has clearly marked gluten free options and there are so so many options!!!! Good news..if you want something that is not marked gluten free, the kitchen can most likely accommodate your request to make it gluten free as they have gluten free breading on hand. I have gone to Fellini’s twice in the past 3 weeks and have yet to be disappointed! Two things…1) the portion sizes are HUGE 2) SO MANY OPTIONS! The first time I went, my boyfriend, Ryan, ordered the gluten free salmon, which came with a bed of risotto. Now, I am not usually a fish-lover, but his salmon was to die for! So tender and perfectly cooked. I, of course, ordered the veal dish, which had a large serving of veal (5 cutlets I believe) and special gluten free pasta with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes and a wonderful flavorful sauce. The kitchen made the pasta special for me because my stomach cannot handle salads. Very flavorful and creative dishes. Ryan and I also ordered dessert—yes, this restaurant has gluten free dessert options!! I had a wonderful nutella chocolate mousse cake! Poor Ryan didn’t stand a chance of eating much of it—the cake was delicious! The crust was made from gluten free cookies. Gelato and a ricotta cheesecake were other gluten free dessert options. Only downside to the whole experience…no gluten free bread. I went again with my friend, Rachael (also a Celiac), this weekend and she loved their pork dish. We also split an appetizer of a fresh mozzarella salad. In terms of ambience, it could not be better! Evenings after 6pm, there is a live piano man who plays beautifully and gives the whole restaurant a wonderful romantic vibe. The tables and booths are very old fashioned and the restaurant is quaint. Parking is not easy to come by…but you can park in Market Street Garage for $2.50 an hour. Making reservations may be wise but not always necessary.
Bellas: (https://www.bellas-restaurant.com) Located at 707 W Main Street across from Amtrak. Lovely restaurant with a large menu. Bella’s offers primarily family style so the portions easily feed two people. They have great gluten free pasta and I have never gotten glutened from this restaurant. The wait staff is very friendly and always double checks with the kitchen on whether something is gluten free. Again, no gluten free bread is offered, but Bella’s is definitely worth trying if you are craving some good gluten free pasta!
Travinia: (http://www.traviniaitaliankitchen.com) Located at the Shops at Stonefield, 2075 Bond St #100. Let me just say…this restaurant has a ton of gluten free options and I was not glutened…but I did get severe food poisoning. I have friends who love this restaurant, but personally, I will not be returning. In addition to receiving a cold meal, the service was terrible. Travinia does have gluten free pasta and sauces so it would be worth trying! Just make sure your food is the correct temperature and fully cooked, but don’t expect good service. This is a popular restaurant though as it is located right next to the regal cinema. I would consider returning again for a friend’s birthday dinner, but opt for a vegetarian dish rather than chicken…
**Please note that this review solely reflects my own honest opinion. I was neither paid nor compensated for my visit here.**