Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Gluten Free in New York City - Part 3

Our third day in New York City started with breakfast at our hotel, the Marriott Marquis in Times Square.  

The buffet breakfast at Crossroads American Kitchen & Bar was included with our room for the last four days of our stay, so we ate breakfast there every day except our first morning in New York City, when I dined at The Little Beet, which was a short walk from Times Square.  

The breakfast buffet has a gluten free station with gluten free muffins, bagels, and bread, with a dedicated gluten free toaster.  I did speak to a chef on our first morning there to discuss other gluten free options, like scrambled eggs, bacon, and omelets.  Most mornings, I filled up on fresh fruit, like raspberries and pineapple, and had either scrambled eggs and bacon, or an omelet with spinach and cheese.  

After breakfast, we walked to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see their collection of impressionistic paintings.  Be sure to head up to the roof for some amazing views of the city if you go to the Met.  

We had lunch reservations at Risotteria Melotti, but when we arrived, we discovered that they had decided to close for the 4th of July, and never called us to let us know.  Thankfully, Senza Gluten, which we were planning on eating at the next day, was open for lunch.  

Senza Gluten is a 100% gluten free Italian restaurant located in the heart of Greenwich Village.  The small dining room reminded me of several restaurants we dined at on our trip to Italy.  

Our meal started with a delicious loaf of gluten free bread, and my aunt, who is lactose intolerant, was brought a separate basket of dairy free bread.

Having already eaten pasta three times in the past two days, my husband and I decided to split two antipasti and a salad  The gamberi with grilled shrimp, mixed greens, cannellini beans and basil with a citrus dressing was a little tasteless, so I asked for more dressing, which definitely helped.

I couldn't pass up the bruschetta with fresh tomato, garlic, basil, and extra virgin olive oil, because I haven't had bruschetta since my celiac diagnosis seven years ago.  With a little added grated cheese, I thought this bruschetta was very good.  

Our favorite appetizer was the Prosciutto di Parma with buffalo mozzarella.  It really was heaven on a plate.  We tried to recreate this dish when we got home from our trip, but our mozzarella and prosciutto could not touch the quality of the ingredients at Senza Gluten.  This dish made me yearn for another trip to Italy.

My daughter Katie ordered the gnocchi sorrentina with San Marzano tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella, and parmesan.  This dish was so delicious with its perfectly cooked gnocchi, slightly sweet tomato sauce, and heavenly little bites of mozzarella.  The sauce tasted like the quick cook tomato sauce I make at home. 

I didn't try my daughter Emma's Fettuccine alla Bolognese, because I am not a fan of traditional meat sauce, but she must have loved it, because she ate every single bite.  

My aunt and uncle both ordered the chicken milanese with arugula, tomatoes, roasted red potatoes, lemon and shaved parmesan.  They both raved about their entree, but it arrived at least 15 to 20 minutes after the rest of our food, when everyone else was done eating.  Sadly, I can't say we had great service at any restaurant we dined at in New York City, except The Little Beet, a fast casual restaurant.  Our server at Senza Gluten could not answer basic questions about the menu, and even gave us some wrong information about ingredients I inquired about.  

I was the only one in our party to order dessert, because the rest of my family was interested in eating gelato at a shop close to our next stop, the Tenement Museum.  

The tiramisu at Senza Gluten, with its layers of mascarpone cream and homemade savoiardi biscuits was so delicious, but it had too much cocoa powder on it, which didn't take away from the taste, but I inhaled a little bit of it twice, which didn't feel very good.  Overall, we enjoyed our dining experience at Senza Gluten, and would definitely go back.  They only accept American Express or cash, which we did not know about until we got to the restaurant, but thankfully, my aunt saved the day with her Amex.  

After our lunch at Senza Gluten, we headed to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum for our Hard Times tour.  I used to teach about tenements in my U.S. History classes, so I loved seeing the restored homes and hearing the stories of two different families who had lived at 97 Orchard Street.

After a little rest and relaxation back at our hotel, my aunt, my daughter Katie and I walked over to the Jamba Juice in Times Square for some smoothies, because none of us were hungry enough to eat dinner after our late lunch at Senza Gluten.  My aunt and I ordered the Orange Carrot Karma with fresh carrot juice, orange, banana and mango, while Katie chose the Pomegranate Paradise with pomegranate, strawberry, mango and peach.  I knew that our smoothies did not contain any gluten, but I asked to speak to someone about cross contamination.  My smoothie ended up being made in the back, which took a while, and my aunt's order somehow got lumped with mine, so she had to wait too.  Katie loved her Pomegranate Paradise smoothie, but I found my Orange Carrot Karma to be a little unexciting.  It was good, but needed some ginger and/or honey for a little added flavor.  All of our smoothies were free of soy, dairy, and gluten.  

My daughter Emma and my husband went to the Grom gelato shop on Broadway while we were at Jamba Juice.  They bought me a bag of gluten free chocolate cookies while they were there.  Because the bag said they are biscotti, I assumed they would be larger, hard cookies, but they were small oval chocolate cookies, that are some of the best gluten free cookies I have ever had.  If I could buy them in Orlando, they would be a staple in my pantry.  All of the gelato at Grom is now gluten free, and they hope to have gluten free cones in the future.

I still have two more days about our trip to New York City to post about, but you can read Part 1 and Part 2 about our first two days in New York City for other restaurant reviews.

What are your favorite restaurants in New York City for gluten free dining?  


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