Senza Gluten (http://senzaglutennyc.com) located at 206 Sullivan Street is an entirely 100% gluten free Italian restaurant. Without carrying any gluten containing products, this restaurant makes a safe environment for those with gluten allergies or Celiac Disease. Yes, you read that correctly: 100% GLUTEN FREE! How cool is that?! Important to note: this restaurant is CASH or American Express ONLY and their prices are definitely not cheap! Keep that in mind and prepare ahead.
Location & Atmosphere: Senza Gluten is conveniently located in lower Manhattan, boasting a very warm and friendly décor. The place was very decorated for Christmas time, which I loved. The space itself was on the smaller side so I would recommend making reservations or you may be left with a long wait as this restaurant is super popular. You can easily make reservations online through their website.
Menu: HUGE selection on both the lunch and dinner menu! Keep in mind that their options and prices for lunch and dinner vary greatly. We went for lunch in order to try more things plus they offer pizzas and sandwiches at lunchtime that are not offered at dinner. Unfortunately, after being seated, we were informed that Senza Gluten would not be offering their lunch menu for an undisclosed amount of time—the waitress thought maybe after the holidays they would bring it back but was not sure? I double-checked their facebook, official website, and twitter pages and there was no mention of removing their lunch option. This was extremely disappointing as we had hoped to try their famous pizzas, which are not on their dinner menu. With their cash only policy, we had only allotted for lunch and dessert—with the surge in dinner prices (almost double the lunch prices), we realized we did not take out enough cash to also have dessert, which is a shame since their desserts are supposed to be perfection!!! I must admit I was a bit annoyed that this change in menu was not advertised at all…but I was still eager to try a meal here.
Side note: For vegetarian and vegan individuals, they are happy to accommodate your needs! Vegetarian options are marked on the menu. Vegan can be accommodated as well. YAY!
Our entrees: We were served a free basket of bread, which was delicious!! We were given four small pieces and I craved more. So soft and fluffy—even Ryan thought it tasted like “normal” bread. I ordered the Pollo alla Parmigiana ($26, normally $16 on their lunch menu, not found on their dinner menu, but was a Christmas special). This breaded chicken came with gluten free spaghetti. The chicken was a decent sized portion but was mostly breading. As I have visited multiple Italian restaurants in NYC with gluten free offerings, I had other meals to compare this one to: this pollo alla parmigiana tasted too much like corn, which was disappointing. After finishing it, I was still hungry for dessert.
From a non-gluten free perspective: Usually when Ryan and I eat out, he eats gluten free to avoid me accidently getting glutened from him. Therefore, I deem Ryan the “judge of gluten free cooking from a non-gluten free person perspective.” Ryan settled on the penne al pomodoro ($17.00). His was definitely on the much smaller size and should have been a lunch special rather than dinner special. He was very hungry afterwards. I tried some of his and it was okay. Nothing special. He said he would not be ordering this dish again.
Summary: Would we return? Yes, for sure. We would LOVE to try their lunch menu and their desserts. BUT we would definitely skip the dinner menu here, too expensive for amount of food you get. We ended up going somewhere else for dessert because we were still hungry after our “dinner portion” lunch meals. I wanted to LOVE this place! I mean LOVE IT!! 100% gluten free, tons of options….but really, the quality and quantity of the food stopped me from immediately exclaiming praise. HOWEVER, this food is completely safe for celiacs and those with gluten allergies, so I enjoyed my meal—no worries about cross contamination plus so many options. I cannot begin to describe how nice it was to be able to pick anything off the menu I wanted and for celiac disease to be treated with respect. I appreciated how this restaurant is founded on being 100% gluten free. I can’t wait to try their lunch menu, if it returns. This is a must try for Celiac disease/gluten allergies as it is safe with lots of options.
What were your experiences at Senza Gluten? Any menu item that you would recommend?
**Please note that this review solely reflects my own honest opinion. I was neither paid nor compensated for my visit here. All photos were taken and are owned by me (Paige, Gluten Free and Glittery)**