A Gluten-Free Safe Haven

Happy New Year! Hope everyone enjoyed their holidays! Last week, my parents and I took a post-Christmas day trip to NYC to hang out with all of the lingering tourists. While in the Big Apple, we checked out the oversized Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center and saw the Rockettes perform an awesome show at Radio City Music Hall.

After the show, I dragged my non-celiac (but super supportive) parents to a 100% gluten-free restaurant in Greenwich Village called Senza Gluten. I had read amazing things about this restaurant from fellow celiacs on their Instagram posts, and there’s no way I could pass up the opportunity to check it out while I was in New York.

We got there kind of early for dinner, and there was only one other table of people in the restaurant at the time, but it definitely filled up quickly. The ambience was cute and rustic and still decorated for Christmas, which created a warm and cozy feel. We started our meal off with a breaded cauliflower appetizer, which resembled cauliflower parmesan minus the pasta. I’ve never had anything like it before, and it was really tasty. The GF breadcrumbs that they used to coat the cauliflower tasted normal—no funky aftertaste, which was nice.  We all enjoyed this dish, and my parents also split the “Mista” salad, which consisted of mixed greens, grape tomatoes, and avocado with balsamic dressing, and they both really liked it. We were also served GF bread with olive oil, which was definitely appreciated! A lot of times when I order off GF menus at restaurants while dining with non-GF friends, they will bring out one regular bread basket for the table and I’ll just have to watch my friends devour a loaf of bread. So, this was definitely a refreshing change!

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For my main course, I literally wanted to order everything on the menu but went with the butternut squash ravioli in a brown butter and sage sauce, which was a special on their holiday menu. I thought my meal was really delicious and full of flavor. Plus, it was nice to be able to order pasta at a restaurant and not have to worry about any cross-contamination in the kitchen. My parents seemed to enjoy their meals but weren’t overly impressed with their choices. My mom ordered grilled chicken breast with grilled vegetables and roasted garlic mashed potatoes. I sampled her grilled veggies and thought they were good, but she didn’t love her grilled chicken and said her mashed potatoes were cold. My dad ordered the chicken parmesan and liked it, but he didn’t think it was anything special for the price he was paying. I sampled his dish and kind of agreed with him. Don’t get me wrong—it was good, just not amazing. I definitely chose the best entrée out of the three of us and quickly scarfed down every bite.

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We were all too full for dessert, but the desserts sounded amazing and curiosity got the best of us. We ended up splitting tiramisu and profiteroles, which were both definitely a highlight of the meal for all of us! The tiramisu was honestly one of the best I’ve ever tasted! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. My mom thoroughly enjoyed the profiteroles and couldn’t tell that they were gluten free! (FYI, sorry for the poor quality of dessert pictures. By the time we ordered dessert, they had dimmed the lights and we were eating by candlelight. I felt awkward using the flash to take the pictures since it was so dark in the restaurant, and I didn’t want to draw attention to myself or disrupt anyone’s meal. So, the alternative was my mom shining her iPhone flashlight on the desserts while I snapped these pics. Yep, that actually happened.)

Overall, I had a great experience! It was comforting to not have to stress about whether or not my food was safe while dining out. Plus, I enjoyed everything that I ordered! My parents enjoyed the majority of their meals, and although it wasn’t their most favorite Italian food ever, they both agreed that they would definitely come back to the restaurant, if I suggested it again. I will definitely suggest it again!  Btw their brunch menu also looks incredible, and I would love to try it!

Cheers to more delicious gluten-free finds in 2017!

~Lauren~

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