Below is a list of some of my favorite gluten-free dishes in New York City. Try eating through the list, which includes everything from crepes to pizza to ceviche. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
**Please note, these are suggestions for dishes to try in specific restaurants. Depending on your sensitivity you should check with a doctor before consuming anything.
At Bo’s Kitchen & Bar Room chef Todd Mitgang (also of Crave Fishbar) didn’t intend to create gluten-free dishes – it just sort of happened thanks to his preference for ingredients like cornstarch and pea flour, as well as for vegetable-heavy dishes. Two of the most surprising gluten-free options on the menu are the fried alligator, featuring pieces of tail meat breaded in cornstarch and served in a basket with chili aioli and fried red bell pepper pieces. The coating is crunchy and salty, while the meat tastes like a mix of chicken and shrimp – the perfect bar snack. Mitgang’s Catfish entree is also gluten-free, as he fries it in pea flour and serves it with Shrimp Americaine sauce, crawfish, potatoes, cranberry beans, and caramelized endive.
If you love fresh seafood and ceviche, here are a few must-try suggestions. Chef and restaurateur Richard Sandoval of Midtown’s Pampano and the Upper East Side’s Maya and Zengo has a plentiful variety of ceviches and appetizers that are gluten-free. Go for a ceviche trio at Pampano including Camaron – shrimp, habanero, cilantro, and red onions. At Maya, try gluten-free starters like tuna tartare with wontons and crab and chipotle dip. The Asian-inspired menu at Zengo offers gluten-free ceviches such as bay scallops with Thai chile, fluke with coconut, and hamachi with shiso.
To satisfy any bread craving you might have, head to the legendary Bouley. Chef David Bouley was recently the host for the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness at Bouley’s test kitchen, where he developed his own recipe for a luxe take on gluten-free bread. The result of extensive taste testing is an excellent gluten-free product, texture and flavor-wise, with nourishing ingredients such as flax seeds and buckwheat.
For gluten-free Italian food look no further than Rubirosa on Mulberry Street. They have a dedicated gluten-free menu with items like pizza, pasta, and meatballs (all gluten-free). My favorites happen to be the fried calamari and zucchini (all coated in cornstarch), rice balls and the chicken parmigiano entrée with corn pasta. As for the pizza (their specialty), try the gluten-free vodka pie.
PAGE@63 MAIN ST. in Sag Harbor, NY, believes in all things natural and healthy. The restaurant recently expanded to include a rooftop aquaponic garden atop the restaurant, combining aquafarming and hydroponics to grow organic greens and vegetables. Gluten-free menu options include the grilled portabello mushroom and quinoa salad, organic quinoa linguine with cherry tomatoes, pignoli, and fresh herbs, and pan-seared diver scallops with Satur Farms spring pea shoots and organic red quinoa.
If you find yourself in the Theatre District, be sure to try Nizza, which has an entire gluten-free menu. But the thing you must absolutely try is its socca, a crêpe that is made with 100% chickpea flour and topped very similarly to a pizza. Order a few varieties before settling on a favorite,
Another place you must try for socca is 1200 Miles. Chef Blake Schumpert prepares it on his Flatiron Express lunch menu. The crêpe is made with 100% chickpea flour and filled with spring vegetables, topped with vaudovan spice and accompanied with tahini yogurt.
For a sweet take on a traditional crêpe, Eight Turn Crêpe in SoHo specializes in Japanese crêpes, made-to-order quickly and presented as a handheld meal in tear-away sleeves that are shaped like ice cream cones. The crepes are made with rice flour. Standout crepes include the Shrimp and Avocado with Thai chili sauce, a Truffled Egg White Omelet Crêpe, and a Green Tea gelato crepe with Azuki berries.
And while we’re talking about the sweeter side of things, Belgian bakery O Merveilleux specializes in the Belgian confection, the merveilleux. It’s a light and fluffy meringue base coated with airy fresh whipped cream and topped with another meringue, more whipped cream and shavings of smooth rich dark or white chocolate. Delicious, festive, and gluten-free, prepared by owner Anne-Sophie Diotallevi. Merveilleux flavors include green tea and pistachio, speculoos, and white chocolate.