Giving up gluten

In case you missed it, here is my roundup of gluten-free dishes I’ve found at restaurants around town that appeared in Go! section of the Monterey Herald. I’ll be reposting my reviews and stories from my weekly column for the Herald here on my blog along with extra photos that didn’t appear in print.

It seems like more and more people — including a number of my friends — are cutting gluten from their diets. For most, they’ve discovered mild gluten allergies; others suffer from Celiac disease, which prevents them from properly digesting gluten.

While I’m not gluten-intolerant, I certainly can relate to anyone with dietary restrictions. It got me thinking, what is a gluten-free diner to eat around town? Surprisingly, there are a number of gluten-free options on local menus.

Many of the dishes at Bistro Moulin (Monterey) are gluten-free. While chef Didier Dutertre’s signature spinach gnocchi won’t make the cut if you’re dining gluten-free, the decadent escargots will. Or try the French onion soup — but order it sans crouton.

The duck confit at Bistro Moulin is absolutely delicious--and gluten-free.

And gluten-free diners can enjoy duck confit, herb-roasted chicken breast or moules frites. If you hold the sauce, the steak Bordelaise can be made gluten-free too.

Il Vecchio (Pacific Grove) has recently annotated its menu to make it easier for gluten-free diners. All of their appetizers — like the baked eggplant mousse or the cheesy polenta — are gluten-free.

While they don't offer any gluten-free pastas, the grill items at il Vecchio--like the chicken cacciatora--are gluten-free.

The restaurant doesn’t offer any gluten-free pasta, but its grill items — including flavorful chicken cacciatora — are gluten-free.

Rio Grill (Carmel), Passionfish (Pacific Grove), Le St. Tropez (Carmel) also have options for gluten-free diners.

Pizza My Way (Pacific Grove) can make their pizzas on gluten-free dough, though it’s only available for small or medium pizzas. Allegro Gourmet Pizzeria (Carmel) also has gluten-free dough available on request.

A number of other casual eateries have gluten-free options now: Hula’s Island Grill (Monterey) has a gluten-free menu; Crystal Fish Sushi (Monterey) and Ocean Sushi Deli (Monterey, Pacific Grove) offer many gluten-free dishes and use gluten-free soy sauce; Pacific Thai (Pacific Grove) has some delicious gluten-free curries on their menu.

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