I recently had two wonderful meals at an elegant Thai restaurant in Atlanta. Nan – Thai Fine Dining, is an upscale restaurant with a focus on fresh cuisine. I discovered that Chef Nan was amenable to accommodating gluten free diners on the Atlanta Celiac Meet Up board. The members of this group keep an updated spreadsheet of restaurants in Atlanta with gluten free menus and chefs that gladly adapt their offerings to your needs.
While Thai is a cuisine that lends itself to safe gluten free dining, you still need to be vigilent. Because many of the better Thai restaurants employ native speaking chefs, I highly recommend the Thai dining card from Triumph.
On my first trip to Nan, I discovered that they were not as familiar with “gluten-free” as I expected. However, armed with my Thai restaurant card and with the help of a wonderful manager, I was able to enjoy a delicious meal rich with flavor. One of the toughest things about eating out gluten free is that many of the “safe” options are rather bland. At Nan I was able to satiate my taste for all things spicy.
I started with a not so spicy Satay Kai, grilled chicken on bamboo skewers with a lightly curried peanut sauce. While some peanut sauces can be too heavy or sweet, this sauce highlighted the curry flavor without weighing down the dish.
As usual, I ordered steamed vegetables. They advised me to avoid the sauce that normally coats the dish, which was perfectly fine with me. I prefer my veggies fresh and crisp rather than as a “sauce delivery vehicle.”
For my main course I selected the Gang Panang Talay, shrimp, mussels and scallops in a panang curry sauce. Curry sauces with coconut sauce can also get heavy and almost syrupy, but this red curry has a nice spicy tang without being sugary.
On my second trip to Nan, I was going to try something new, but the chef and manager recommended that I stay with the Gang Panang Talay because they were unsure about the ingredients in a sauce in the other dish that looked interesting to me. I always appreciate it when a restaurant is honest about an ingredient of which they can’t make a full account.
While I’ve heard some complaints that Nan is overpriced, you are paying for more than just the food. The environment is open, airy and beautiful. The food is prepared fresh, the tables are truly elegant, they have an amazing display (and use) of spices, the service is top-notch and the bathrooms alone are worth a visit!
Nan Thai 1350 Spring Street NW Atlanta, GA 30309 Telephone: (404) 870-9933