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The waffle-cone parfait ($5) from the brunch menu at Senza.

A plate of silky tagliatelle pasta nestled among mushrooms and shaved truffle and served with a hunk of grilled bread does not sound like the dinner most of our gluten-free friends are planning to have tonight.

But it?s one thing they can safely order at Senza, a lovely new restaurant in Lakeview with the motto ?surprisingly gluten-free.? There executive chef Noah Sandoval (Schwa, Green Zebra) has created a menu that you?d never suspect is void of wheat.

We stopped in midday--a more casual time to try Senza is during its daily brunch--and found the place sunny and charming, with a white-and-lilac interior designed by Karen Herold (Girl & the Goat, GT Fish & Oyster) that radiates finesse.

By day, Senza?s counter-service format is great for quick English muffin sandwiches ($5.50) and sinfully sweet beignets ($4 for three). For lunch we had chilled corn soup with a kick of smoked Serrano ham ($6) and a pretty Caesar salad of grilled lettuce with anchovies and a wonderful crunchy/soft crouton ($7).

The dinner menu is a serious exploration of seasonal ingredients and modern cooking techniques, with a five-course tasting for $75 (add wine pairings for $25 more). (Herbivores will want to seek out the vegetable tasting menu for $60.)

Dining restrictions might bring you here, but it?s the unfettered flavors that will keep you coming back.

Senza, 2873 N. Broadway; 773-770-3527 or

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