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Monday, December 31, 2007

Risotteria

Risotteria

There’s simply no expressing the glee I feel when I walk into a restaurant and see gf all down the menu. I know that there is no way to express it, because Monica and I spent nearly our entire meal at Risotteria blathering to Gabe how great it was to be in this extraordinary place. The other part of the meal we spent exulting and exclaiming.

Gluten-free breadsticks! Gluten-free beer! (A honey beer from upstate New York, slightly carbonated, which was disconcerting. It didn’t taste anything like the thick IPAs I used to drink or micro-brews I loved. But it was beer, and I was drinking it.) Gluten-free pizza!

Risotteria is what it sounds like: a risotto restaurant. And much more.

Slim in size, so that you have to sidle to your table, this restaurant had every table filled, with people waiting three deep, the night I went to visit. And every table had at least one gluten-free customer, beaming, savoring her meal even more because she knew she was going to be well by the end of it.

The women who had the table before us were in their 60s, two of them gluten-free, and all of them celebrating. “You won’t believe how good it is,” one of them said, as they passed us. “It’s my birthday, and I knew this was the only place I wanted to go.” We three wished her a happy birthday, then dove for the corner table they had just left.

And then, something transpired that hasn’t happened to me in a long time in a restaurant: I had to look at the menu for five minutes before I knew what I wanted. Not because I couldn’t find anything that could be gluten-free, but because I had such a plethora of choices. Did I want a pesto-mozzarella panini on rice-flour bread? A pizza with anchovies? A spinach salad with goat cheese? Risotto with porcini mushrooms and gruyere?

In the end, we ordered a pizza, a pesto risotto, and a spinach salad for the table, and split them three ways. Gabe thought the food tasted fine -- then again, his parents had been in town for the week and had taken him places like Prune for dinner every night, so his taste buds were elevated -- but he clearly didn’t quite understand why we were so excited.

We didn’t need him to understand, Monica and I. We were in gluten-free heaven.

And then we had the carrot cake, which made us rise even higher.

Risotteria
270 Bleeker Street
212.924.6664

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My partner and I, both gluten-free, experienced the same elation at eating here. OH MY that was good. So good, in fact, that we went back a second time - and got a pizza to go for the next meal. We really enjoyed it. Thanks for including it on your list!
Great new website, too! very excited for you!

June 27, 2008 at 8:08 AM  
Blogger Rachael said...

Shauna,

I love this addition to your already wonderful site. I have been gluten free for about a year now and have never felt better. Your site has helped me discover new tools, and new restaurants! I live in New York City and was dying to try out Risotteria. Whenever anyone asked me what I missed being gluten free, I always said Pizza. Eating at Risotteria was heaven, and so delicious. It really is wonderful that places like these can cater to us for once!

Thanks again for all your hard work.

June 27, 2008 at 12:42 PM  
Blogger Liz.a.davenport@gmail.com said...

I live on the UWS and was diagnosed in November 2008. This is one of my absolute favorite restaurants in all of New York.

November 19, 2010 at 2:38 PM  

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