Bruce Zarlengo (brucezarcsa -at- gmail dot com) writes a great newsletter about Gluten Free dining called “Dining Out Gluten Free with Bruce”. I’ve been pestering him to post his newsletter on a blog so that everyone in the Chicago area or who visits the Chicago area can find great gluten free dining. Unfortunately, my pestering hasn’t paid off … yet.

But, Bruce did graciously allow me to publish his newsletters on this blog until he gets the blogging bug.

This post will be especially long because it contains a summary of newsletters from September 2009 to present. Future posts will be a lot less lengthy, but still packed with useful information.

As the list grows, you can quickly find all the posts by clicking on the category “Gluten Free Dining with Bruce” in the right margin of this blog.

So … click the “more” link below to learn about the many new restaurants offering gluten free cuisine. And thanks to Bruce for his hard work and for allowing us to post his newsletters here until he starts his own blog (hint, hint).

April 15, 2011

 Hello again,
 I wanted to mention just a few more things.
 Mity Nice Restaurant in Chicago will be hosting a Gluten Free Wine Dinner on the 12 APRIL.
 Watch ABC-7 news at 11A on 14 APRIL. They will be featuring Gluten Free dining out options in Chicago. Also appearing on the show is Rachel Zemil, daughter of Evan and Marianne. She represents how younger people play a strong role in getting the Gluten Free message out there. They will mention Kim and Scott’s Pretzels   they have a cafe where they make GF pretzel sandwiches located at 2218 N. Lincoln Ave. I am aware that the production facility where they bake their GF products is shared with gluten containing products. It is a nut free facility. You can also find further information on their GF options at
A very special THANK YOU to Rick and Colin……….
 Last year we held a dining out event that proved to be our best attended event, nearly 100 people. The event was held at Barrington Gourmet. The owners of the restaurant Rick and his son Colin were so passionate about creating and offering Gluten Free dining (they had a GF menu) that featured BBQ chicken pizza.
 I was very sad to hear that the restaurant has closed. Rick, his wife Teresa and son Colin are wonderful people.
 I want to personally Thank them for all their efforts and wish them well. You will be greatly missed.
 Also, please be aware that all of the restaurant’s mentioned in my last review offer a number of dining specials and you can find further information on their websites. For instance, Pinstripes offers $12 Monday night dinner specials. L’EIFFEL BISTROT offers online coupons, daily dinner specials and drink specials during the week. Each of the establishments have discounted options, just ask them about it when you call.
 If you have any restaurant’s you would like me to add in my next Chicago review please advise. I am interested in off the radar options.
Bruce Zarlengo
Dining Out GF w/Bruce


April 2011

Greetings and HAPPY SPRING !!
 Actually, I have been around but took some time off to focus on work.
 Stay tuned for exciting and new dining out news, Dining Out Gluten Free w/Bruce dinner events in the works and a few surprises I will be sharing in the months ahead.
 Do not miss (beg, borrow and will leave it there)…..ATTEND the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center annual Spring Flours event. I just purchased my tickets yesterday. I have not attended a more elaborate Gluten Free dining event then this. Some 30 area restaurants will feature creatively prepared GF food. Sign up now at   The event is 6MAY.
Once again Jen Cafferty’s Gluten and Allergen Free Expo heads back to Chicago 29APR-1MAY at the Wyndham Hotel in Lisle. This is such an exciting event where the entire Chicagoland gluten free community comes to learn, share, socialize, and EAT. With over 70 vendors sampling the latest gluten free products on the market. Sign up at   I will be working there on Saturday, so stop by and say hello.
 Just about daily, I see print/email/tv ads featuring Gluten Free products. From QVC having its very first Gluten Free Hour of shopping  Green Giant, Progresso, Hamburger Helper (yikes), Bisquick, Betty Crocker just to name a few that now advertise gluten free.
Take a look at  to discover a number of products along with other really good information concerning living life gluten free. I really like this website.
 For this review I am going to focus on dining out GF choices in the Northwest Suburbs (South Barrington in particular)….BUT for those of you in Chicago look for my next review which will feature a number of new places to dine out and a few off the radar gems. Western, Southern, and Northern suburbs to follow (and Northshore).
The South Barrington area is becoming a mecca for dining out GF. Thanks to theArboretum of South Barrington and its array of dining venues.
Cooper’s Hawk has an extensive GF menu and I must say some of the very best GF rolls out there. They are specially made for the restaurant by Kinnikinnick. Manager on duty will bring out the GF entree to the diner. Not sure how true it is, but I have heard that one of the owners of the chain has CD.
Just spoke with manager Julie at Anna Shea Chocolates www.annasheachocolates.comthat out of the 50 varieties to choose from, only 6 of them do they not consider GF. She also noted the staff have all been trained on the topic.
Pinstripes also features a GF menu (but no bread is served). If you like hummus, they offer a really good hummus appetizer. The staff is very aware of GF issues. You can ask for manager Gary or wait staff Phil or his brother Jason if you want further assistance with your dining needs.
Ruth’s Chris steak house features a GF menu. Again, no GF bread. They are pricey BUT they now offer a 3 course dinner menu at a reduced price.
Nozumi restaurant which features asian cuisine now offers gluten free soy sauce. I spoke with Chef Andy and he noted that a number of sushi items are gluten free. He also advised that several entree items are or can be modified to be GF. Let me know if any of you have tried this restaurant.  They are under new ownership and have lowered their prices.
A real gem is L’eiffel Bistrot  This is a remarkable french bistro that does not offer a GF menu BUT absolutely can prepare most entrees to be GF. Chef Pepe Jose can prepare for you rice pasta served with your entree. He is very aware of safely preparing your food. Wait staff, Andrea and a male waiter who has celiac disease totally get it.
 There is a Noodles & Company ….but after speaking with manager Ann, I didnt feel totally assured to suggest eating here. She did advise that the pad thai is gluten free and that you must advise the staff. They will prepare in a seperate pan. She noted that most items contain gluten and they are unable to GTD gluten free. I do know that the sauces that are gluten free are located right next to the gluten containing sauces and cross contamination is an issue.
 Opening in June, Georgios Pizza  I spoke with the manager of the Crystal Lake location (where they now feature a full GF pizza/pasta menu) and he noted that the Arboretum location will also feature the new GF menu !!!
 Gold Class Cinema is not your AMC theatre  They do offer a very limited menu (more of a tasting menu) but they will make every effort to prepare an item for you to be GF. The kitchen staff understands the issue.
 So if you live in the area or take a drive out to visit, come out and discover how one shopping center totally embraced Gluten Free Dining Out !!
Chicago review is next and if you want me to include one of your faves, just let me know.
 I will be sending out information on 2 items related to dining out GF, look for that to post this weekend. They are happening very soon and you need to know about them.
Happy Gluten Free Dining !!
Bruce Zarlengo
Dining Out GF w/Bruce


July 2010

Are you hungry for great dining out GF options this weekend, here are a few to check out
Da Lucianos located in River Grove has officially opened their outdoor dining. They did an amazing job and you will love the waterfall they created.
Thank you Steve V. for giving us heads up on this new GF menu added option at:
1.BIG BOWL restaurant now offers a GF menu at all locations (Chicago, Lincolnshire and Schaumburg) read more at:
2. OMG…It’s GLUTEN FREE located in Frankfort
I have heard only good reports about this Southwest Suburbs totally GF dining option.
3. Wilde Bar and Restaurant located in Chicago
What a great option in the city and a unique and fun experiance. Check out the GF menu at the link above and have a GF brew!!
4. SEASONS 52, recently opened in Schaumburg and guess what, they also offer a GF menu. They make everything from scratch and use seasonal ingredients with an emphasis on great tasting food that is nutritional. or
 Fattoush restaurant located in Chicago….THANK YOU Matthew T. for sending me this review of your dining experiance at this establishment:
Last night my wife and I, and another couple, ate at Fattoush, a Lebanese restaurant, on North Halsted in Chicago. Virtually everything on the menu is either gluten free or can be easily modified to be gluten free. They have two separate kitchens, so there is no chance of cross-contamination. For anyone looking for a delicious gluten free Lebanese meal this is the place to go! We split six appetizers, including Artichoke Hearts, Hummos, Fattoush, and Grape Leaves, and had the combination platter of Beef Shawarma, Kafta Kabab, Chicken Shawarma, Shish Kabab, Shish Tawouk for our entree. All the dishes were top-notch. The owner and his wife, who has Celiac, spent time with us, and the service was excellent. They have about ten tables in an outdoor garden (great for the summer), and probably double that indoors. They also have pita bread from Rose’s Wheat Free Bakery in Evanston – although expensive, it is the BEST I have ever had and well worth the price. It is a BYOB restaurant, so pick up a good bottle of wine on the way and enjoy a wonderful gluten free meal.
 CHEESE FACTORY RESTAURANT (not the Cheesecake Factory) located in Wisconsin Dells….Thank you Steve V. and Tracy for letting us know about this dining establishment that features a GF menu. The reviews were very good!!
and coming soon …..2 brand new DINING OUT GF events, stay tuned for all the details!!
Ok, one scoop about the Chelsea Clinton wedding…..the wedding cake is GLUTEN FREE!!
As always, show up, sign up, dine out and support all efforts being made for our Celiac/Gluten Free community!
Happy GF Dining!Bruce Zarlengo
Dining Out GF w/Bruce
CSA/GC Board Member


September 2009

1st of all a BIG THANK YOU to all of you who sent GF information over, you all make living GF so much easier because you share WHAT YOU KNOW with all of us!!

Upcoming GF Events:

University of Chicago CD Center’s annual event.  Register ASAP for the 10 OCT event.CSA/GC Annual Fall Festival will be held at the Doubletree Oakbrook where the chef will be creating a wonderful array of GF food, join us on November 15th. (contact me for further info)

Check out where a new group called Windy City Celiacs are planning to meet up for dinner 26 Sept. at in Chicago on North Ave.GF/DF Pancake Breakfast being held in Hinsdale at WF market. Further info/sign up at (event benefits the U of C Celiac Disease Center.A great way to learn and sample GF food options is by attending a number of Whole Foods Market GF cooking classes. This month Im featuring the Palatine location and the monthly classes taught by Chef Sunshine Best (next class 17th Sept). The fall schedule is impressive. For only $5 you learn so much and you eat so much (lots of yummy samples). Call 847 776-8080 to sign up today!Jen C. noted a GF dining event being held by in Chicago on 26th SEPT. Contact the school direct about the GF specifics of this event.ANOTHER GREAT AND NEW GF DINING OUT HELP TOOL:  Gluten Free Passport introduces a new feature to access GF options at fast food/on the go restaurants.

Daluciano’s in River Grove is EXPANDING and the completion date is set for mid November. Added features will include Gluten Free cooking classes, freezer display of GF take home items, extended hours and approximate seating for 85.

GLUTEN FREE RESTAURANT OPTIONS—NORTHWEST/WESTERN Suburbs edition: located in Glen Ellyn features a Gluten Free menu. Items that range from chicken wings to bison ribeye, there is something for everyone. Chef Danny Ovanin has great interest to create for us safe/great tasting GF meals. located in Northbrook and South Barrington (reviewed before). The Executive Chef informed me on the specific procedures they take to ensure safe GF food.
In summary, a process similar to that in dealing with a peanut allergy. located in Rolling Meadows does an amazing job at preparing very tasty GF food (nothing plain). They are very aware of food allergy/intolerance issues. Ask for Chris if you need further assistance. in Mount Prospect. I was recently informed they carry a number of GF grocery items and they feature Rose’s Wheat Free items in their cafe (soup/bread). Contact them for further information. located in Wheaton, now features a GF menu. Several people informed me the food is delicious! in Naperville. At a recent GF event I attended one of the chef’s at this location handed me Maggiano’s Allergy Menu which addresses gluten/nut/dairy intolerance.
They intend to host GF cooking classes sometime this fall and ask for Chef Jason when dining.  located in Norridge. The manager’s sister has Celiac, so he is aware. When you click on the link above, notice the GF menu download option at bottom of page. Risotto’s Italian Ristorante in Gurnee features a GF menu. Someone may want to advise them that advertising their new GF menu next to the words ’we now feature whole wheat pasta’ does not sit well with GF diners….BUT…I heard good things about their efforts. ZaZa’s located in Lake Barrington now features GF pasta (one made from rice, one from corn). They do charge $2 extra for GF pasta. Heard good reports about them.

FEATURED RESTAURANT: in Hoffman Estates. Im not sure you will find a more accomodating, great tasting chinese restaurant. They take care of you from their heart. Ask for Mr Lee, Milan or Betty. They prepare each dish to meet any specific dietary concerns. Enjoy!! 

another Pizza place with locations in both Elgin and Crystal Lake now features GF PIZZA (GF beer on the way!). Ask for managers Chris or Jenny with further questions (Elgin location). The crust is shipped in (not made on the premises) then placed in a seperate foil pan sheet for prep and cooking to avoid C.C. issues. located in Naperville features GF pizza.
Ask for Jaime (assistant general manager) for further assistance.

ok, a bit late on getting this out BUT for those of us who enjoyed Starbuck’s short lived GF cupcake, you can contact them (Thank You Steve V.) at:  Let them know to bring it back or feature some other GF dessert item. They now feature
KIND Bar’s in their locations.

ok, ok, I know the season is about over BUT ….the WHITE SOX do feature GF Beer, located in the right/left field corners of the park (on level 100). The import beerstand features Redbridge and I hear the Southside grill features GF beer, candy, snack bars. I recently read an article from Triumph Dining that stated the best arena for GF beer/food is Coors Field in Denver. They have an entire concession stand that features-hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, brownies, cookies, beer, chips and pretzels( all GF)…Im a fair weathered fan —–so GO ROCKIES!

Upcoming reviews will feature Chicago, south suburban dining options.
Look for news about CSA/GC new initiative to bring GF food/awareness to local Food Care Centers for those in need. Stay tuned………

Happy Dining!

Bruce Zarlengo
CSA/GC GF Restaurant Review/Dining Out with Bruce