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February is American Heart Month. If you guessed that a slew of restaurants would jump on that promotional bandwagon with a “light” menu of relatively flavorless versions of classic plates, you’re correct. But Blue Duck Tavern is not among them.

The notion that healthy dining means unenjoyable dining is put to rest at Blue Duck this month with this simple but stunning menu– that also happens to be almost entirely gluten free. When pastry cook Victoria Blake was diagnosed with celiac a year ago, she had no intention of changing her career path. Instead, she devoted her time to perfecting and elevating simple breakfast pastry classics so flawlessly that those with no allergies to speak of had a hard time believing her handiwork is gluten free.

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The best gluten free food shouldn’t taste or feel (texture is a very important factor here) gluten free, and the menu Blake created with Executive Chef Sebastien Archambault tastes like I should be allergic to it. That’s how you know it’s a job well done. It’s true that removing gluten from the equation is not the sole response to heart health issues, but it hides in a lot of common foods we never think of– soup, pasta sauce, soy sauce, licorice, and even some rice or corn based cereals still have gluten. This menu proves that there are still healthy ways to enjoy breakfast without being banished to the land of no carbs.

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In addition to the best gluten free waffles and pancakes that I’ve had since my diagnosis five years ago, the menu features an impressive orange scone, decadent coffee cake, an assortment of muffins, scrambled egg whites with local crab meat and avocado, and an assortment of smoothies and fresh juices that truly restore your faith in healthy eating.

And for those like myself who rely on expert menus like this, fear not– while American Heart Month ends with February, the Blue Duck kitchen will assess this menu and keep the best of its new gluten free items on the standard one.

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