This summer I met my soul mate – Mark. Ok, so as not to get my Nana’s hopes up, let me clarify – I met my FOOD soul mate on my 30th birthday this July. My friend YuShan came to NYC for two weeks this summer for work. Lucky for me, her trip coincided with my birthday. She brought her good friend Mark to my celebrations. Turns out Mark and I went to high school together and both have been living in NYC since we graduated from college. While this was the first time our paths crossed in NY or CA, I knew I would love Mark when he gave me his unfinished cheese plate at Annisa.
It was during our second dining experience, at Savoy that I knew he was my food soul mate. He arrived at the restaurant with his camera in hand (to photograph our meal) and a bag of mangosteen for me. Mangosteen is a tropical fruit that I had never tried before. It wasn’t for any particular reason other than he knew that I love food and would enjoy trying something new.
Then the waiter came to tell us about the specials, I went through my ‘gluten-free spiel.’ Mark looked at the menu and said “Why don’t you pick dishes that you can eat and then we can share so we both get to taste more.” Then when the waiter brought bread for Mark he pushed it back with the reply “I don’t want you to have to worry about cross-contamination.” Wow! What more could I ask for?
Since that dinner, Mark has helped me paint my apartment, taken me rock climbing for the first time and accompanied me on many more gluten-free restaurant adventures in New York. He is always up for trying something new; we’ve experimented with sweetbreads, buffalo, stinky cheese and liver (though not together).
Back to the food – I highly recommend both Annisa and Savoy for special occasion gluten-free dining in Manhattan. While Annisa is an Asian-influenced restaurant (which can be tricky gluten-free territory), the chef was able to make a full selection of dishes for me without soy sauce.
The two appetizers we had a Savoy may be my favorite dishes of the summer. The caul fat sausage was so good, I almost cried when I went back for lunch and it wasn’t on the menu. Don’t be dissuaded from going to Savoy for lunch though, the menu is still great and very affordable – more along the lines of sister restaurant Back 40 in the East Village.
Both restaurants were very accommodating and knowledgeable about gluten-free dining needs. They made eating such a pleasure, gluten-free was merely a refinement rather than a restriction.
Address: 13 Barrow St
New York, NY 10014
Telephone: (212) 741-6699
Address: 70 Prince St
New York, NY 10012
Telephone: (212) 219-8570
Is there a restaurant or bakery you want me to check-out? A product you want me to review? Any other questions or feedback?
glutenguide at gmail [dot] com