The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Even Gluten-Free Date Nights Can Be Romantic

By Jennifer A. Freeman in Food on Feb 13, 2014 9:20PM

Photo credit: Renee Rendler-Kaplan

If you’re following a gluten-free diet, nothing will ruin a romantic evening faster than having to struggle to find something to eat, or even worse, having your food contaminated with gluten.

The ideal date night is cozy, romantic and carefree — all possible with these gluten-free options.

Something special just for Valentine’s Day

Instead of getting stuck with a single scoop of gluten-free ice cream, Sweet Cakes Bakery has you covered with a three-course dessert tasting and complimentary cocktail pairings. We’re especially looking forward to one of our favorite cocktails, the French 75, paired with Heart-Beet cake, thyme poached pear, salted hazelnut and almond milk creme Anglaise.

The regular dessert and cocktail pairing is $32 and the gluten-free and vegan options are $38. The four seatings, Feb 14 and 15 at 7:30 and 9 p.m., are available by reservation only.

Sweet Cakes Bakery is located at 1223 N. Milwaukee Ave. To make reservations, call 773-772-5771.

Bring dessert home for your private dinner

If staying home is more your style, you want something special, but you don’t want to be slaving over the stove for hours. We like this idea from The Kitchn: chili-cocoa rubbed steaks, a green salad and crispy Hasselbeck potatoes. (Or, just order a gluten-free pizza from one of these favorites. Even pepperoni is romantic by candlelight.)

No need to attempt a complicated dessert on your own when these local bakeries and chocolatiers have you covered. Make sure to pick up a bottle of champagne or dessert wine to go along with any of these gluten-free sweet treats.

Chocolate truffles from Margie’s Candies
1960 N. Western Ave and 1813 W Montrose Ave

Gluten-free conversation heart cupcakes from Swirlz Cupcakes
705 W. Belden Ave

Gluten-free cookie cake from Cookie Bar
1746 W. Wilson Ave

Go all out with a Michelin-starred dinner

Why would you spend hundreds of dollars on an expensive tasting menu at restaurants like Alinea and Moto, with no guarantee that you’ll even be able to eat the food? Diners with food allergies and sensitivities can now enjoy the entirely gluten-free Senza. The tasting menu from Schwa veteran Chef Noah Sandoval gives diners the choice of 5 or 10 courses, with optional wine pairings. There is no better option for fine dining for those with gluten intolerance and other food allergies. And judging from Yelp reviews, even people who aren’t gluten free were impressed by the food and plan to come back for another special occasion.

Senza is located at 2873 N. Broadway Street

Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, or a plain-old date night, there are plenty of ways to get romantic while easily staying gluten free.