Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Appetizers, Entrees and More at Carlyle

One of my favorite ‘gluten friendly’ restaurants is Carlyle, located in Shirlington (a neighborhood in Arlington). I’ve always loved the food here and the staff is so helpful in accommodating my needs. The managers are extremely knowledgeable about gluten and where it is found. For example, they know that you can’t have the salmon because it has a soy sauce marinade, which is always a promising sign!

The other night David and I went to Carlyle for a drink and the bartender offered us an appetizer. I told him that unfortunately, I didn’t think there was anything I could eat from the appetizers section of the menu, explaining that I have celiac. He knew exactly what celiac was and got the manager who told me that she could sauté the calamari instead of frying it and that they would also give me a marinara sauce for dipping instead of the salsa it normally comes with which has soy sauce. Hooray! I had just been saying to David that I can never have calamari because it’s always fried. My sautéed calamari was delicious and a great bar snack! The people at Carlyle have always been extremely helpful, but their willingness to create an appetizer for me made my night.

One of my other personal favorites on the Carlyle menu is the roast pork tenderloin. It is the most flavorful pork tenderloin that I’ve ever tasted (well, except when David grills it) and they always cook it perfectly. Unfortunately, the potatoes are not gluten free but the manager always has lots of substitute options for me to choose from and I usually go with the asparagus. Their salads are delicious and I believe the shrimp and grits are also gluten free. Of course you’ll always want to double check with the manager, just in case they’ve changed their menu.

What I love the most about Carlyle is the staff’s willingness to walk through all of the ingredients with you and tell you clearly how they cook everything. I think it’s one of the restaurants that has the most knowledgeable staff so I feel confident going here. No matter how busy they are (and they get very busy), they don’t rush you through your decisions and are always eager to answer questions.

Let me know what dishes you’ve tried at Carlyle! Carlyle is a great restaurant for before or after the movies or before a show at Signature Theater. I just recently saw Les Miserables at Signature with my mom and we ate at Carlyle before the show. And of course, I got the roast pork tenderloin!

Note: Carlyle does not take reservations, but you can call ahead and get on the list in order to lessen your wait time. But of course it's always fun to hang out at the bar too!

4000 28th Street South
Arlington, VA 22206

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