The May outing for members of the ‘Coeliacs in Bristol’ Facebook group was to Italian restaurant La Grotta which can be found on Union Street in the city centre.
I regularly used to spend my lunch breaks eating at La Grotta when I used to work just around the corner, but this was in my pre coeliac days. So how would it compare now?
I’d been advised that they had gluten free options, so I emailed them to find out more and they supplied me with an entire gluten free menu, which was 4 pages long!! What a great start, but how would I know that they could be trusted with cross contamination etc?
Well, it turns out that one of the team is gluten intolerant. Not quite the same as being a coeliac, but she understands the pain of eating out when you’re sensitive to something and having to ask lots of questions about your food!
Here is the opening text from their Gluten Free Menu:
We are pleased to be able to offer the following options from our menu as Gluten Free. Here at La Grotta we understand all about food Intolerances and Allergies and the havoc they can cause to digestion and general wellbeing. We try to source the best tasting Gluten Free products for you to enjoy and feel passionately that Gluten Free customers should enjoy eating out as much as everyone else.
We try our very best to keep our Gluten free speciality products like Pasta and Bread at a competitive price but hope you understand the need for small increases due the cost of GF products being so expensive. The more the catering industry supports the necessity to stock gluten free products, the more cost effective they will become. We are proud to join the campaign to make GF options accessible to all diners without compromising on taste.
We ensure all our Gluten Free ingredients remain separate from Gluten Products.
From reading the above, you certainly feel reassured that everything will be ok! 🙂
I’d been trying to arrange a trip to La Grotta for a few months, but due to a few miscommunications it didn’t happen, but I’m glad that we finally got everything in place for this meal. That included us all pre-ordering our chosen meals. Options included a vast array of pasta, chicken, steak and fish main courses and an even bigger selection of starters, including garlic bread!! Yes, you did read that right! 🙂
There were a few new faces at this meal, which was great to see, as well as a few of the regulars, and once everyone had arrived we were promptly served our starters and the garlic bread certainly caused quite a bit of excitement….
It was amazing! I think most of us have probably tried gluten free garlic bread from a supermarket, but to have some freshly made garlic bread was just great! At £3.50 it was certainly great value for something we can rarely have.
Once we’d finished our starters, it was time for the mains. Quite an array of mains had been ordered, with a lot of people opting for gnocchi as they hadn’t had that for a while. The gnocchi certainly looked great, but as I have that quite a lot at home, I opted for a pasta dish which sounded right up my street. I ordered the Sophia dish (onion, bacon, courgettes, tomato and a touch of cream), with a generous helping of parmesan for good measure!
This is very much my kind of meal at the moment as I’m loving anything with courgettes, and this really did live up to expectations, it was lovely. One thing I do have to say about La Grotta is that their portion sizes are huge, so don’t expect to be able to eat it all, but at £10.95 it was very good value for money.
Rich opted for a dish of mussels, and he received a massive bowl full. This gave me the opportunity to try a mussel for the first time. It wasn’t that bad, but I much preferred my pasta dish! 🙂
Once we’d finished our mains we were all contemplating our next moves, as we hadn’t been shown a dessert menu. We where then left flabbergasted by what we were offered next…. Lemon Meringue Pie, Chocolate Cake with ice cream or White Chocolate Cheesecake with sorbet! The screams of excitement were genuine!!
Keen to try as much as we could, most of the table opted for ordering one of the desserts with the person they were sat next to ordering a different one, in order for a bit of swapsies to take place! It certainly worked a treat! I have to thank Sarah at this point for doing a swap with me, so that we could both try the Chocolate Cake and the White Chocolate Cheesecake. I mean seriously, who’s going to miss the opportunity to try a gluten free cheesecake, let alone a white chocolate one?!
To say that both of these desserts were amazing, really wouldn’t do them justice. Costing £5 each, we were more than happy to pay that and they were worth every penny!
I’m sure you’ve probably gathered by now that this was a very successful outing for the group, and I for one would say that this was probably my favourite outing so far….!!
I absolutely love La Grotta and the cosiness of the venue, but it’s always good to have great company too!
On behalf of the group, I’d like to thank La Grotta for its excellent food and service, and rest assured we will be back.
Unfortunately the next coeliac group outing won’t be taking place until Thursday 2nd July, but if you’d like to join us please head over to Facebook and let me know.