Very Constrained Diet visiting Union Square
So my mom's coming to visit me tomorrow and despite her limitations I'd really like to take her out to a restaurant. However, her stomach isn't what it used to be and her constraints include:
No gluten (wheat)
No lactose (milk, butter)
Nothing remotely spicy
No sulfites (wine sauces)
And clearly, no joy, because she leads a very sad gastronomic life. She's good with rice, potatoes, most vegetables, and meat. Anyone with any suggestions on a restaurant around Union Square that isn't very pricey that could cater to her needs? There are of course salad and sushi places, but I wanted to do something a little more dinnery than that. Thanks!
a few options. you can go to Blue Water Grill and get simply grilled seafood and a vegetable or salad. or there is Pure Food and Wine - there may be some soy on the menu, but because it is raw vegan they should be sensitive about ingredients and pointing out things she cannot eat. Shaffer's City is on 21st between 5th and 6th and should also be able to accomodate her dietary issues. have fun!
At Pure Food and Wine, the only thing worth ordering, in my view, is the sensational lasagna. It's layered vegetables (no pasta), and the "sauce," as I understand it, is composed of nuts. Since the restaurant is vegan, there won't be any milk or butter But, of course, you would have to be sure there isn't any soy. If you do go and the weather is conducive, the back garden is beautiful.
Barbounia, on the corner of Park Av. S. & 20th St., serves very good Mediterranean cuisine. They do a fine job with whole grilled fish. Grilled lamb chops are also on the menu. Service is excellent, the huge space has attractive decor, and the vibe is upbeat.
Angelo & Maxie's is on the corner of Park Av. S. & 19th St. Not the best steaks in the world but certainly decent. A salad + a baked or sweet potato and your Mom can have a pretty tasty meal. The only drawback might be the noise level, which can get pretty high.
Take her to Porcao...it's a Brazilian Churrascuria with fantastic meats, fish and poultry and an array of sides, including veggies, potatoes and rice. It's a fun and lively place.
While rodizios like Porcao and Churrascaria Plataforma may work for your mother's dietary needs, they are much, much more fun to do with a group than with only two people. Just my view, of course....
I'm not a fan of Zen Palate at all, i think the food used to be good years ago, but it has gone way downhill, and is bland and not prepared well. but I was also going to mention that if it is a place you are interested in you should check the menu, because as kelea mentiones most of their menu items are either made with soy or wheat gluten in some form or another.
how bout this for an idea. a voce, which i consider to be a top restaurant in nyc, was so incredibly accomodating to my mother who shares the same issues as your mom. the chef will work it out for you just tell them your restrictions. there is a great waiter. i remember he told us he lives in staten island and comes to manhattan to work at a voce. he is incredibly kind, patient and seems to really like his job. ask for him and they will know who you are talking about. report back and let me kow...you don't have to compromise when a well-known, foodie spot is willing to work with you...
Try Risotteria on Bleeker, between 6th and 7th (within walking distance of Union Square for a healthy person). They have excellent gluten-free, dairy-free risottos and pizzas. I'd check to make sure that the risotto is wine free. I think most of them are. It's inexpensive and casual, more cafe / bistro than restaurant.
Gus's Place (Greek) in the Village is also very conscientious about gluten and would probably make everything to order sans dairy, wine and soy. It's a semi-casual, white table cloth restaurant.
Flor's Kitchen has 100% corn-based arepas and most fillings are dairy-free. You may have to ask about hidden soy in the sauces.
This isn't *that* restrictive of a diet!