Happy Wednesday! As some of you know, I spent many of my weekends this summer in NYC visiting Ryan. Although we have our favorite restaurants that we always return to (Lili and Loo *cough cough*), we decided to try Risotteria, a restaurant that my friend with Celiac highly recommended. We are very glad we did! This restaurant is pretty unique and special to me because it is entirely gluten free.
Instead of having a separate menu, the entire menu is Celiac friendly. No more questions of “Is this actually gluten free?” or “Do you have a separate kitchen area for gluten free?” Just pure relaxation and enjoyment. Thus, Risotteria deserves its own blog post. Known as “NYC’s pioneer of gluten free cooking,” Risotteria is a MUST for celiacs! Update: 11/27/2015, Risotteria now carries non-gluten free options, which is very disappointing. However, they assured me that they still have separate areas for gluten free.
Risotteria: (http://www.risotteria.com) Located at Amsterdam Ave @ 78th street AND 270 Bleecker @ Morton. I have now been to both locations and cannot tell you how much I love this place. Note: no reservations are accepted!
Atmosphere: The restaurants are slightly different, just in regards to atmosphere. The Risotteria on Bleecker is MUCH smaller—so small that you the waiters have to move your table for you to get up. You can hear every word that anyone says and you can barely move your elbows. It is VERY crowded and if you come around dinnertime, you will have to wait, BUT it is so worth it!!!! However, the upper west side location is much more spacious and is brand new as of early summer 2015. It is conveniently located only a few blocks from the 1 train. The quality of food and menu options are the same at both locations, but I would opt for the Amsterdam Ave location personally. However, the service is very fast at both restaurants and everyone is so friendly.
Food (Entrees): Everything on the menu is gluten free so it is really nice to not have to worry about cross contamination!!! There were so many options to choose from—so naturally, I had to come back another time to try more. The minute you sit down, the waiters will bring you fresh right-out-of-the-oven gluten free breadsticks. Let me tell you, the breadsticks alone are worth making the trip to Risotteria. They are soft and flavorful—even a bit salty. The breadsticks come in a glass and are the type you break off pieces as you go. Did I mention that the breadsticks are unlimited?
Food (Dessert): Like the entrees, all of the desserts are 100% gluten free. Since my diagnosis in 2012, I have missed eclairs terribly—an old dessert tradition that my grandmother and I shared. Well, Risotteria has the best (well, they were my first and so far only) gluten free eclairs I have had! AMAZING!!!!! I also tried the gluten free chocolate chip pound cake, half moon cookie and a chocolate cupcake, which were good, but Tulu’s has better (see my previous posts about gluten free desserts in NYC for more info). Go for the éclair (pictured below)…just do it!
Downsides: Aside from the small size of the restaurant on Bleecker, the portions are rather small portions and pricey.
Upside: Everything is gluten free which means…NO cross contamination, NO annoyed waiters when you have to explain your condition, NO “Oh, that looks so good. Too bad it is not gluten free.”
My recommendation: Go early in the evening or late in the evening to avoid a wait but definitely GO! You will not regret it!!
**Please note that this review solely reflects my own honest opinion. I was neither paid nor compensated for my visit here.**