The way to your lover’s heart is though their stomach, but if that stomach is sensitive to gluten, you’d be wise to select a dinner location that’ll impress and provide a range of suitable menu options. Fortunately, most Melbourne-based restaurateurs understand the importance of catering to specific dietary requirements. Choose one of these romantic Melbourne restaurants, with great gluten-free offerings, so that you can get ordering out of the way and commence canoodling!
Bistro Gitan | South Yarra
If you want to knock your gluten-free date’s socks off, a trip to Paris will do the trick. But if you’ve left your running a little late, Jacques Reymond’s Bistro Gitan might be the next best option. Here you’ll get that authentic French bistro aesthetic without the pretention. With the exception of a couple of dishes, almost every dish can be prepared to meet gluten-free needs – even the specials. If it’s a balmy night, take a stroll through Fawkner Park or around the Tan afterwards. Magnifique.
Bar Lourinha | Melbourne CBD
Bar Lourinha is the perfect spot to head to if you want to impress a gluten-free friend without looking like you’re trying too hard. Many items on the menu are already gluten-free or can be altered to suit a gluten-free diet. Sit side-by-side at the bar or in one of the cosy spots dotted around and nibble on shared dishes while you make eyes at each other. Be sure to save room for dessert.
Saint Crispin | Collingwood
If you’re out to please someone who’s passionate about contemporary dining, put Saint Crispin on the agenda. One of Melbourne’s best restaurants, the service is top-notch and the team’s able to cater to a range of dietary needs, including gluten intolerance. Not only are the dishes seriously impressive, the experience will give you plenty to discuss with your date. From the action in the open kitchen, to the precision of the plating, you’ll leave as one dazzled duo.
Naked in the Sky | Fitzroy
Wander into Naked for Satan and take the lift to the rooftop space, Naked in the Sky, where you’ll be met with twinkly lights and Melbourne skyline in every direction. Hungry gluten-free folks are easily catered for; just ask for advice about how the menu can be altered. You can’t book seats upstairs, so be sure to snag a spot early.
Port Phillip Estate | Red Hill
This year Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday, so there’s no excuse not to bundle your loved one into the passenger seat and make a day of it. Accelerate out of town to Red Hill and push through the heavy door at Port Phillip Estate. Take in the floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking the vineyards, sample their latest vintages, then settle in at the restaurant. Most menu items can be prepared to suit your dietary requirements, making it a must-vsisit gluten-free dining desitination. Swing by some cellar doors in your travels and arrive home full of good food, wine and adoration.
Union Dining | Richmond
Union Dining’s dreamy terrace is one of Richmond’s best-kept secrets. Bypass the restaurant and head through the door in the side street and up the stairs to the terrace where you’ll enjoy alfresco dining, gluten-free style. Fortunately, it’s rarely too busy to find a spot under an umbrella (or a heater… let’s face it, this is Melbourne). Although to be sure, make a booking. Almost every menu item can be prepared gluten-free and there’s a good mix of small share plates and mains. When paired with a balmy evening, you’ve got yourself a perfect match.
Luxembourg | St Kilda
If you’re bayside this Valentine’s day in Melbourne, cuddle up on the press-studded couches at Andrew McConnell’s Luxembourg and share some classic French dishes, including some delicious gluten-free dinners. There’s still something special about a white tablecloth and a flute of French to toast the object of your desire. It’s not at the most affordable end of the spectrum, but then, what price can you put on love?
Image credit: GFSacramento