Monday, July 11, 2011

A relaxing, gluten-free get-away in Annapolis, MD

This past Friday, Bradley and I celebrated our five year wedding anniversary. To celebrate, we took a short trip to Annapolis, MD. Bradley planned the entire trip, and he did a wonderful job! The trip was relaxing and refreshing! (Yes--I really did relax.)

We arrived in Annapolis Thursday afternoon and checked into the lovely Marriott on the waterfront. Then we went on our first sail (ever) aboard the Woodwind. (We learned that the Woodwind is the sailboat featured in The Wedding Crashers.)We had a two-hour sail out to the Chesapeake Bay. The crew was wonderful, and the weather was just perfect for sailing! Bradley would love to learn to sail and (eventually) own a sailboat, so this was a good test for us. Neither of us had been sailing before, and I am prone to motion sickness. We passed the test, though! We both enjoyed the sail, Bradley even had a chance to help raise the sails, and I did fine wearing my "sea bands"! Hopefully more sailing is in our future!

After our sail, we freshened up and then headed out to dinner. Bradley had made reservations at Chart House after doing some research online and seeing that they were known for accommodating special diets, specifically celiac disease. We took a water taxi over to Chart House (right across the river from the Marriott). When we first started looking at the menu, I was very discouraged. But when we told our server, Jason, that we had several food allergies, he assured us that they could provide a great meal for us and he brought out Chef Chris LaCasse.Chef LaCasse was amazing! He spent several minutes talking with us about our food allergies and intolerances...and we certainly presented him with quite the list! 

We started by telling Chef that we both have celiac disease and, therefore, cannot eat gluten. Additionally, we are both allergic to eggs, and Bradley is extremely lactose intolerant and I can only tolerate small amounts of dairy. Then we went on to some of my other allergies. I'm allergic to beef and fish. There was only one chicken dish on the menu, so I asked if he might be able to modify that dish. "Not a problem," he said, and then we went over the modifications. The side for the chicken entree is a potato dish, but I'm allergic to potato. Chef said he would make me grilled chicken breast with asparagus sauteed in olive oil and garlic. Perfect! We let him know that I'm also allergic to citrus, just in case. Bradley's dish was easier to modify. Bradley and Chef worked out a salmon dish with green beans sauteed in olive oil and garlic. 

Then Chef asked if we would like any appetizers and we told him that we had been eyeing up the Hummus Trio. Chef let said that we couldn't have the edamame hummus, but the other two were safe. Also, since the pita chips were obviously out and the plantain chips are fried in a shared fryer, Chef said he would prepare slices of cucumber and carrots. He was concerned that the traditional hummus has a bit of lemon juice in it, but I told him I could "cheat" a little bit with the little bit of lemon juice. (And I cheated a bit more with one glass of wine, too--a delicious Pinot Grigio our server recommended. But, thankfully, my citrus/citric acid intake was small enough and I didn't have any swelling!)

Dinner was delicious! Chef LaCasse came out again during our meal to see how everything turned out. Fantastic! We were so impressed with the service and the food at Chart House and had such a wonderful anniversary dinner! We were so excited (and hungry!) that we didn't think of taking a picture until it was too late. Next time!

After dinner, we took the water taxi back to the Marriott and then walked around downtown Annapolis for a bit. Pretty much everything was closed, but the town was all lit up. It turns out that there was a Lincoln commercial being filmed that night. Below is a shot of the downtown "square" area lit up. Here's a link to more photos of the shoot:​​os/9628602@N03/sets/72157​6​27146384826/ (Flicker pics taken by a guy we met downtown)

Friday morning we had fruit (bananas) and coffee at the downtown Starbucks. (This was a very small breakfast for us, but it is extremely difficult to eat breakfast out with all of our food issues!) We walked around the harbor and the shops for a bit and then we headed home where we were lazy and watched two movies (The Joneses and One Week) via Netflix Friday afternoon/evening! See, I did relax! :) It was a wonderful little get-away!

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