Italian Oven- Mt. Pleasant MI

   My husband and I went away this past weekend to Mt. Pleasant to see some friends. I was using the website "Find Me Gluten Free" to see where it might be safe to go eat. To my surprise, the Italian Oven had a gluten free menu. I had fond memories of this restaurant when I was in college. The tables were covered in red and white checker tablecloths, with an extra sheet of white paper on top. Why? Because they give you crayons to doodle and color with! Lots of good memories.
   So after an early church service, we drove up to MP from Flint and stopped in at the Italian Oven for lunch. They asked us if we would like a quieter section reserved for adults, which we agreed to, as we saw the large group of kids coming in for a birthday party. They took us towards the back of the restaurant to a special section called "Risotto's" There are some finer dining items on that menu, although you're still able to order from the main restaurant menu. Unfortunately, no white paper and crayons in that section, but that was ok. :)

    Their gluten free menu states this at the top:

       "This menu is provided by The Italian Oven as a service to our guests who have an intolerance to
        gluten.  The Italian Oven assumes no responsibility for it’s use.  Our kitchen is not exclusively
        gluten free. Cross contamination may occur.  Our guests are encouraged to consider the provided
        information in light of their own individual needs and requirements."         
         **Important -read final comments below in regards to this disclaimer."

   As I perused the menu, I wasn't sure what to order. I was so impressed with the many choices. We chose to order the Florentine Dip appetizer which came with gluten free bread wedges (which is really the gluten free pizza crust they use.) It was really creamy and very tasty. We both tried to behave ourselves and not eat all of it, saving some for later the next day.

As I'm still trying to whittle my wasitline, I wasn't sure what to order for lunch. There were many items that would  have been lighter, but I rested on the Chicken Parmesan, because it was a specifically gluten free dish. I was well pleased, as the outside batter was nice and crisp, and the chicken on the inside was juicy and succulent. (It was even really good cold the next day!) The Seven Vegetable medley was rather good as well, although lukewarm. My husband ordered the goat cheese stuffed ravioli (not GF), and he was very pleased as well. (It usually comes with bacon on top, but they were able to leave that off due to his pork allergy.)


Since I had already seen the dessert menu, I made sure to only eat a portion of my lunch. My husband's favorite candy is toffee, and they had a Heath Bar Torte. Of course we ordered one! Luckily it wasn't too big, yet big enough to share with that special person in your life. 

   Our watiress, Carley, was very nice. When I asked her to bring a box for the leftover appetizer and main dish, I just assumed that she would bring me the boxes and I'd take care of it myself. On the contrary, she boxed the appetizer up for me, remembering to bring a cup for the extra dip, and then wrapped my leftover chicken up in a beautiful tinfoil swan!  We made sure to tip her well.

And I wanted to make sure to include a picture of my wonderful husband. :)

In regards to the disclaimer above, I wish I could say that our entire experience was great. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure that I got "glutened" by this meal. I won't describe my symptoms that lead me to believe this, as it's not necessary. Those of us with celiac know what our reactions are to gluten. Ironically, I had posted about this restaurant on the Lansing Gluten Free Fair page, and one lady said that she had the same issue with the Chicken Parmesan. Comments on the LGFF Facebook page said that their pizza was very good though. Whether or not my reactions were to due cross-contact, I will say that the food was very good, the service was excellent, and we had a nice quiet dinner.