Saturday, July 25, 2015

Gluten Free in New York City - Part 4

On our fourth day in New York City, we had breakfast at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square, which you can read about here, then headed to the 9/11 Memorial.  

The 9/11 Memorial is free, but we bought tickets ahead of time to visit the 9/11 Memorial Museum, and One World Observatory, located at the top of One World Trade Center.  We all loved One World Observatory with its amazing views of New York City, and enjoyed walking around outside and exploring the 9/11 Memorial, but my 10 year old daughters had a hard time with the 9/11 Memorial Museum.  I highly recommend all three activities, but the 9/11 Memorial Museum might not be appropriate for young children. 

We had lunch at Risotteria Melotti, a 100% gluten free Italian restaurant in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan.  

As with Senza Gluten, I loved the atmosphere of Risotteria Melotti.  The small, quaint restaurant reminded me of dining in Italy.

Our meal started off with complimentary bread and rice cakes.  The bread was just as amazing as the gluten free bread we had at all the other restaurants we dined at in New York City.

I was excited to try the arancini del giorno, the rice arancini of the day served with tomato sauce.  Arancini are stuffed rice balls that are usually breaded and fried.  Sadly, because we ate this meal three weeks ago, I don't remember exactly what was in our arancini, but there was definitely cheese, and there might have been prosciutto.  Overall, I enjoyed them, but I would probably skip them if we ever went back to Risotteria Melotti.

We also shared an order of bufala mozzarella with Prosciutto di Parma, grape tomatoes and fresh basil.  It was really good, but not as amazing as the mozzarella and prosciutto we had at Senza Gluten the day before.

I never pass up the chance to have gluten free fritto misto (mixed fried seafood).  Risotteria Melotti breads their calamari and shrimp in rice flour, fries them, and serves them with fresh spicy tomato sauce on the side.   This might have been my favorite dish of the day.  I was glad that our fritto misto was heavy on the calamari, which tasted fresh, and was perfectly seasoned.

My husband chose our shared entree, fig risotto wrapped in Parma prosciutto.  The presentation was pretty impressive.  Inside the prosciutto was a huge portion of fig risotto, which my husband loved, but I found to be a little too sweet for a main course.  

My daughter Emma really enjoyed her risotto with chicken, bacon and Parmigiano cheese, but I didn't think that any of our entrees were as good as the shrimp and lobster risotto I had the last time we dined at Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar in Epcot.  

My aunt seemed happy with her pan seared breaded salmon fillet with greens, whole-grain rice salad, and cherry tomatoes.  

My uncle enjoyed his risotto with shrimp, fresh lemon juice and white wine.

For dessert, I chose the warm chocolate cake with vanilla sauce, which was incredibly rich and delicious, and would have been dessert perfection with a little bit of vanilla ice cream.  

My daughter Katie let me try her tiramisu, which was decent, but not as good as the amazing tiramisu I had at Senza Gluten.  Overall, we enjoyed our meal at Risotteria Melotti, and I love that it is a 100% gluten free restaurant, but I preferred our meals at Bistango and Senza Gluten.

After lunch, we got to take a backstage tour of Mamma Mia with one of my amazing blog readers.  My biggest regret from our New York City trip is that we did not buy tickets to see Mamma Mia, which is sadly having its final performance on Broadway on September 12th.  

Before heading to the Broadway musical Finding Neverland, we met one of our former students at Grom, a gelato shop on Broadway.  All of their gelato flavors are now gluten free, but they are still in the process of adopting gluten free cones.

When I told the server that helped me that I had celiac, she took a cup and clean gelato scoops out of a cabinet behind the counter, but then she scooped my gelato out of the same containers everyone else was using.  I was disappointed, because I expected her to scoop my gelato from untouched containers, which is what I thought she told when we discussed their cross contamination protocols.  I chose two flavors - bacio (chocolate with hazelnut chips) and tiramisu with egg yolk, mascarpone cheese, espresso coffee, chocolate chips and Grom biscotti.  The gelato was good, but not as good as the gelato I recently tried at Vivoli Il Gelato in Downtown Disney.  

Grom gelato is worth a visit just to pick up a bag of their amazing gluten free chocolate biscotti.  I was expecting long, very crisp cookies, but Grom's biscotti are small, round, super rich, chocolaty cookies that weren't hard at all like traditional biscotti.  They were some of the best gluten free cookies I have ever had, and I am very sad I didn't buy several bags of them to bring home with me.

I have just one more blog post to write about our trip to New York City.  I needed a couple more days to dine at all the restaurants I really wanted to go to.  I guess we'll just have to go back some time soon.

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


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