Gluten Free in the city (not for the fad diet, but because I miss eating out)
Hello! Relatively new poster on the board, but long time reader. So thanks in advance for helping introduce me to the food culture if the city!
About a month ago, after some pretty severe reactions, my doctor put me on a strict gluten-free diet. He told me it was extremely important to avoid gluten--even in the most trace amounts--to avoid any further intestinal damage and neurological scares. Needless to say, I am avoiding the stuff for a reason. Believe me, passing by Murray's every day is killing me!
I have been scared to go out for fear of cross-contamination, etc. I know Grey Dog is a good option, and Chipotle's rice bowls work, but I am at a loss for eating out. Even non-gluten-free soy sauce can set off a reaction, so I need to be very careful.
Any other options? Price isn't too big of a deal, as I will just be happy to go out! Thank you!
I've dated a woman with Celiac disease, so I have a lot of experience with this.
Any fairly top-level restaurant* should be more than competent at handling this problem. Now that it's become a popular issue, most mid-level restaurants are OK at it, too.
Except at the very top level (where they usually have gluten-free versions available), avoid cuisines that are heavily based on glutenous ingredients (such as Italian).
Not that you'd go there every day, but to us Per Se has led the pack in accommodating Celiacs. But most good restaurants can. My Celiac friend and I rarely have any problems eating out together these days.
It used to be required that you tell them of your dietary limitations when you made a reservation. Now, I'd say it's not required, but recommended.
* The kind that used to be at the three-star NYT level, back when NYT stars denoted more objective evaluations of things like service levels than just how much the reviewer liked the restaurant.
I think you would love Hu Kitchen. It's supposed to be more Paleo/Primal but almost everything there is gluten free anyway.
Have you tried doing a search on here? Lots of past threads have covered good options... search for "gluten free" and "celiac" as well as "atkins" and "paleo" since people on those special diets are often avoiding bread/etc. as well.
If you are really concerned about cross contamination than I think upscale places would be better. Given the number of people will allergies that dine out nowadays, places like those run by Danny Meyer will definitely take you seriously. Example: Blue Smoke
I know that Keste has gluten free pizza and uses a different oven than the normal. Smac and Otto (and probably others) have gluten free pasta.
Have you checked out the celiacchicks.com site?
Any gluten-free search will probably uncover Risotteria (on Bleecker St.). Mostly pizza and beer -- and breadsticks. There is a take-out area where they sell gluten-free items including baking mixes.
There is a store that sells gluten-free items on West 85th St. east of Columbus Ave.
In general, it's gotten much easier to find gluten-free food, both in restaurants and in food stores. Good luck with the diet!