Happy Thursday! I returned from a lovely trip to NYC last weekend for the nice long weekend and tried several new places–I can’t wait to share with you all. And the first review will be of….Mariella , located at 492 6th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. Convenient from the F train. Ryan actually picked this restaurant for lunch on our way to Coney Island–Sadly there were a million subway delays, turning a 30-40 minute transit ride to over 2.5 hours, and a huge storm hit so we didn’t make it to Coney Island, but the travel was worth it for this lunch!
We made it to Mariella as it started to sprinkle so we sat inside (lucky for us as it downpoured within minutes of us arriving!). However, there is a lovely patio area outside with tables for enjoying the (usually) beautiful Brooklyn weather. The restaurant is very simple yet elegant. Upon entering the restaurant, I immediately spoke to the server about celiac disease. My first clue that this restaurant is great was when I started saying “I have celiac disease…” and was met with “So cross contamination is a concern for you? No worries, we use different pots with fresh water and all of our sauces are gluten free! We take celiac very seriously here.” A sigh of relief that the first thing out of her mouth was addressing cross contamination.
But wait..it gets better. As we were seated, our server turned to Ryan and asked, “Would you like bread? It is not gluten free so I did not bring it over automatically.” Ryan politely declined as we did not want any risk of cross contamination. Although I did appreciate her asking Ryan if he wanted any, since we had only mentioned that I have celiac. I TRULY APPRECIATE SOMEONE NOT SHOVING BREAD IN MY FACE WHEN I SIT DOWN. SOMEONE RECOGNIZING THAT IF YOU ORDER GLUTEN FREE YOU CANNOT EAT THE GLUTEN CONTAINING BREAD BASKET. As crazy as it seems, my biggest pet peeve is when servers *after telling them you have celiac and need gluten free* bring a whopping basket of bread and put it right in front of you, carrying it over the water, basket brushing the utensils. And I start to panic….what if crumbs fell in my water? Did it touch my knife? Do I need a new knife? Why would you bring us gluten containing bread when I say I have celiac? So kudos to Mariella!!!
Now onto the options..every pasta dish can be made gluten free. They carry a corn
penne pasta, which can be substituted for any dish–obviously, your tortellini will be replaced with penne. All sauces are gluten free. Ryan and I settled on two specials that were made gluten free so we could share.
I ordered the Pappardelle with mixed wild mushrooms & truffle oil (see the photo!). Now, let me start by saying that this was the best gluten free pasta dish I have had in NYC. The flavor of the sauce and herbs was incredible. My dish had lots of mushrooms and the sauce was divine and not too thick or creamy. It was a rich dish and the truffle oil was prominent–which I loved. Mine was also vegetarian.
Ryan ordered the gluten free gnocchi (substituted with penne!) with beef short ribs ragu and ricotta cheese (see other photo). His sauce was a bit sweet and not acidic at all. Red sauce bothers my stomach so I avoid ordering it, but once I tasted this dish, I couldn’t stop eating it! It lacked the acidity that aggravates my stomach. The beef was so tender and full of flavor. The beef was cut up into tiny bit size pieces so it was very easy to get a bite of beef with every forkful of penne. The ricotta really added to the dish too.
Only criticism of the main meal…1) Wish gluten free bread was offered because it would be perfect to soak up the remaining bits of delicious sauce so I could have savored it all. 2) Portion size…I was still a bit hungry after this meal so I wish that the sizes were bigger. But that did leave room for dessert!
Which brings me to dessert. Mariella has several gluten free dessert options. Although
I contemplated getting the panna cotta, I ended up splitting this lovely dessert (see photo!) with Ryan. These hard chocolate shells contain half vanilla and half chocolate ice cream, with the flavors separated from each other by a cherry and almonds. A light chocolate drizzle on top. Now, I usually hate nuts, but these were easy to pick around and there weren’t that many so I was fine. Still dreaming of this dessert.
Almost forgot to mention! All produce is purchased from LOCAL, SUSTAINABLY SOURCED farmers. All animal products are also ORGANIC.
Would I return? In a heartbeat. In fact, Ry and I will probably make Mariella our go-to for Coney Island days. The service was incredibly fast and friendly and the staff was celiac knowledgable. I loved having so many options!!
Stay tuned for the more NYC reviews (and Italy and Greece and Switzerland and Iceland….I have a lot to catch you all up on!)
**Please note that this review solely reflects my own honest opinion. I was neither paid nor compensated for my visit here. Also, kitchen protocols and menus can change at any time. Make sure to speak to the staff at any restaurant before eating to make sure that they can accommodate your dietary restriction.**