Thursday, January 13, 2011

Saratoga Spring's Gluten Free Lifestyle is Up and Coming!

If tonight's dinner at the Circus Cafe, located on Broadway, is any indication of Saratoga's gluten free lifestyle, than it is thriving. As many of you know from experience, finding a good gluten free meal at a restaurant can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Sure, you might come across a place that has a gluten free menu. However, a piece of paper does not mean much if the staff is not knowledgeable about what that menu actually means. Never mind cross contamination issues. Tonight, I am absolutely elated to report that this was not the case at the Circus Cafe!

The moment we entered the fun, festive restaurant a friendly face welcomed our family. Immediately I asked if they had a gluten free menu. To our delight Jason, who would be our waiter this evening, said yes. Jason was more than happy to answer my questions and took my husband's food allergy seriously. My six year old nephew loved the over sized velvet curtains, bright colored lights, and of course his favorite was the painting of a unicorn on the wall. My mother loved the menu and the friendly service. My husband, Pierre, and I loved the extensive gluten free menu, the restaurants’ proactive approach to gluten free cuisine and, of course, the reasonable prices.

Within seconds of being seated at our table, we each had a glass of ice water in front of us. Jason quickly took our order ( if you have a six year old with you, that’s  priceless!). Pierre ordered the Shrimp Marinara Pasta (gluten free), I ordered the Pasta a la Panna (gluten free). My Mother ordered the Pasta Primivera and my nephew the Bear's Bite (a generous grilled cheese with curly fries). I also took the liberty of ordering a ginger martini which was absolutely fabulous! Per request, the Circus Cafe offers Chopin Vodka which is distilled from potatoes rather than from grain. The meal far exceeded my expectations. Maybe it was the long day of shopping, going to the movies, & walking through downtown Saratoga Springs in winter weather. Yet in that moment, digging into a more than generous bowl of pasta never tasted so good. While we were all diving into our dessert, decadent chocolate lava cake (also gluten free), it hit me. This is a great moment. In fact the for the first time in a long time the focus of the meal was exactly where it should be, on spending quality time together as a family.

My compliments to our waiter, Jason, the bartender, the Chef , and the proprietors for making your establishment truly and deliciously gluten free. We will be enjoying many more meals at the Circus CafĂ©.  I highly recommend that if you are looking for a family friendly restaurant with an extensive gluten free menu, including a kids menu, that you check it out too.

The Circus Cafe is located at 392 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. Phone: (518)-583-1106
For more information on the Circus Cafe please visit: 

Quick Recipe: For a fabulous Ginger Martini: Add 1 1/2 parts good vodka made from potatoes or one of my favorite Vodkas, Core Vodka, which is made strictly from apples, 2 parts good ginger liqueur, and a touch of Grand Mariner. Shake with ice, strain and pour into a martini glass. Garnish with a piece of candied ginger for the ultimate presentation!

Quick Tip: To add a hint of sweetness to any beverage, you may add a small amount of agave nectar. It has a low glycemic index, and dissolves easily in cold liquids.

*Always Read the ingredient labels of each individual ingredient you are using to make sure that, that particular brand is completely gluten free. If you are unsure call the manufacturer or visit their web site, they are usually more than happy to answer your questions. *

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