My Visit to Porta Romana!

I live in a smaller area, with mostly big box or fast food restaurants. There are very few really good, sit down restaurants where you can have an experience along with some tasty food.

Today, I was fortunate enough to have lunch at Porta Romana, which is an authentic Italian restaurant in Spruce Grove, AB. They source all of their produce and meat locally, so you’re really supporting your community when you eat at a restaurant like this.

First off, I would like to remind people that I am Celiac, so it is very important that my food is prepared in a specific way, with absolutely no cross contamination. I can tell within minutes upon ingesting gluten, and it affects me for days.

Prior to visiting Porta Romana, I had spoken with them through Instagram, email, and phone, and confirmed that they indeed had gluten free options, including pasta, and that they knew how to avoid cross contamination. I was told they had a separate prep area, and that they either used specific utensils, or cleaned their utensils before preparing their gluten free dishes.

Upon walking into the restaurant, I felt immediately welcome. Their hostess/server was incredibly warm, and inviting. She knew I had a reservation, and had a table ready for us.

The restaurant itself has a rustic feel, and is decorated beautifully. They have a large fireplace that must look lovely lit up in the evening hours. The music piping through the speakers is low, and either classical or Italian. Pretty sure I heard some Lucio Dalla (Caruso) playing, which was delightful.

Ok, on to the food, since I know that’s why you’re really here! I have one word to describe my meal…STUPENDOUS!! Honestly, and truly, this is one of the most savoury and delicious meals I have ever had, and the fact that it was gluten free made it even better.

Is this not a thing of beauty? I am one of those people that gets two meals out of one. First, I eat with my eyes…if the plate is beautiful, I immediately feel like the restaurant has partially won me over already. Secondly, is of course how the meal tastes.

I will fully admit that I can be a bit of a snob when it comes to food. If a meal tastes good, I will go on about it for quite some time. I like to taste each individual item on the plate, and then I will try things together, to see how they meld.

I ordered the Tonno entree (clearly marked as being GF on the menu), which as described on the menu is “Sashimi Grade Yellowfin Tuna Rolled In Sesame Seeds Or Black Olives. Served With Caramelized Onions, Carrot Puree, Broccoli & Cilantro Oil”, and let me tell you, it did not disappoint! Every item on that plate was absolutely delicious on its own, and in so many other combinations. The tuna was perfectly seared, the carrot puree was the perfect texture and tasted amazing combined with the broccoli and cilantro oil, and don’t get me started on those caramelized onions! It’s was a brilliant meal, and it definitely satisfied both my eyes and my palate.

Another plus with Porta Romana is that their dessert menu has more than just the dreaded brownie that so many restaurants have as their only gluten free option. Yes, it’s lovely to have that brownie, but 9 times out of 10, it is not freshly made there, or it is a packaged item that is stuck on a plate, and warmed up in the microwave. Now, Porta Romana does have a brownie on their menu, but it is listed as Torta Al Cioccolata (GF), and described as “Our Famous Chocolate Brownie That Melts In Your Mouth. Served With One Scoop Of Vanilla Ice Cream & Strawberries.” Doesn’t that sound dreamy?

I chose to have the Panna Cotta (GF), which is described as “Italian Cream Pudding With Berry Sauce.” This dessert was delicious. It was creamy, and flavourful, and had very subtle flavours. It had just the right amount of sweetness, and was the perfect ending to one of the most delicious meals I have had since being diagnosed.

For anyone who is Celiac or gluten free due to allergies or sensitivities, I highly recommend Porta Romana. They were knowledgeable, and asked all the right questions to make sure that I had a safe meal. Service was quick, and everything was just delightful. We will definitely be returning, because there are plenty of gluten free dishes to be tried! The photo on the left shows my son with his delicious gluten free fettuccini with bolognese sauce, and the photo on the right is of the Salmone entree, with pureed carrots, caramelized onions, broccoli, and cilantro oil. I would just like to state that the salmon portion was huge, and my father-in-law said that it was delicious!

If you want to learn more about Porta Romana, please visit their website here! Their online menu does not list their gluten free pastas, but they do have fettuccini, spaghetti, and penne as options. Please inquire with your server about which sauces are gluten free! You will notice that their menu is otherwise clearly marked with their GF options, and there are a whole lot of options to choose from. Support a local business, and book your reservation today!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.