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Nice (gluten-free) restaurant in Chicago area for birthday

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I'm visiting Chicago in a few days and I'm going to meet up with a friend who has a birthday coming up. I want to take her to a nicer restaurant, but something not too stuffy (as in super high end). Cool decor and great food are pluses. Also, neither of us eat any gluten (not celiac, just by choice) and tend to shy away from most diary, so any restaurant suggestions accommodating this would be nice. Somewhere within driving distance (20 minute taxi maximum) of the Sheraton Hotel and Tower (301 E North Water St) would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!!!

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  1. Might be slightly longer than 20 minutes by taxi, but you really should check out Senza. It's an entirely gluten-free restaurant that will absolutely blow you away. I've taken gluten-loving friends there and they couldn't believe how incredible the food was -- the chef, Noah Sandoval, is one hell of a talent.

    http://www.senzachicago.com/

    1 Reply
    1. re: mcgeary

      Highly recommend Senza. I am not gluten free, but Senza is nevertheless among my favorite restaurants in Chicago. Beautiful, comfortable space, extremely friendly and personable staff and interesting, beautifully plated and delicious food. It is a little bit pricey, but not over-the-top spendy and not at all stuffy or pretentious. Would just be a quick shot up Lake Shore Drive via a cab. The executive chef (Noah Sandoval) worked previously at Schwa and you really see the influence of Chef Carlson on the cuisine. I just dined here for my ninth time last week and it keeps becoming better and better with each visit!

    2. If you don't want to worry about any gluten whatsoever in the menu, definitely Senza! Just like mcgeary said. It's about 60 per person for a 4 course prix fixe, 110 for their tasting menu. You'll also need to tell them that you don't eat dairy. I remember that they have a bread service where they serve butter along with the most amazing GF bread I've ever had.

      Closer to downtown, Girl & the Goat, David Burke's Steakhouse(just don't have the popovers), GT Fish & Oyster. You'll have to ask your server which dishes would be gluten free. For a more casual fare, Maggiano's does serve gluten free pasta but you'll have to ask for it. Most nicer restaurants here in Chicago should have some GF dishes on their menus.

      1. Most of the LettuecEntertainYou restaurants have gluten free menus:
        http://www.leye.com/gluten-free-menus
        and many are in the downtown area.

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