Café Atlantico – A Gluten-Free Guide Reader Request


Cafe Atlantico Montage, originally uploaded by A Gluten Free Guide.

 

Café Atlantico, an upscale restaurant in downtown Washington D.C., was the site of a recent brunch with my Dad, Aunt Judy and Uncle Rick. This meal, with its numerous gluten-free dishes, brought my weekend of family, food and football to a close on a high note.

Upon request, Café Atlantico provides customers with an allergen menu, outlining all of the potential allergy restrictions in each dish. The restaurant offers Latin fusion food served dim sum style (multiple small plates) for weekend brunch. Because dim sum dining is usually a shared experience, my family opted to eat purely from the gluten-free offerings. With more than 15 gluten-free choices, no one felt restricted.

While I couldn’t have the chips served with the fresh-made guacamole, the rest of the meal was free of gluten and full of flavor. I find dim sum plates are usually a little too small for my gluten-free appetite, but it was great to have the opportunity to try so many different dishes at a restaurant so far from home.

The scallops with orange puree, duck confit with passion fruit oil, cauliflower quinoa, and hot and cold foie gras and corn soup were just a few of the standouts.

On the sweeter side – I loved the coconut and crispy rice with ginger and my mango lime soup with meringue dessert.

I made a special effort to visit Café Atlantico after receiving this incredible letter about Chef Edgar Steele a few months ago.

“Dear Catherine,

I understand that you are a New York Native, but in case you covered any gluten-free restaurants in other cities I really wanted to bring a certain place/chef to your attention. There is an absolutely wonderful chef in the Washington D.C. area, Edgar Steel at Cafe Atlantico. I know this restaurant has been involved in Celiac Awareness before, but Edgar has truly gone above and beyond to accommodate me. Not only am I allergic to gluten, I also cannot have any dairy. Edgar spoke with me on the phone before my first visit there, wrote me to walk through the menu and all of the items that were safe for me, and the food was absolutely delicious. The restaurant staff are kind and clearly sensitive to these issues, and I am very sad to be leaving Washington after this summer and this wonderful place for anyone with gluten allergies (and other allergies!) to eat. Finally, since it was my 21st birthday this week, Edgar offered to prepare me a special brunch he is creating this morning that is both gluten and dairy free from their dim sum menu. Being someone who is just a college student and not a VIP in any way, and having had some awful experiences at restaurants, I have just been completely blown away by how well I have been taken care of by Cafe Atlantico. I do not know if there is a way to let other celiacs know what a wonderful chef this is but, I would really like to pass along this information since Edgar has done an absolutely phenomenal job withmy needs.

Thank you very much,

Sincerely,
Rachel Rothschild”

Thank you Rachel, for drawing my attention to this talented chef and restaurant. They happily accommodate dietary requests with graciousness and charm. I recommend Café Atlantico to anyone looking for a great meal full of interesting flavors and textures.

If anyone has another restaurant or product you would like me to try, please send me an email or post it in the comments. It’s only by sharing information with each other that we can get the word out about great gluten-free options!

 

Cafe AtlanticoAddress: 405 8th Street NW – Washington, DC 20004 – Tel: (202) 393-0812

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Allergic Girl said,

November 30, 2007 @ 1:29 pm

that sounds terrific! bravo chef edgar and thanks to you and rachel for letting us all know!

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