A Gluten-Free Celebration Dinner at Mas (farmhouse)

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It’s a time of transition for me – a new site design, a new job, and I make my TV debut this week! While these aren’t as life changing as Shauna’s big announcement (congrats!), it provides a great opportunity to reminisce, to appreciate family and friends and to make plans for the future. It’s also an opportunity to celebrate. I asked a fellow food lover, Vanessa of Food Matters, if she would recommend any particular restaurants. I wanted a place with a great ambiance, spectacular food, and no worries about gluten. She suggested a few different places. I kept changing my mind and my plans – Gramercy Tavern, no – JoJo’s, no – let’s try Shorty’s .32, etc. My celebratory partner, David, joked that he could neither follow nor anticipate my mercurial gustatory desires.

At the last minute a reservation opened up at Mas (farmhouse). Now I was truly thrilled as both Vanessa and Sloane raved about their experiences at this cozy West Village restaurant. I didn’t take my camera or my notebook – no blogging about this meal – it was just meant to be an evening of pure celebration. The superb service and fabulous food forced me to alter my plans. From the moment we were seated everything was effortless. There was no need for detailed explanations of gluten or wheat; our server offered us bountiful options for the entire menu. Any necessary adjustments were gladly made. We opted for the four course tasting menu, making only a couple substitutions. We each chose different items for the courses, and since he was eating gluten-free as well, I was able to try EIGHT different courses. Now that is what I call a tasting menu! I started with a Chestnut Soup with toasted pumpkin seeds and amaranth; his starter was a Yellofin Tuna l’Occidental (minus the soy sauce) flashed with beurre noisette and crispy shallots. The soup was warm and hearty without being too heavy. The simple appearance of the tuna dish only hid a wealth of flavors unleashed with each successive bite.

The fish course was David’s highlight. Roasted Atlantic Cod with sweet onion marmalade, corn, potato and bacon “chowder” and Wild Striped Bass with Leek Fondue, celery root puree, stew of baby turnips and greens.

The fish was enjoyable but the next course plunged us into the delightful decadence that makes such nights memorable. I had the Duck Breast with Sauteed Brussels Sprouts and Duck Confit with medjool date and lemon compote. They had to leave out the farro that usually accompanies the dish in order to make it gluten-free, but this slight change did not detract from the constellation of flavors the dish offered. David was not quite as giddy about the duck as I was but this should not be viewed as a complaint by him rather it reflects more the height of my personal delight. His next course was a Roasted Bison Tenderloin with squash, glazed salsify and baby beets. On this one we both agreed as to the superb combination of flavors and textures.

For dessert there were only a few gluten-free options – a white chocolate mousse, a flourless chocolate cake (minus the cookie) with a gf hazelnut tuile, assorted sorbets, or a cheese plate. Dessert wasn’t why we went to Mas (farmhouse) though the cheese and the hazelnut tuile sent us off with most pleasant sensations.

Sometimes in a restaurant of such elegance and quality you might experience pretension — not so here — the entire night was pure pleasure and enjoyment. Kings and Queens can only hope to match our experience. To savor a delicious meal while wrapped in such a warm ambiance without any worries about gluten is truly a life pleasure. I highly recommend a visit to Mas (farmhouse) for your next celebration.

Mas (farmhouse)

Address: 39 Downing St, NY, NY 10014
At Bedford St
Phone: 212-255-1790

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