Summer House Santa Monica Chicago: Restaurant Review

Moving back to my hometown of Chicago at the start of this month meant it was time to take on the task of finding 100% safe places to eat [especially after 4 years in Ann Arbor, with a total of a whopping 3 safe places].

As most of you know, I am practically the most sensitive celiac that exists, according to my physician and world renown celiac specialist at least. Cross-contamination takes on a whole new meaning in my life, as even as molecule of gluten and I’m down and out for a week. On top of my strict gluten free eating, I’m anaphylactic allergic to shellfish and severely intolerant/allergic to soybean oil, peanuts, pistachios, and cashews.

I called Summer House Santa Monica, located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, after seeing they’d be serving food at the University of Chicago Celiac Disease benefit, and  I was assured they could safely prepare a meal for every single one of my food needs. They mentioned that I would speak to a manager, chef, and my  waiter upon arriving for a full allergy protocol to take place. I’m usually quite anxious when it comes to dining out, but after arriving at Summer House, I knew I was in good hands.

Upon being seated with a personal friend as a waiter (which is so much fun!), I spoke to a manager who explained that all soy sauce used in marinades was wheat free tamari and that no soybean oil was ever used in the kitchen. Additionally, shellfish was never placed on the grill and the grill was kept 100% gluten free. I couldn’t believe my ears! He simply explained that the investment in the small changes was worthwhile to be able to serve individuals with allergies more simply and effectively. Amazing!

I ordered from their extensive gluten free dinner menu (they have gluten free brunch and lunch too!) and chose the Ahi Tuna Toastadas and Roasted Jalapeno Cauliflower to share with my family for appetizers and the Ancho-Marinated Amish Chicken Taco Platter for dinner. All dishes were stunning in presentation and flavor.


Ahi Tuna Toastadas


Roasted Jalapeno Cauliflower










Ancho-Marinated Chicken Taco Platter


Of course, I waited a full week to write this review to ensure I was feeling 100% well. Summer House took utmost care of me and my needs–there’s nothing better than delicious food that leaves you feeling absolutely perfectly. I cannot wait to return.

What’s your favorite celiac-safe/food allergy friendly restaurant in Chicago? I’d love to review.

Take it easy, but take it.



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