La Dolce Vita in San Diego

It’s no mean feat to find a restaurant that offers something for everyone, but Barolo Ristorante Italiano in San Diego manages. Our dinner party looked like a mission impossible: one gluten-free diner (me), one vegetarian (my husband), two small children (our nieces, three-year-old Eli and two-year-old Zoe), and one pregnant diner (my sister-in-law). The only person at the table who didn’t have a particular dietary issue was my brother-in-law, the genius who found the restaurant in the first place.

He discovered Barolo on Gluten Free in SD, a site that everyone on a gluten-free diet who lives in or travels to the San Diego area needs to know about. Gluten Free in SD is the brainchild of Roxie Johnson and Ken Loomis, and it’s not affiliated with any particular group. It is filled with information about restaurants, shops, and events, and there are links to news articles about celiac disease as well. The site mentions that one of Barolo’s owners has a son with celiac disease, and that the restaurant is well-versed in the condition and conscientious about following the rules.

Barolo lived up to its press. My brother-in-law called ahead to check on the gluten-free status (always a great idea, since menus – and owners – can change). The restaurant reassured us on the gluten-free front; though they were out of gluten-free pasta, they would be able to make risotto or meat/seafood dishes that would be celiac-safe. By the time we arrived that evening, the news was even better: Barolo had a new supply of rice pasta available, so my menu options doubled. I started with the Insalata di Mediterranea, a delicious spinach salad with feta, tomatoes, and onions in a fig-infused balsamic dressing. For the main course, I had the Penne all’Amatriciana, with prosciutto and dry ricotta cheese in a tomato sauce. My only regret was that by the time I was finished, I was too full for dessert (the gluten-free lemon sorbet is imported from Italy… just one more reason to return).

The restaurant’s website doesn’t mention its gluten-free offerings, unfortunately, but take a look to get a sense of the offerings (the staff told me that, except for the ravioli, gnocchi and lasagna, any of the pastas can be made in a gluten-free version, and some of the meat and fish plates are already celiac-safe without modifications). Barolo is an elegant restaurant with thoughtful service and plenty of variety. In addition to its gluten-free offerings, it was nice to find an upscale eatery that provides booster seats and a special menu for the ragazzini.

Barolo [address] 8935 Towne Centre Drive, San Diego, CA 92122, [tel] 858-622-1202 [email] [web]

Gluten Free in SD [web]

2 thoughts on “La Dolce Vita in San Diego

  1. Hello! Another great Italian restaurant in San Diego…well Encinitas, just north of the city, is Trattoria i Trulli: It’s terrific and I ate a fabulous GF risotto there this summer and wrote about it in my Celiac Try it out the next time you are in San Diego.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *