Maialino, Gluten-Free Pasta
|Two gluten-free pasta dishes side by side.|
Chef Nick Anderer has taken "gluten-free" to heart.
Last summer, when we did the NY1 restaurant week spot, Chef Nick, Executive Chef and part owner of the beautiful Maialino in the Gramercy Park Hotel talked about how accommodating his restaurant is for their patrons with dietary restrictions. He then told me that they had dried gluten-free corn-based pasta in the back in case anyone requested it. I had my first taste that day, on camera (I think that shoy was cut) and it quickly became my favorite dish on the menu (before that I hadn't ordered any pasta mainly proteins and veggies - all fab and allergen-free for me).
As of January 2012, Chef Nick and his team took it several steps farther by creating their own fresh, gluten-free pasta in-house with a base of rice flour. I was at Maialino for a meeting last week, and I was able to try this new, and rather, miraculous creation.
Before I did, Chef went over the ingredients used in the new pasta and brought out a bag of their dried pasta for me to look at, as well. We went over the ingredients in both pasta sauces - the sausage they make in house, no nuts only fennel seeds - and all passed my internal vetting process. I tried a new pasta and new pasta sauce and compared it to my now favorite corn-based gluten-free pasta.
My favorite dish, picture below, was wonderful as always: all'Amatriciana. The dried corn-based pasta tastes very close to its wheat-full cousin - I had some additional non-gluten-free testers on this project who agreed.
However, the gluten-free fresh, rice based fettuccine should be in its own category of "oh my goodness". I haven't had fresh pasta since, well, the mid-2000s and I don't know if I recall that it was this good. This pasta was light, fresh tasting, soft but perfectly cooked and the yellow color comes from the addition of eggs - which just made me happy to look at. The fettuccine strands were clearly made with skill, and I have to say it, love.
|Fettuccine with sausage|
Very Important Nota Bene: Chef Nick said they make the fresh gluten-free pasta in the same room that they make their fresh wheat-based pasta. They use all precautions to keep ingredients separate and uncontaminated but he stressed that it is important for a potential fresh GF pasta diner to know that. I had no issues but I am only wheat intolerant, not allergic nor celiac. So, this pasta may or not be appropriate for your needs , depending.
Thank you Maialino Team - I am over the moon with this dish and Chef Nick for taking the initiative to create it. I can't wait to head back!
2 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10010