Last week I went to see a show at Websters Theatre in the Kelvinbridge area of Glasgow. Their Bistro does usually cater for gluten free but it’s unfortunately closed just now.
I’m not familiar at all with this area and finding somewhere to eat beforehand was difficult. Nothing was really coming up in Google searches and I couldn’t see any of my “go to” chains in the area. We would be a bit stuck for time so really needed to book somewhere in advance.
Thankfully, on a quick scan of Google Maps I was able to spot La Lanterna – right on Great Western Road and just along from the theatre! We’ve eaten in the city centre location before (although a long time ago) so after a quick website check to see they did gluten free pasta (they did!) we booked.
The restaurant is gorgeous! Very modern with light decor making it feel really airy and welcoming. It’s quite a small restaurant and we were seated at the back near the bar. There’s also a lovely terrace area on the street – ideal for these lovely summer evenings we’re having just now.
I asked the waitress about gluten free and was told they had gluten free pasta and you could have it with any of the sauces available. She also told me the risottos were safe and I could have most of the meat dishes, they might just have to adapt sides and sauces to suit.
I asked about the fries and if they were gluten free and fried separately. The response was that they were cooked in the same fryer as other items but “the high temperatures of the fryer will kill off the gluten particles“….EH SORRY?
Honestly this is probably one of the biggest gluten myths of all time and it’s total nonsense. Gluten is not a bacteria that can be “killed”. Bread is baked at high temperatures and it still contains gluten. Pizzas are also baked in ovens at high temperatures and, guess what, still contain gluten. I’ve heard other coeliacs mention being told this line in restaurants but this is the first time I’ve ever had it happen to me.
As it was Coeliac Awareness Week, I felt it was my duty to inform and did say to the waitress that unfortunately the particles wouldn’t die in the fryer and it still wouldn’t be safe for me to eat the chips. She told me this was what they were told to say in their staff training.
Unfortunately this doesn’t instill a lot of confidence in someone with coeliac disease. If this is their attitude about cross contamination then what else are they not taking seriously? However we decided to stay and I ordered the gluten free pasta with the chicken, asparagus, cream and parmesan sauce.
Overall my meal was incredible. The pasta was lovely, with everything cooked perfectly, and I also enjoyed a non alcoholic cocktail. The service was great but I do still feel uneasy about them telling people that the gluten will be killed off in their fryer, as newly diagnosed coeliacs might not know that this isn’t true.
With the bill they gave us a feedback card and I gave them good or very good scores, but did leave a comment about how I felt their remarks about their fryer left a coeliac with little confidence in their cross contamination prevention. I can’t fault the menu or the service we received, and thankfully I didn’t suffer any negative side effects.
I would maybe return to La Lanterna if I was in the area, but I’d probably look elsewhere first as I wasn’t filled with confidence. You can view the La Lanterna menu online here.