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Columbia Skincare Probiotics

Columbia Skincare just introduced two new products – Probiotic Concentrate and Probiotic Complex, the first copically applied creams that harness the wellness benefits of probiotics specifically for skincare. Probioitcs, also known as “good bacteria”, found in yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir and other  foods, have been keeping people healthier longer for years. But now, Columbia Skincare has developed a type of probiotic specially for topical use that helps promote the health and wellness of the body’s largest organ, the skin.

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The American Academy of Dermatology has called probiotics one of the new beauty breakthroughs which can help promote clearer skin, decrease skin sensitivity, redness and inflammation. 

According to Steven Rosenfeld, a company spokesperson, these topical probiotic formulations effectively act on the most important biological feature in aging skin…its ability to renew itself, which disappears as we age. By utilizing healthy bacteria, plant stem cells and amino acids, Columbia Skincare products provide bacterial interference, and protect the skin from bad bacteria and parasites that provoke the immune system, causing such conditions as acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis.

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In addition to helping control these serious and sometimes painful skin conditions, Columbia Skincare probiotic products could change the paradigm on anti-aging treatments. With regular use of these products, results will be the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, while improving skin luminosity and elasticity. Who doesn’t want healthy skin? Not only healthy, but these probiotic products will nourish and renew to give you healthy and beautiful skin.

I have been taking Probiotics for years and I notice a big difference in my health – and my gut – so it makes sense that using probiotics on my skin would also have a positive effect. These probiotic products make my skin feel silky smooth and absorb quickly. And I like that the performance is backed by clinical trial experience that showed real results, and this is not just another gimmick. I have just started using Columbia SkinCare Probiotics last week and while I have noticed minor results – healthy feeling and looking skin – I plan to continue to use it.

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

 

 

 

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Boston’s First Pokéworks is Now Open in Somerville

Are you familiar with Pokéworks? If not, then you must read this post then head to Somerville ASAP! Poke is a Hawaiian raw fish salad that can be made with yellowfin tuna, salmon, or numerous other fish and a variety of seasonings. Lately, especially on the West Coast, it has been popping up in a number of fast-casual chains, and now its made its official debut in the Boston area with its first Somerville location at 261 Elm St. in Davis Square!

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Pokéworks couples high-quality seafood with traditional Hawaiian ingredients like furikake, hikiki seaweed, mango and macadamia nuts. Popularized for this viral poké burrito (over 46 million views) and known for offering a variety of sustainable, curated and customizable options, Bostonians now have chance to try this new food fad. 

The poké movement was huge when I was living in NYC but I never made it to Pokéworks, so you can image how excited I was to be invited to check out the new location in Somerville. 

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Pokéworks has many gluten free options. All of the proteins are gluten free. Three of the saouces, inlcuding Classic salt, Wasabi aioli, and Spicy Ginger, are also gluten free. All sauces are made without dairy products and suitable for vegetarians. The seaweed salad is also gluten free. 

The menu includes a number of pre-designed bowls and signature burritos, which I would recommend for first timers. Customers can also go the DIY route by choosing a base – a bowl with white or brown rice or quinoa, a a wrap with white rice and seaweed, or a salad with chopped romaine, up to three proteins (various fish, chicken, and tofu options), vegetable and fruit mix-ins (edamame, mango, etc.), sauces, and toppings (seaweed salad, pickled, ginger, avocado, etc.)

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The sushi burrito is literally a giant portion of sushi, wrapped up like a burrito. And it is delicious!

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And the bowls are equally delicious. The fish tastes fresh and the sauces and flavorings are spot on, without being too spicy. 

Pokeworks is worth the trip to Davis Square. Have you been yet? What did you try? Leave a comment below and let me know what your favorite Poke dishes are. 

Disclaimer: I received this meal free of charge. I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.

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Gluten Free Menu at Tasca Restaurant // Brighton, MA

I fell in love with Spain after I spent a semester in college studying in Valencia. Ever since, I have loved tapas, paella and sangria! Jeremy and I go out for tapas once every few months, so when I was invited to Tasca Restaurant to check out the updated gluten free menu I couldn’t resist!

I lived in Brighton and Brookline for three years and ate at Tasca quite a few times, but it has been over 3 three years since my last visit! Well, that was until this weekend.

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I love the atmosphere at Tasca, its dark, rustic and romantic, reminds me of being in Spain. It’s great to go with a few people so you can share and try different tapas. Jeremy and I were pretty hungry so we shared four tapas – they aren’t that big – and one entree, which was plenty of food. 

While the owner Dan is working on getting a gluten free bread into the restaurant, I would recommend to bring some gluten free breadsticks of your own so you can enjoy the bean spread that is served with the bread basket. It varies, but the white bean dip we were served was delicious and I was eating it with my spoon! 

Of course we couldn’t resist ordering a pitcher of white sangria. It’s not too strong and easily sharable among two people.

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Gambas al ajilo (Sizzling garlic shrimp) are served sizzling in a mini skillet with pieces of crispy and flavorful garlic chips. 

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Two of my favorite Spanish tapas are the Tortilla Espanola (Spanish Omelette) and Patatas Bravas (fried potatoes in a spicy tomato and garlic aioli.) Whenever we see these on a menu we order the.

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The tortilla is a Traditional Spanish potato and onion omelet. This one had wonderful flavors of rosemary in it – perfect for fall! 

For all the times I’ve visited Tasca in the past, this was the first time I tried the Solomillo, petit filet mignon served with blue cheese gratin (no wine sauce). It might look a little plain without the sauce, but trust me it wasn’t. The meat was tender and juicy and full of flavor!

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Jeremy and I shared the Paella de mariscos (seafood paella) made with shrimp, scallops, white fish & calamari with saffron rice cooked in a lobster broth. While the menu says individual portion, it was big enough for us to share.

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Although we were full, we did have a little room left for dessert – when do I not? Almost all of the desserts at Tasca are gluten free and tonight we opted for the Crema Catalana, a rich chilled orange custard with caramelized sugar top. This is very similar to Creme brulée. 

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Are you hungry yet? My mouth is watering as I am writing this post! 

Disclaimer: I received this meal free of charge. I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.

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Gluten Free in London

Last week Jeremy and I went to London for our “mini-moon”.  We didn’t have to time go on our honeymoon right after the wedding – we’re going to Bora Bora in May – but did have time to escape to London for a few days.

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I went to London for a few days in 2007, when I was studying abroad in Spain, but that was before I was gluten free. I was excited to go back, but a little nervous how eating gluten free there would be. But, let me tell you – it was so easy! There are so many gluten free restaurants and cafes, and restaurants offering gluten free menus! I was actually quite impressed with the number of restaurants offering gluten free bread and the labeling of all allergens on restaurant menus – U.S. restaurant owners could learn a thing or two by visiting London.

Here are a few of the restaurants we dined at during our trip (*Reservations recommended or required for all restaurants):

London is synonomous with afternoon tea – classic tea, with scones, tarts and finger sandwiches. Luckily, there are a few establishments now offering gluten free high tea options. We went to Fortnum & Mason’s Jubilee Diamond Tea room, and it was an experience to remember. The setting is a classic and traditional English tea room with old-school glamour. The staff are very Knowledgeable about the menu and you are not missing out on anything here when ordering gluten free.

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Although afternoon tea is typically served in, well the afternoon, I would recommend going for lunch. You get plenty of food and tea, and free refills on it all, for £44. 

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Beyond Bread: A 100% gluten free bakery in Fitzrovia. From fresh bread to muffins and cinnamon rolls to sandwiches, cookies and cupcakes, Beyond Bread has something for every meal. Not only gluten free, many items are also dairy free, and/or nut free. Each item is labeled.

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As you would expect with a gluten free bakery, it isn’t cheap, but it isn’t too expensive either.

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Andina Casita – This Peruvian restaurant and Pisco bar in Soho scored big points with us not just for the delicious, fresh food, but also for the comprehensive allergens labeled on their menu. The staff here is incredibly knowledgeable about the menu and ingredients used in each dish. It was delicious and I highly recommend it. 

Salmon escabeche (gf) Sustainable salmon, seaweed, onions, sweet potato
Salmon escabeche (gf) Sustainable salmon, seaweed, onions, sweet potato

Cauliflower (vgf) Panca chilli-marinated cauliflower, sweet potato, broad bean, onions, tomatoes
Cauliflower (vgf) Panca chilli-marinated cauliflower, sweet potato, broad bean, onions, tomatoes.

Classic ceviche (gf) Sustainable seabass, classic tiger’s milk, sweet potato, coriander.
Classic ceviche (gf) Sustainable seabass, classic tiger’s milk, sweet potato, coriander.

Cinnamon Soho – A vibrant and stylish modern Indian restaurant in Soho. London is also known for great Indian food. While Brick Lane is the famous street in South London lined with curry houses, we chose an option that had a gluten free menu and was more conveniently located to our hotel.

Chicken Biryani – Lucknow chicken, burhani raita (gf)
            Lamb Biryani (gf)

Cinnamon offers fresh, seasonal Indian food, with a quirky British twist. Open all day from breakfast through to lunch, dinner, afternoon tea and cocktail hour, plus Indian takeaway, you’re guaranteed great service and great food in a friendly atmosphere. Menu items are labeled (gf) Gluten-free (df) Dairy-free (v) Vegetarian and (n) Contains nuts. Additional Allergen menus available on request.

Kolkata spiced cod, mustard and red rice flakes (gf)

Chargrilled cauliflower with pickling spices, sumac crumble (v)(gf)
Chargrilled cauliflower with pickling spices, sumac crumble (v)(gf)

Dishoom – Another modern Indian restaurant just a few hundred feet from Cinnamon is also known for their gluten free options, but does not accept reservations. The wait on Friday night was over two hours, so either get there early or just go to Cinnamon. 

Pizza East Portobello – Spread over two floors of a restored Georgian pub in the middle of Portobello Market. It serves wood oven pizzas, antipasti and daily specials in buzzing, modern surroundings. Italian cured meats and cheeses are available to buy at the Deli. Upstairs, a laid-back dining room and terrace provide a little green haven. This was one of my favorite restaurants – I loved the decor and atmosphere, not to mention the fresh gluten free bread! Now we didn’t come here for pizza, we came here for the gluten free rye bread!

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Borough Market – London’s oldest food market, it has been serving the people of Southwark for 1,000 years! Many of the Market’s stallholders are themselves producers: the farmer who reared the animal, the fisherman who caught the fish, the baker who baked the bread. Other traders have built their reputations on seeking out small-scale artisan producers and bringing their wares to Borough. Together, the Market’s stalls, shops and restaurants reflect London’s status as a truly global city, with traditional British produce sitting alongside regional specialities from around the world. 

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One of the best parts is not only trying different foods, but that things are labeled gluten free! We had English oysters, Indian food and gluten free, dairy free brownies from The Free From Bakehouse, a 100% gluten free bakery with a stall at the market. 

Poole Harbor Rock Oyster and Wild Maloon Rock Oyster
Poole Harbor Rock Oyster and Wild Maloon Rock Oyster

For cocktails, check out The Luggage Room (reservation recommended). Tucked away in the corner of Grosvenor Square (at the Marriott Hotel), The Luggage Room draws on the spirit of the Roaring Twenties and serves up delicious cocktails. To enter, you must knock on the door and wait to be left in. 

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While our trip was short, we had a great time and ate great food. We can’t wait to go back again someday and explore new neighborhoods, new cuisines, and new gluten free options in London. 

Have you visited London recently? Where did you eat gluten free? 

 

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Krusteaz Gluten Free Giveaway

The weather is getting colder and the days are getting shorter. What better way to spend time with family than in the kitchen baking? After all, baking is a universal language and nothing says “Welcome to the neighborhood” like freshly baked muffins and “I love you, Mom,” like a warm stack of pancakes!

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I’ve partnered with Krusteaz, makers of premium baking mixes, to create a recipe for their “Say It With Krusteaz” campaign. I’ve baked with Krusteaz products before and I am a big fan. 

Over the weekend I got married (!!!!). The day before the wedding my sister and got manicures, dropped off welcome bags to the hotels, put together our wedding favors and baked muffins for my friends and relatives who would be spending the day with us getting ready for the wedding. I mean what better way to say thank you to my bridesmaids and keep everyone happy – and fed – than with a warm, fresh out of the oven, gluten free blueberry lemon muffins? Simple mixes with quality ingredients make any day really special.

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This recipe is simple and delicious. Your friends or guests will be so impressed by the flavors and will have no idea how easy it was to make! I can tell you all my bridesmaids, and my picky grandmother, enjoyed the blueberry muffins we fed them Sunday morning.

The recipe is SUPER easy to make. Simply follow the recipe on the back of the box and add 1 tablespoon of grated lemon peel. This simple step with add a delicious lemon and fresh flavor to the muffins. My friends and family couldn’t believe that they were (1) gluten free or (2) made from a mix!! If you haven’t tried Krusteaz gluten free products then you are missing out. And this is your chance to win some gluten free mixes for yourself to enjoy! 

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The Giveaway prize pack includes: 

  • Two boxes of the following mixes: Gluten Free Blueberry Muffin Mix, Gluten Free Buttermilk Pancake Mix and Gluten Free Double Chocolate Brownie Mix
  • 1 Krusteaz branded tote bag
  • 1 Krusteaz oven mitt
  • 1 Krusteaz selfie stick

To enter, click on the rafflecopter below.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will end on October 21, 2016 at 11:59pm EST. Open to US residents only. 

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.

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Gluten Free Options at Cafe de Boston

I had been to Cafe de Boston about three years ago, and was surprised by the changes they have made in just three short years! 

Cafe de Boston is a big space, having purchased the eatery next door last year and expanding their own restaurant to include a breakfast and coffee bar and additional seating. With multiple stations, from a salad station to a prepared food and mezza bar to pizza, pasta, sandwiches, and much more, Cafe de Boston is the perfect marketplace eatery to find something gluten free to eat for breakfast or lunch! 

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Cafe de Boston offers gluten free pizza (made on dedicated gluten free pizza pans), pasta, bread for sandwiches, bagels, and many more items. All items on the hot bar and mezzo bar are labeled for the following diets: gluten free, dairy free, vegan and vegetarian. 

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Changes since the last time I ate at Cafe de Boston:

  1. Create your own Smoothies! You fill up a cup with the veggies and fruit you want! You like spinach, but only one handful? No carrots? Extra ginger? No problem! Fill the cup, pick your base and then someone will blend it for you.

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3. Gluten Free bagels are available for any breakfast sandwich. If you are in the mood for something sweet, the gluten free cookies and brownies and individually wrapped, concealed and kept seperately to prevent cross contamination.
4. Café de Boston is a 3 Star Certified Green Restaurant. Cafe de Boston not only offers great food and quality service, but also an “environmental” peace-of-mind. They are doing their part to have a positive impact on the planet by putting many sustainability practices into place. Cafe de Boston composts food scraps in the kitchens, and has composting and recycling stations for customers to compost their packaging and recycle their bottles. The napkins, cup sleeves, paper bars and take-out containers are made with materials recovered from curbside recycling. These items can also be recycled or composted after use.  Cafe de Boston recycles everything they can and offsets their energy with wind energy credits. In the kitchens, faucets and sinks are on times and motion sensors to prevent overuse and wasting water. It’s important to me to recycle; we do it at home. Growing up we also composted (hard to do in the city!) and I try to conserve energy as much as possible at home. So I love supporting local businesses that do the same. 

5. Cafe de Boston just launched a healthy eating plan – eatSmart bTrim, to help make picking meal options as easy and healthy as possible. There is an in-house nutritionist, Howard Mabry, available to help answer any nutrition or dietary questions. He can also help you create a healthy meal plan. It’s not always easy to eat healthy, especially when you don’t have a lot of time for lunch, or to even think about what to eat. Howard has created 6 menu items, all available on the eatSmart bTrim menu, so that you don’t have to worry about that any longer! The calorie count is labeled right on the menu and Gluten Free and vegan options are available.

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Is your mouth watering yet? Mine sure is! And I can not wait to head back to Cafe de Boston where I know I will be greeted by friendly staff and will always be able to find healthy gluten free options to eat! 

Disclaimer: I received this meal free of charge. I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.

Cafe de Boston Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Gluten Free Options at Artu // North End & Beacon Hill

Artu was founded on the most basic Italian technique, great ingredients, simply prepared, that is what Artu is all about. This Italian restaurant has two locations; in the North End and Beacon Hill. 

In February of 1992 Artu opened its doors to the world, starting with outstanding sandwiches and mouth watering roasted meats, and has continued to evolve and grow. Since then Artu has steadily added to their repertoire. Focusing on simple ingredients and Italian preparation, their menu offers both classic and modern style Italian dishes. Many dishes are made using family recipes that have been passed down and still made the same to this day. 

Artu offers a variety of appetizers, seafood and meat entrees, as well as gluten free pasta dishes. Many of the items on Artu’s menu can be prepared gluten free, and dairy free too! 

On Tuesday night, Katie and I were invited to dinner at Artu, hosted by Blog and Tweet Boston. The staff were welcoming and friendly throughout the entire evening and the food was delicious. 

Artu offers a creative cocktial menu and Italian Wine list. The American Mule and Madre, made with Limoncello, Prosecco and raspberry seeds, were refreshing after a long hot day. 

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Two of the gluten free dishes on the appetizer menu include Seared Sea Scallops with cauliflower and cipollini puree, and Roasted Beets with gorgonzola topped with Pistachio vinaigrette.

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Gluten free pasta can be substituted in almost every pasta dish on the menu, except for the ravioli. The gluten free Penne Puttanesca is made with chili flakes, San Marzano tomatoes, capers, olives, anchovy, garlic.

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Main Course (Secondi) menu options include everything from grilled lamb and steak, to lobster and fresh fish. After eating two appetizers and pasta, I went with one of the lighter options, salmon. It was gently cooked to perfection, and served with buttered brussels sprouts, potato puree and finished with a truffle vinaigrette.

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For dessert, if you have any room left after your meal, Artu offers a gluten free flourless chocolate cake. 

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Artu has one of latest liquor licenses in the North End, serving delicious libations until 2 A.M. Not only are drinks available, but Artu offers a late night menu for those who need a midnight snack! 

Disclaimer: I received this meal free of charge. I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.

Artu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Gluten Free Menu at Nebo Restaurant

Nebo Cucina and Enoteca is an amazing Italian restaurant located on Boston’s Greenway that has offered guests an extensive gluten-free menu for the past 10+ years. An authentic Italian restaurant in the heart of the city that cuts all gluten without cutting any taste…that’s amore! 
 
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From a variety of appetizers, pizzas, pasta dishes to their infamous Bobby Flay Throwdown-winning zucchini lasagna, Nebo offers an expansive gluten-free menu
 
Nebo carries Tito’s vodka, which is used or can be used in any of their vodka drinks to make it gluten free!
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Last week I was invited to check out Nebo’s gluten free menu. I had been once before and had the pizza, which was delicious, so I was excited to go back and try some of the other gluten free options. 
 
Nebo has a separate fryer for gluten free foods to avoid cross contamination. They also use dedicated pots and pans for boiling the gluten free pasta, which is homemade but made off site to avoid cross contamination in the kitchen. The gluten free pizzas are made on dedicated gluten free trays. While the entire kitchen is not gluten free, they have done everything they can to avoid cross contamination and keep the food as safe as possible. 
 
Speaking of the fryer, my sister and I tried the fried mixed plate, with calamari, spelt and shrimp. I can’t remember the last time I had fried shrimp! This appetizer was big enough to be a meal! 
 
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We also share the Grilled octopus appetizer. 
 
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For entrees, Nebo offers both gluten free penne pasta and gluten free pizza options, as well as seafood and meat dishes. The pizza is delicious, but this time we opted for a pasta dish with sweet sausage and broccoli rabe. 
 
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We also share the Acqua Pazza, “Crazy Water”, pan seared arctic char, baby clams, capers, olives, fennel and tomato brodo. 
 
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For dessert we shared the flourless chocolate cake topped with ice cream and pistachios. 
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Whether you or a friend has a gluten intolerance or allergy, Nebo is a great Italian restaurant you should try. With options to please every palate – spicy and not spicy, meat eaters and vegetarians – there is something on the menu for everyone! 
 
Disclaimer: I received this meal free of charge. I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.

Nebo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Gluten Free Options at Ocean Prime // Boston Seaport

Ocean Prime, a high-end seafood and steak restaurant based in Columbus Ohio, opened it’s 12th location in Boston’s Seaport this past December. Ocean Prime specializes in a variety of seafood dishes, meats, and cocktails, and it also offers a gluten-free menu.

Last week I went to check out the gluten free lunch menu and I was impressed with the number of options it offers. Ocean Prime also offers a lunch menu. 

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The Lavender Citrus Soda is a refreshing summer drink.

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For appetizers, we shared the Surf and Turf Sea Scallops and Slow Braised Short Ribs, which just melted in my mouth. 

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For our entrees we shared the Petite Filet Mignon and Chilean Sea Bass with a side of corn salad. 

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In addition to this menu, some of the items on the regular lunch menu can be prepared gluten free with modifications, including sushi – Lobster roll, Tuna roll and Hamachi Crudo – and entree salads – Blackened Salmon Salad, Ahi Tuna Salad, Crab Wedge and Flat Iron Steak Salad. 

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The service is top notch, as is the quality of the food. Ocean Prime is open for lunch Monday – Friday and dinner is served seven days a week.

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Disclaimer: I received this meal free of charge. I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.

 

Ocean Prime Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Elisa’s Love Bites // 100% gluten free bakery in Bushwick, Brooklyn

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Opened in May 2016, Elisa’s Love Bites, is a dessert atelier located in Bushwick, Brooklyn, which specializes in artisanal gluten-free creations.  Additionally, all menu items are made using natural low-glycemic sweeteners, most prominently coconut palm nectar.
 
The dessert collection focuses on satisfying sweet cravings while effortlessly fitting into a well-balanced diet by using wholesome, nutritionally-rich ingredients.  Each item is thoughtfully crafted with healthy portion control in mind, designed to delight and indulge the palate without overwhelming the body.  
 
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Signature desserts include:
 
Black Heart Cake – a rich, dark chocolate cake topped with chocolate ganache (vegan)
Bangin’ Chocolate Chip Cookies – a fun twist on the beloved bakery staple, topped with sea salt flakes
Fig Buddies – scrumptious house-made fig paste enveloped in a nutty cookie shell (vegan) 
Spankin’ Doughnuts – baked chocolate-cherry doughnuts made with fresh-squeezed cherry juice, cacao powder, sweetened with house-made applesauce and agave, and topped with dark chocolate ganache and roasted ground almonds.
 
I tried all the desserts mentioned above, and my favorite was the cookies. I also liked the decadent chocolate cake and the moist banana bread. Many of the treats are also vegan, which is great for those with dairy and egg allergies too! 
 
 
Elisa’s Love Bites is located at 10 Porter Avenue in Bushwick, and is the newest addition to Shops at the Loom.  You can also order items online
 
Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I was not paid to write this review.