Tommy Lasagna, a Gramercy-area Italian trattoria that opened in 2011, is branching out to feed the gluten-free community.
When it first opened, owner Tommy Masera created a menu that was reminiscent of his heritage, focusing on his famous lasagna recipe. The original, béchamel-based recipe gained somewhat of a cult-like following among friends and family. Over the past several years, he expanded the menu, adding various versions of the famous lasagna.
A year or so ago, his partner’s wife developed Celiac disease and an essential need for a gluten-free menu was born. Today, Tommy Lasagna’s boasts one of the most extensive gluten-free menus in New York offering everything from lasagna to veal involtini to New York-style cheesecake.
What sets the restaurant’s gluten-free menu apart from other restaurants with gluten-free offerings is that all pastas are made in house. Masera uses a mixture of his own gluten-free flours for the lasagna recipe and for other items that usually call for gluten, he often uses Thomas Keller’s Cup4Cup. The two lasagnas showcased on the gluten-free menu are a traditional lasagna Bolognese and a green market lasagna, used with fresh vegetables picked from Union Square’s Greenmarket.
The menu also showcases many fresh fish dishes including a mango shrimp appetizer that has pan seared shrimp with mango salsa and fennel slaw; a nod to San Francisco with a traditional cioppino; and a fresh ceviche made with assorted seafood that changes daily.
Not to be forgotten are the cocktails. In addition to the wine list, the bar also has several handmade cocktails that use gluten-free spirits, as well as a housemade sangria. For beer lovers, they carry both cider and gluten-free beer, including Omission Lager, IPA and Pale Ale.
In terms of what’s next for Tommy Lasagna’s, the owner and his staff are currently working on a gluten-free cooking class that will be a welcome addition to its other pasta-making and cheese-making classes.