Awareness of celiac syndrome, an allergy to wheat proteins, is on the rise in New York City. But it’s not easy to go gluten-free. Those stealthy, stomach-roiling glutens infiltrate everything from soy sauce to beer. If you have celiac, or if you have a sensitivity to wheat, you probably already know about restaurants devoted to your gluten-shunning needs, like Risotteria. But what if you want to grab a meal with non-celiacs, or want to expand your options?
Zeel found great gluten-free meals at five New York City restaurants that’ll accommodate your wheat-loving buddies too. (And all these restaurants are sensitive to the possibility of cross-contamination, so you need not fear the stray breadcrumb in your dishes.)
Is it Monday or Tuesday? Then get yourself over to Kesté Pizzeria and Vino. This authentic Neapolitan pizzeria in the West Village offers celiac-friendly pizzas made with gluten-free Caputo flour on those days. The pizzaioli will bake your pizzas in a separate oven, eliminating the possibility of cross-contamination. Pork fans should head straight for the Mast’Nicola, which features basil, Pecorino Romano, and yummy, melty lardo.
Lovers of French cuisine and haters of gluten should head over to elegant Bar Breton, one of the more accessible establishments founded by Brittany native Cyril Renaud. The menu is full of delicious crêpes and other northern French dishes. Bar Breton, however, makes its crêpes with buckwheat, a naturally gluten-free grain. How does a galette crêpe with crab, artichokes, and Parmesan cheese sound? In fact, most of the dishes on the menu are either gluten-free or can be ordered that way.
Barbecue lovers don’t have to worry about wheat proteins hiding in sauces and oils at Blue Smoke. This Danny Meyer rib joint has an entire gluten-free menu. We’re already salivating just thinking about the smoked chicken and spareribs. This bustling Flatiron eatery can accommodate an entire family reunion of celiacs.
Macaroni and cheese lovers should head straight for this East Village restaurant. The S’Mac menu offers 12 different kinds of mac and cheese, all of which can be made gluten-free. The pasta for the celiac-friendly dishes is cooked in separate pots. We hear great things about the Mediterranean version, which features goat cheese, kalamata olives, and spinach.
Not every grain contains gluten. Rice is the best-known gluten-free grain, but teff, the main grain in the Ethiopian diet, is gluten-free as well. Most Ethiopian restaurants in New York City mix teff with wheat to make injera, the floppy, oversized, spongy, tortilla-like bread that’s the centerpiece of Ethiopian cuisine. But give Ghenet a day’s notice and this Park Slope restaurant will make all your injera from 100 percent teff. Dishes are cooked in either butter or vegetable oil and can be made gluten-free as well. Try the steak tips, marinated in wine and sautéed in spiced butter.