I do a lot of (some may say obsessive) browsing on the internet, looking for restaurants that serve gluten-free food. Italian food has been difficult to find, beyond gluten-free pizza and maybe pasta. So when I read that Cafe Piccolo made gluten-free ravioli, bread, parmigiana, and lasagna, I knew I had to go try it for myself.
Their menu has little notes on it about their ability to substitute gluten-free bread or pasta. The website says that they cannot make gluten-free ravioli or lasagna, but that is no longer the case! Our server informed us that the only thing the kitchen was unable to make gluten-free was the gnocchi. I briefly considered being sad about that, but I had so many choices (at an Italian restaurant!) that I really didn’t mind.
We settled on the antipasto plate to start. Our server brought out house-made gluten-free bread to accompany it. The bread was served with a wonderful paste made of herbs, spices, balsamic vinegar, and roasted garlic. I am so used to ordering antipasto with “no bread.” It was really nice to eat cheese and meat with some starch alongside it!
I really enjoyed the antipasto as well. The was a wide assortment of items on the plate, from carrots in mint oil, to marinated mushrooms, to cheese, to cured meat. There was just enough for a few tastes or bites of each item, but the variety was wider than a lot of antipasto plates I have encountered.
For our main course, we shared the Ravioli Sage and Brown Butter:
and the Calamari Amatriciana:
Both were very good, but I definitely preferred the calamari dish. The pasta, house made squid ink pappardelle, had a really great, soft, chewy (dare I say glutinous?) texture, and the calamari was cooked perfectly. One note, though, the food was very salty for my taste. I know that salt is a matter of palate, and mine probably just differed a great deal from that of the chef’s, but it made it a bit difficult for me to fully enjoy the meal. The boyfriend said he did not find it to be too salty, so I really do think it may have been just a matter of taste.
Every dessert at Cafe Piccolo is gluten-free! We finally settled on the Goat Cheesecake. It was really fantastic, and it got even better with every bite. It had a creamy texture and a really great tanginess that was never overpowering. I decided dessert needed some company in my belly, so I ordered the house Limoncello, which was wonderful. They also make a lot of other flavors of “-cello” there. The boyfriend had fennelcello, and he thought it was really good (I don’t really like fennel, so my opinion is not worth noting here).
Overall this was a really great dining experience. Our server was very knowledgeable about the menu and the gluten-free options. The restaurant itself had a softly lit, homey feel. The menu was extensive (and tasty sounding!) enough that I would like to go back to try some of the things that I was not able to on the first visit. Thank you, Cafe Piccolo for catering to gluten-free diners!