by Melissa Kravitz
|Fictional Doctor Mindy Lahiri loves gluten. --credit|
Gluten is my favorite food. I indulge in a bowl of pasta multiple times a day and "Midnight Spaghetti" is not a rare occurrence in my house. However, the prevalence of Celiac disease and gluten intolerance has inspired chefs to make gluten-free pastas and other carboholic dishes that don't feel like they're lacking any ingredients –– even for real gluten lovers. Whether you have to be, or choose to be gluten free, NYC offers plenty of choices.
Gluten-free fans of Crumbs cupcakes are in luck: the national bakery chain recently opened a completely gluten-free location at 37 E 8th St in Greenwich Village. This Crumbs features the same cupcakes, cookies, brownies, and pastries that the brand is known for in totally gluten-free versions. This new assortment is baked at a completely gluten and peanut-free bakery and delivered fresh daily to the store along with gluten-free breads, quiches, pies, tarts and more. Cupcakes start at $4.50.
|Crumbs has cupcakes for all occasions! --credit|
Risotteria specializes in gluten-free Italian fare, a difficult feat for a pasta and pizza-centric cuisine. The cozy West Village eatery cooks up both vegetarian and meaty risottos, both wonderfully creamy and packed with fresh vegetables, seafoods, and quality meats. Each day of the week features a risotto specialty, with favorites like Four Cheese on Monday and Calamari on Tuesday. Gluten-free bread, pizzettes, and baked goods to go are also available.
|Risotteria provides a comforting and classy gluten-free meal. --credit|
The Upper East Side's Candle 79 is known as NYC's vegan oasis, but they also specialize in gluten-free foods. The organic, sustainable, restaurant has an entirely separate seasonal gluten-free menu featuring items like vegetable nori rolls with pickled ginger and avocado wasabi, salads like grilled kale with haricots verts and beluga lentils, a daily pasta dish, and stellar entrees like the chanterelle-crusted tofu served with roasted Brussels sprouts, cranberries, shallots, almonds, and truffled celeriac puree. You won't even notice you're missing the meat! (Or the cheese. Or the gluten.)
|Pomegranate chipotle grilled tempeh is a gluten-free seasonal favorite --credit|
Aliens eat free, and people can eat gluten free at Siggy's Good Food in both Brooklyn Heights and SoHo. The 100 percent organic restaurant prides themselves on their handmade gluten-free burgers and also serve an impressive range of fresh salads, soups made from scratch, a gluten-free pasta bowl, and a noodle-less vegetarian lasagna, among other healthy and flavorful options.
|Gluten-free pasta with artichokes and pine nuts at Siggy's --credit|
Bistango is an authentic Italian restaurant renowned for its gluten-free options. Their homemade pastas, stuffed pastas, and desserts are so much better than some glutenless dried product that tastes like the box it came in, and even "regular" customers (those without gluten intolerance or allergies) will sometimes still opt for the tasty gluten-free recipes. Gluten-free bread and beer are also available; add more carbs alongside your ravioli, followed by cake for dessert.
|Bistango's gluten-free butternut squash ravioli --credit|
Whether you're gluten free forever or trying a new diet, you can dine well and without gluten in New York.
Did you know that an estimated 3 million Americans have celiac disease, and an estimated 18 million Americans have non-celiac gluten sensitivity? More than 30 percent of Americans are avoiding or eliminating gluten from their diets.
The National Foundation of Celiac Awareness (NFCA) uses empowerment, education, and advocacy to improve the quality of life for those on a lifelong gluten-free diet. Their Great Kitchens program trains chefs to deal with gluten intolerance and allergies by avoiding cross-contamination of kitchen tools and foods, yet create delicious gluten-free meals without sacrificing flavor.
According to Alice Bast, president of the NFCA, "While some diners opt for gluten-free meals as a healthy lifestyle preference, those with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity seek gluten-free meals out of medical necessity."
To learn more about the gluten-free lifestyle, visit www.celiaccentral.org, Facebook.com/nfceliacawareness, or @CeliacAwareness on Twitter.