6 ways to eat gourmet gluten-free in Atlanta

  • Lesli Peterson
  • for The AJC
8:57 p.m Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016 Atlanta Life
Lesli Peterson
By Chef EJ Hodgkinson’s count, King + Duke offers 16 dinner options that are inherently gluten-free, and an additional six that can be modified to be gluten-free. 

Atlantans with a gluten-free diet, whether by choice or because of allergies, now find it easier than ever to dine in the city. An Internet search for “gluten-free” returns numerous bakeries, delis and breakfast selections. The AJC restaurants blog also has a comprehensive guide to gluten-free eating in Atlanta. But what about dining on award-winning fare, or savoring the best the Atlanta has to offer? Here are six gourmet gluten-free dinner options that promise to delight your taste buds.

King + Duke
By Chef EJ Hodgkinson’s count, King + Duke offers 16 dinner options that are inherently gluten-free, and an additional six that can be modified to be gluten-free. Imagine sirloin with chimichurri and fries, pork chop with cipollini and grapes, Brussels sprouts and bacon, and collard greens. Chef Hodgkinson is a champion for clean-eating. As a former board member with Georgia Organics, the chef is passionate about knowing the source of his ingredients.

“I understand food allergies probably better than most chefs,” Hodgkinson empathized. “I will do everything in my power to deliver tasty delicious foods to the guests. Most of the time, it requires little tweaks to the dishes to make them gluten-free.”

Max’s Wine Dive
MAX’s Wine Dive is building a reputation as Midtown’s go-to for fried chicken and champagne. While served in a “dive” atmosphere, their famous Southern fried chicken featuring a jalapeno-buttermilk marinade is nothing short of gourmet. Preparation is not gluten-free by default, but it can be served as such upon request.

Agave Restaurant
Succulent southwestern cuisine resides in the heart of Cabbagetown at Agave Restaurant. Nearly all of Agave’s entrees are gluten-free; those that are not can be modified upon request. Try mouth-watering seared tuna crusted in sesame seeds with mashed potatoes and asparagus, drizzled with jalapeno wasabi. Feast on slow braised short ribs with an ancho chile veal demi glaze. A casual, yet elegant atmosphere makes the perfect pairing.

St. Cecilia
Gluten-free and Italian pasta are not often mentioned in the same sentence until now. Chef Craig Richards of St. Cecilia launched a gluten-free pasta program this month, in which all the pasta dishes on the menu can be made gluten-free. This rigorous effort requires 100 man-hours each week.

“Most of our menu can be made gluten-free, but not the pasta, which some people would ask for. We wanted to provide the full St. Cecilia experience to everyone and since store-bought stuff isn’t nearly as good as handmade, we’ve started making our own gluten-free pasta,” Richards said. “Very, very few restaurants in the country are able to serve the entire pasta program gluten-free and made in-house.”

Empire State South
Celebrated for its modern take on southern dishes, Empire State South’s dinner menu is already almost completely gluten-free. Sit down to guinea hen, beet and blood orange kraut, and a grit and cardoon cake. Enjoy pork romanesco, turnip, radish, tamarind yogurt and chili-garlic sausage. Jonathan Aherin, representative for ESS, indicated, “As always, since we have a restaurant full of local fresh products, we can accommodate any dietary restriction on the fly.”

Miller Union
Taking three categories in the 2015 James Beard Foundation restaurant and chef award semifinals, Miller Union is the quintessential gourmet selection. Dishes at this Westside treasure derive their character from farm-fresh produce and quality proteins, making most selections at Miller Union gluten-free by default. Select heavenly lamb osso bucco with cauliflower and Swiss chard, or house made pork sausage, pancetta, kale and turnips. It’s southern, sexy, memorable fare.

Where in Atlanta have you found gourmet gluten-free?

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