Getting a good gluten-free Italian meal certainly is a challenge.  Pizza has come a long way when it comes to dining out, but pasta dishes at a restaurant — they’re still pretty rare. So when I saw Donatelli’s (in White Bear Lake, MN) expanded gluten-free menu which included pizza and pasta, I dragged the family there!

Review: Donatelli’s Italian Restaurant

In a recent post I mentioned that Donatelli’s was an Italian Restaurant serving gluten-free pasta and pizza.  The idea had been fixated in brain ever since.  So Tuesday night, off we went to check it out.

We were not disappointed.  Donatelli’s has a 30 year history in the White Bear Lake, Minnesota area (a northern suburb of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area), so the overall vibe of the place was classic, relaxed, family Italian food, which was cool.  But I was concerned with the preparation of the gluten-free items.  Let’s face it, an Italian place must make the commitment to do gluten-free right– if it’s going to do it at all.  So my basic question?– were they doing it right?

So as soon as we sat down I asked for the manager to talk through how the food is prepared.  It looks like the company purchases Conte’s Stuffed Shells and uses them in their dishes.  When I asked, the manager explained that they warm the shells in the microwave and then they are baked with the fresh sauce used only for gluten-free dishes.

Then I asked about their Gluten-Free Italian Fries which basically is pizza crust with garlic butter and then cheese on top.  Right up Emma’s alley.  The manager said the gluten free area has an exclusive garlic butter, with fresh pizza cutters for the preparation.  And they’re cooked on what looked like a parchment paper. So this is what Emma ordered. She really liked it.  The gluten-free entrees are also served with a gluten-free roll.  The manager said that they have a loyal gluten-free consumer base.  We are a loyal bunch once we find a great place to eat or a great gluten-free product to buy.

The rest of us ordered gluteny foods which also were good.  Donatelli’s gluten-free menu also had pizza and burgers on there.  The burger description boasted how they would be served on a gluten-free bun.  That’s also something Emma’s been wanting to try.

Now I just need to get my brother there.  I think he’d like to try it too.  It’s definitely worth the trip!

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