Gluten-Free Restaurants in NYC

I have to admit I STILL haven’t done the gluten-free restaurant crawl and it is indeed a crawl since there are quite a few here in NYC according to the Gluten-free restaurant program. Bloom’s, Gus’s, Bistango, I’ve heard all good things from fellow New York gluten-free bloggers like Gluten-free Fun, Gluten-Free Guide and Celiac Chicks but haven’t been to a one. I'm very glad they exist and that more restaurants are being added to the GFRAP program, it’s super!

However, I’ve had some mixed results with restos that have gluten-free menus. Experience has taught me that if a resto can handle food allergies they can usually handle being gluten-free but the inverse is not necessarily true.

For example, I went to Sambucca with Celiac Chick Kelly which was fun. They have a GF menu and our waiter was educated about allergies and cross-contamination. Yay Sambucca!

But I’ve also been Risotteria and they were NOT good with multiple allergies. In trying to order, our server gave me the “oh-god-that’s-awful-all-those-allergies-I-don’t-know-if-we-can-handle-that”. Sigh.

Not encouraging and thus an example of my fear confirmed: just because a resto is GF doesn’t mean that are well trained in other areas. It’s doesn’t mean they aren’t, just not a guarantee.

Dear readers: I don’t SEEK out gluten-free restaurants in New York City. I seek out and repeatedly patronize restaurants that care about food preparation, care about their customers, communicate well, and are fun! Frankly, anything’s more fun when you’re served food you feel safe eating! If that place happens to be part of the GF program, like Lilli and Loo, which I am so loving right now, then yay!

But experience has proven that "gluten-free menu" and "allergen-friendly" resto are not synonymous. Having said all that, I do plan on trying more of the GFRAP program spots in town over the next year and hope to be proven woefully wrong.

I'll report back.


madeline said…
i'm jealous! i've visited the GFRAP site and checked out the GF restaurant list for chicago.... and outback steakhouse was the only one on there! oh geez. NY has it made in terms of resources. anyway, enjoy your restaurant review -- and big apples are always GF, aren't they?

Allergic Girl® said…
hmmm but i feel like i've been hearing so many great things about restos in chicago being special diner request friendly... i'll have to investigate.

thanks for the shout out though! and yes we are very lucky in NYC, to have GFRAP and sympathetic chefs.
I completely agree with you that gluten-free restos are often not able to accommodate other allergy needs.

The Risotteria! Alas. I went there about 8 months ago, so excited to try something gluten-free. I sat down, brimming over with happiness, only to find that EVERYTHING on their menu also contains butter or milk. The server suggested I have a salad. I can get a salad anywhere. Sigh. I got up and left. I was so disappointed. I wound up at a crappy Thai restaurant down the street, where I can always at least get cocunut curry--lactose and gluten free.

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