GREAT BARRINGTON -- Celiac disease, or gluten sensitivity, can lead to a diet overhaul, but not at the latest restaurant coming to town.
Pittsfield residents Matthew and Dara Levy are opening the GFG Cafe, which will serve elaborate meals like a three-meat spaghetti and grab-and-go meals that could include bagels, sandwiches and wraps.
What might seem ordinary will be extraordinary for others: All the food is gluten-free.
"The whole point or part of it is that you wouldn’t know it was gluten-free unless we told you," said Matthew Levy, an experienced cook who will now helm his own kitchen.
The GFG Cafe, which stands for Gluten-Free Gourmet Cafe, is a new business started by the Levys, who recently moved to the Berkshires from Springfield late last year. The store located on 284 Main St. is expected to formally open on Feb. 1 and replaces a sandwich shop that closed down last year.
The couple became familiar with gluten-free cooking six years ago after Dara was diagnosed with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine that is worsened by the ingestion of gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.
Matthew, the house cook, couldn’t find recipes that he enjoyed online -- "They were trying to reinvent the wheel" -- so he went to work adjusting household favorites so they are friendly to a gluten-free diet.
His wife’s diagnosis prompted him to start a catering business -- something both his mother and grandmother did -- and then eventually family and friends pitched in to help get the restaurant started.
"My father has been a real champion," said Dara, a dietitian who runs Realistic Expectation Nutrition Services.
The couple have already pulled a business certificate and they’re adding the final touches of paint and unpacking boxes before their grand opening.
Looking at the menu, customers won’t be able to tell the restaurant is themed around gluten-free food. Matthew said a growing product line of gluten-free products allows him to include plenty of pasta on the menu.
There will be cereal, toast, bagels, sandwich and wraps for customers looking for something to grab-and-go. There will also be sweets that include cupcakes, brownies and cakes.
Each week the cafe will offer a choice of three specialty meals, which will also include macaroni and cheese and a three-meat spaghetti. There will also be soup and other gluten-free products sold.
"You have to love cooking gluten-free because you have to have a lot of patience," Dara said.
For additional information, GFG Cafe can be reached at (413)717-4265.