Category Archives: holiday

Valentine’s Dinner at The Fireplace

My cousin gave me a gift certificate for The Fireplace and I was waiting for a special occasion to use it, and we finally decided to go this past weekend. Ok, so we didn’t actually go on Valentine’s Day because I had class, and I had to give a presentation, but we went on Saturday to celebrate Valentine’s Day and I have to say I loved it!
We were seated in the back corner and I felt like we had our own private dinning area. The ambience is very warm and romantic. It’s much bigger in the inside than it seems from the outside. The tables are very close together, but just far enough away that we couldn’t hear the conversation at the next table. We were near the open kitchen and it was cool to see the chef’s work.
Our waitress Christina was great. She was so quick to bring out my gluten free roll and explain any questions we had on the menu. She was very attentive without being overbearing.
The gluten free roll was phenomenal. It was actually the tastiest gluten free roll I’ve ever tried. The texture was exactly like a rolls should be and not grainy or fake tasting like so many gluten free bread products.
They have an extensive gluten free menu, with so many interesting and creative looking dishes that use seasonal and fresh New England ingredients.  My mouth was watering just reading the menu and I was having a hard time deciding what to get. There was also a special Valentine’s Day menu, but the prices were outrageous ($46 I don’t think so!).
I decided on the Black & Pink Pepper-Crusted Salmon served with crushed hazelnut bok choy sauté and vegetable barley. Barley of course is not gluten free, so I was able to pick a different side from their list of gluten free sides. As with all dishes, if it comes with a gluten containing side you can substitute it for anything you want! I told my boyfriend to order anything he wanted, most of the time he does order gluten free so I can try and of course he did this time too. His roasted maple glazed half chicken was to die for, and it was a HUGE portion. The outside was nice and crispy and the meat so succulent and juicy, yum! It also came with mashed potatoes that were so rich and buttery. One bite and I was done. And the best part, I got to take home his leftovers!!
Now lets get back to the Salmon. It was cooked to perfection and the seasoning was so good. I never cook with salt and I could definitely taste it, but wasn’t overpowering, and it was just a few bites that it really hit me. The combination of pepper and spices was excellent; I ate the whole thing. The black lentil sauté was outstanding. All the flavors of the dishes came together so nicely. 
Next time I want to try one of the appetizers and I will definitely be going back soon for brunch, which I heard is one of the best brunches in the city and that they have amazing biscuits. Our waitress also told me that they do have gluten free cupcakes and brownies, which are frozen, and for $8 I’d rather buy two freshly baked cupcakes from wholefoods next door. But then again, the roll was frozen and it was the best gluten free roll I’ve ever had (sorry Legal Seafood, The Fireplace beats you on this one).
Two entrees and a bottle of wine cost us $90.  All in all it was a bit expensive, but we had a great night and really enjoyed ourselves, and our meals. I highly recommend The Fireplace for a special dinner or just a really terrific gluten free meal.
Definitely make a reservation if you plan on going on the weekend. In the summer they set up a few tables on the sidewalk so you can enjoy a meal al fresco.  
Location: 1634 Beacon Street  Brookline, MA 02446 (C Line to Washington Square)

Valentine’s Day Candy

I’m not sure if I’ve ever met anyone who loves chocolate as much as I do. I eat it everyday. This is no exaggeration, just ask my coworker or my boyfriend, they know.
One of the first things I looked into when I stopped eating gluten 3 years ago was chocolate and candy. You would like I would be more concerned with everyday foods, snacks, meals etc. No, chocolate was my first priority.

I made a big list of what I could and could not eat. I was a little disappointed about some of the candies I’ll never be able to eat again, like Hershey’s cookies n’ creme, crunch bars, kit kat, and the list goes on. But I was also pleasantly surprised by the amount of candy that didn’t have gluten, so much more than I would have thought!

So seeing that tomorrow is Valentine’s day, I put together my list and added a few more items I found to be gluten free. I guess I should have posted this a few days ago huh? Well at least you will be prepared for all the chocolate and candy you get tomorrow! And you can always refer to this list next year!

* this list may not be complete. I do not eat peanuts so therefore I have never looked up information regarding peanut containing candies (Reese’s, babe Ruth, etc).
** some of these items are produced on equipment that also produces gluten containing products and/or produced in a facility that has gluten
*** products and ingredients can and do change. So please read all labels first and if you are unsure double or triple check their website or call.

  • 3 Musketeers (all flavors)
  • Andes creme de menthe
  • Almond Joy 
  • Bit-O-Honey 
  • Bottle Caps (Wonka)
  • Cella’s Cherries, milk chocolate covered cherries
  • Charlston Chew
  • Charms Blow Pops, super blow pops and Valentine Pops
  • DeMets Turtles
  • Disney Lollipop Rings -Flix Candy
  • Disney lollipops packaged with Valentine cards (I noticed this tonight at CVS)
  • Dots (including Valentine & tropical Dots)
  • Dove Chocolates (all)
  • Dum-Dums lollipops
  • Everlasting Gobstopper Heartbreakers (Wonka)
  • Fannie May  (solid chocolate)
  • Fruit Rolls
  • Fun Dips (Wonka)
  • Galerie Candy Jewelry Making Kit
  • Galerie Diamond Ring with candy treats
  • Galerie Marshmallow Cupcake lollipops
  • Ghirardelli chocolate squares, including milk chocolate, dark chocolate, caramel and dark chocolate with raspberry
  • Gobbers
  • Hershey Bliss chocolates including dark chocolate, milk chocolate, milk chocolate with meltaway centers, and milk chocolate with raspberry meltaway centers “Manufactured on the same equipment that processes peanuts and tree nuts.”
  • Hershey Milk Chocolate Bar, milk chocolate bar with almonds
  • Hershey Kisses (plain chocolate)
  • Hot Tamales 
  • Hershey’s Pot of Gold, including Premium Chocolates, Pecan Caramel Clusters, and Truffles
  • Hubba Bubba Max bubble gum, and bubble tape
  • iCarly Valentine Candy Card Kit (cards and lollipops)
  • Jelly Belly
  • Jolly Rancher candy
  • Juicee Gummee Baby Bears
  • Junior Mints
  • Laffy Taffy
  • Life Savers hard candy and lollipops, including Candy and Card Valentine Pack
  • Life Savers gummy candy (including Gummies, Big Ring Gummies, Candy and Card Valentine Pack)
  • Mike and Ike 
  • Milky Way Midnight Bar and Caramel Bar
  • M&Ms –milk chocolate, dark chocolate, coconut
  • Necco Wafers
  •  Nips – regular and sugar-free
  • Peeps marshmallows
  • PEZ
  • Pixy Stix (Wonka)
  • Pop Rocks popping candy 
  • Raisinets
  • See’s candies (not all varieties, check website for gluten free list)
  • Skittles
  • Smarties
  • Sno-caps
  • Starburst
  • Sunny Seed Drops candy chocolate covered sunflower seeds
  • Surf Sweets Gummy candy – “Gluten Free”
  • Sweetheart Conversation Hearts
  • Toblerone
  • Tootsie Rolls and Tootsie Pop
  • Warheads Extreme Sour candy
  • York Peppermint Pattie