Gluten Free in Paris

Old May 26th, 2009, 02:30 PM
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Dear Moolyn,

Merci, Merci, Merci! We hit up Le Reminet last night and it was DELISH. Very fortuitous. (BTW, it got great reviews when I googled it, even from the foodies on Chowhound, which is sayng something!) It was a VERY warm day and we walked up, without reservations, and got one of the 4 tables on the sidewalk (actually seemed uncomfortably warm inside when I went to the bathroom but we were thrilled). As we were being seated, a woman leaving said it was her second trip to the restaurant in the SAME TRIP. Wow! Anyway, the food was outstanding and it was probably the first time (aside from Des si et Des Mets) that the server definitely knew what it meant to be gluten free without the handy-dandy card. I had tuna tartare for my appetizer, sea bass for entree and a delicious rhubarb dessert with strawberries and mascarpone and chocolate drops. So, so good. The server was a bit surly until we started in with our sad excuse for French. He and a person who seemed like maybe the owner? really seemed to appreciate our efforts. Tres bon! Delicieux!

So, thanks again! Recommendation was great.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 11:17 AM
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Just thinking about the macarons and thought I'd mention my favorites. I have checked with these two Patisseries (they each have mutiple locations) and confirmed only almond flour is used. No wheat. Hurrah.

We had a delicious lunch at the Lauderee in the Printemps (1st floor). I had a salad with grilled chicken, cucumber, tomato and a dijon mustard sauce. Yummy.

Lauderee
http://www.laduree.fr/

Dalloyau Patisserie
http://www.dalloyau.fr/accueil.html

Favorite flavors are chocolate (can't help it. I am addicted!), rose, pistachio, caramel and cassis. Yes, I've been on a macaron binge. Lol.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 06:43 PM
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Melissa, I'm pleased that Le Reminet worked out for you and look forward to following many of your recommendations in just a few days! I've been telling my husband all about your great GF dining experiences.

I'm excited to try macarons now that I know they're safe. My favourite treat in France is ils flottant - custard topped with soft meringue and sometimes a carmelized sugar sauce. I've been known to choose restaurants simply because ils flottant are on the menu so I can relate to your macaron addiction!

We arrive in Paris on Friday morning. Will you still be there? Maybe we could have a mini GF Paris GTG.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2009, 03:57 PM
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Oh Moolyn, we're just missing each other or else I would have loved to share a GF meal together! We could have practically done a high five (or as my sister calls it now, a high cinq LOL) as we passed each other at CDG! But, I will keep following this thread so I can hear all about your GF adventures. I'm hoping we all keep this thread up to date so our fellow GF travelers can benefit from our experiences. I'm really looking forward to hearing all about it and will enjoy living vicariously through you.

Safe travels!!
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Old Jun 3rd, 2009, 08:11 AM
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Melissa, je suis desole mais c'est la vie! I promise to add my GF experiences to your thread and hope other celiacs do as well so that this will become the Paris GF Superthread for celiacs from now on. Thanks so much for starting this, especially at such a perfect time for me to take advantage of your GF experiences in Paris and follow in your footsteps!
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Old Jun 7th, 2009, 02:05 PM
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Here I am in Paris - overdosing on art, walking and great gluten free food. Our apartment on rue Tourlaque is actually a perfect location for an art loving celiac!

Next door is a cute, pink house that was once the studio of Toulouse-Lautrec. Walking uphill two and a half short blocks brings us to rue Lepic. If we turn right, we can see Naturalia with three kinds of fresh, gluten-free breads, teff, quinoa and sarasin, plus other gluten free goodies. A few buildings further along is Lepic Assiette with Breton style crepes and across the street is a building once inhabited by Van Gogh and his brother. If we turn right instead, just around the bend of winding rue Lepic is Des Si et Des Mets. It's like being in arty, celiac heaven!

My first meal here, on the day we arrived, was at Lepic Assiette as planned: 35 rue Lepic, tel 01 42 55 95 95. I was ravenous because I didn't eat much of my GF airplane meals. My husband ordered just a a galette complet with ham, emmental cheese and fried egg for 7.50 euros, plus a coke. I decided to go all out with the weekday Midi special of an emmental and ham galette, a quarter litre of cider and a dessert crepe. Although they said no substitutions, they were quite willing to make my dessert crepe with ble noir, another name for buckwheat I discovered, so I had my first Nutella crepe experience. I realized then why sweet crepes are usually made with wheat flour; buckwheat has a more intense flavour that is perfect for savoury fillings but perhaps a little overwhelming for sweet ones. I say perhaps because I'll have to do some more research to make sure. The filling of the savoury crepes was spread all through, something that doesn't always happen, but the ham seemed to have been finely chopped for better distribution. The cider was great too and a perfect galette companion drink. My meal cost just ten euros which actually ended up being less than my husband's smaller meal because his coke cost four euros. Wine would have been cheaper.

Having decided to be low key the first day and just explore our neighbourhood and stock up with some food supplies, we shopped at Franprix and some lovely little boulangeries and delis and ate in the first night. My dinner was a cheese omelette with leek, snow peas and chantarelles. I hadn't been able to find any nice mushrooms on our expedition but noticed this melage described as a salad in a store window and the clerk was very approving when I asked if it would work in an omelet. It did and he gave me lots more than I needed so I had the same thing again tonight, Sunday, with not much open in Montmartre except uphill on the touristy Butte.
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Old Jun 7th, 2009, 08:49 PM
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Hi Moolyn! I can exactly picture where your apt is and it sounds like a fabulous location! How wonderful! I never actually had Nutella on my buckwheat crepes but I had a few dessert crepes with the ble noir and enjoyed them. I think this means you need to keep trying with the dessert crepes! Lol.

I'm home and celebrating my birthday tomorrow. I keep turning 23. Has nothing to do with Paris but I had a moist, delicious gluten free red velvet cake from my favorite bakery. They ship and everything is really outstanding. Hands down the best GF baked goods I've ever had (well, except maybe those macarons! and was a lifesaver when I first kicked gluten).

http://thesensitivebaker.com/

Looking forward to hearing more about your Parisian culinary adventures!
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Old Jun 9th, 2009, 10:15 PM
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Melissa, I hope your birthday was a happy one! I'm impressed that you were able to report so often during your stay in Paris as I'm usually too exhausted by the time we return to add anything to this thread. No more crepes for me yet but not for lack of trying. We just are never in the right place at the right time. I am so grateful that our kitchen is always just a subway ride away.

We went to Des Si et Des Mets one evening and it was lovely not having to worry whether what I was eating was safe or not. My husband even liked the GF bread. We had a hard time choosing from the menu, however, as we didn't understand the cooking terms and our server just kept saying she couldn't explain. I had an assortment of duck to start: rilettes, pate and smoked. My husband had salade fleur with edible petunias as garnish. We both chose Chateaubriand; mine was great while my husband's was chewy. Our server didn't care. For dessert we both selected creme brule. It came flambe with a flourish. Our meals were each 28 euros, a two euro supplement for the Chateaubriand, plus 24 euros for a bottle of nice rose. We asked if service was included and were told no but by then the charge had gone through so we ended up leaving all of our change.

We discovered that the owner was a celiac who got tired of having to explain her dietary restriction when she visited restaurants so she opened her own. I thanked her for her restaurant sans gluten but hope she will have an English translation or a more helpful server next time we return to Paris as she is on the right track. Overall the meal was good and we were pleased that the restaurant was full by the time we left to walk uphill to see the Eiffel Tower light up from our perch on Sacre Cour.

Our next restaurant experience was Chez Toinette on rue Germaine Pilon, about a block and a half south of rue Abbesses near the art nouveau Abbesses metro station. Tel 01 42 54 44 36. I had read many recommendation for this Provence influenced bistro both on Fodors and in guidebooks and it was close which was handy on a rainy night. The waiter was very helpful and took my GF card to the chef to make sure my choices were fine. He returned to say the chef would change the sauce on my main course. To start, my husband had marinated white asparagus and I had hot pan fried prawns on salad. Both starters were wonderful. My husband ordered beef stew which he loved and said was like beef bourgignon. My plat was duck breast which was very good good and the accompanying vegetables and cooked apple were a treat. We had a bottle of Provence rose with this. The quantities were large so we didn't order dessert. Our bill was 73 euros. When my husband asked whether service was included the waiter told him that it is the law in France that service is always included! Good to know.
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Old Jun 15th, 2009, 01:59 PM
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Yes, tipping is included. Not sure what happened over at Des si et Des Mets. Maybe it was a language barrier. When we were there, we had a server that spoke good enough English to translate the whole blackboard menu to us and it was great. Have you had any other noteworthy GF eats??
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Old Jun 15th, 2009, 04:45 PM
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Its so great to read about all the GF choices in Paris...definitely a reason for me to plan another trip there I have recently discovered that I am allergic to both wheat and dairy and we have a holiday coming up to Switzerland. I am carrying along several packages of rice cakes and some brown rice pasta and some rice...but does any one know of any GF options /bakeries etc. in Switzerland? We will be in the Bernese Oberland area.

Many thanks
Deepa
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Old Jun 16th, 2009, 01:05 AM
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Deepa, I don't think you will have to bring so many GF supplies with you. Rice is available everywhere and there are wonderful German GF breads and snacks as well as Italian GF pasta that should be readily available there. The Swiss are excellent chefs and make things from scratch, like the French, so you shouldn't have difficulty in restaurants.

Search gluten free and celiac and other variations here because I think that somebody may already have posted about eating gluten free in Switzerland but it may be under another topic like this is. Or start your own Gluten Free Switzerland thread to attract the people with GF experience there.

If your problem with wheat and dairy are intolerances rather than alergies, you may find that you are able to tolerate more dairy as your small intestine returns to normal and the enzymes that digest lactose reappear.

Melissa, I'm sure we had different servers at Des Si et Des Mets. Ours was very pleasant and apoligized that there wasn't an English menu, but she wasn't willing or able to try to explain the dishes available. I've had the same problem with servers in England, however. They know what it is but can't put it into words and for us it's important.

I have some more Paris GF suggestions and may have time to work on them today. We are presently in England in an exchange home, waiting for a friend to arrive. Home exchanging, just like renting an apartment, is a great idea for travelling celiacs. Our exchange partners even left some GF bread and Italian GF pasta for me!
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Old Jun 16th, 2009, 04:14 PM
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Thank you so very much Moolyn for your very useful reply. I do have severe nasal allergies (and sinusitis)so it is a bit more than intolerance but I am starting to incorporate some dairy slowly - have started with yogurt and it is going well. Not the same with wheat I'm afraid - even a half slice of bread has me in a bad way by the next morning.

Will start a new thread on GF Swiss and see what I get...
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Old Jun 17th, 2009, 12:59 PM
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Deepa: this is a long way from travel, but Moolyn is a mutual friend to celiacs everywhere and I wanted to support her point. It is subtle but it is very important and I have seen the proof myself.

The dairy part of the allergy may go away as you become more rigourously gluten-free. This has occured with a family member. But the gluten intolerance is sadly not so predictable and your half slice of bread trial could set back the progress you have made with the dairy.

It is a stubborn fact of life that TOTAL abstinence from gluten is the only way to heal. But the good news is that more and better food choices appear annually for travelers!
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Old Jun 17th, 2009, 05:48 PM
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Thanks so much for your reply LJ. I had never thought of it that way. Very happy to hear that I may be able to handle more dairy in my diet (I am missing those cafe lattes but I think the wheat /gluten free life is a tough one especially when I travel...esp at breakfast times.. but you have given me some new ideas to work with which I am very grateful for..
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Old Jun 17th, 2009, 10:00 PM
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Deepa, you wrote that you have allergies to both wheat and dairy but it doesn't sound like you have been tested for celiac disease yet and you should be, with these allegies. Google celiac disease and see if you fit the profile so you can discuss this more knowledgeably with your doctor.

Celiacs have an intolerance to wheat and usually to lactose as well, which are different than allergies, but many of us are allergic to wheat as well as intolerent, making it a bit more complicated. Celiacs typically have lots of food allergies which tend to alleviate once we carefully follow a zero tolerance gluten free diet.

As LJ points out, cheating just a little can upset your system for some time if you are a celiac, because any gluten will damage your small intestines, even if you don't have any outward reaction, like Kyliebaby's mom with baguettes. If you have an allergy, you can often desensitize by avoiding that food for a while but this is not the case with gluten intolerence so it's important for you to find out. Another reason is that it's easier to avoid just wheat than gluten.
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 03:39 AM
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Very good thread Melissa, a lot of information

I am going to Paris soon and I am looking forward to eating crepes, visiting the gluten free restaurant, etc.

Came home yesterday after a 2 weeks visit in France, and we ate out 7 times and I wasn't sick once!! In my experience it's best when we don't choose the cheapest restaurants.

It's becoming more and more easy to eat gluten free food in France I think. Italy is best though

La Norvegienne
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 05:01 AM
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Bookmarking for my celiac daughter! Thanks!
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 07:13 AM
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Hi. Here's another endorsement for the buckwheat crepes at Breizh Cafe -- although you should confirm with them that they use 100% buckwheat if you're concerned. I had a delicious and inexpensive lunch there last spring. Try the cider, too! Check out the Fodor's review at http://www.fodors.com/world/europe/f...ew-430391.html

Happy dining!
Caroline
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Old Jul 15th, 2011, 07:42 PM
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Hi... I have gluten intolerance and possible Celiac disease and recently returned from a vacation to Paris, and Bayeaux/Normandy. I was really nervous at first, considering France is known for its breads and desserts. I was also disappointed knowing I wouldn't be able to experience as much of the cullinary deliciousness that my family and friends would. I was wrong! I found eating gluten free in Paris was easy and enjoyable... I never had one bad meal and never felt like I was missing out on anything! I highly reccomend steak-frites, as it is guaranteed to be gluten free at almost any restaurant, and a common dish in France. I was also pleasantly surprised to find out that most sauces in France are thickened with cream instead of wheat. I also had several delicious 'gallettes', which are savory crepes made with black flour or buckwheat flour, which is gluten free. Although most breakfast and dessert crepes are made with wheat flour, all the restaurants were happy to make me gallettes with the dessert toppings. For dessert, I fell in love with macaroons. They are just as rich and delicous as any French dessert. I loved and ate them so much, I purchased a souvenir ring with a macaroon on it! Some other common gluten free desserts include marangue (egg, sugar) and sorbet (blended fruit). And don't forget the chocolate!
If you speak minimal or no French, I reccomend printing out the restaurant cards other have spoken of. When I was ordering something and wanted to know if it was gluten free, I would just say, "sans du gluten?" and they understood and told me whether or not it was safe.
My best reccomendation is just to stick to things that are naturally gluten free, as asking to alter a dish may offend a chef. Steak-frites, salads, omelettes, gallettes, chocolate, macaroons, sorbet, and marangue were all very delicious- and no one dish is the same at two different restaurants! Even if you have the steak-frites for dinner 3 nights in a row, you're sure to get a different twist on it every time!
Good luck and happy travels!
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Old Jul 16th, 2011, 12:43 PM
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Glad this came back up. Iris started a good GF Club threat also. Just go to the Lounge and search for gluten free and it'll pop up. Lot's of good info.
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