I love to cook, but I also REALLY enjoy eating out. Since eating out can be expensive, I can’t do it as much as I would like and I try to make each outing count. While budgets are a concern for almost everyone these days, the gluten-free diet adds an extra complication when eating out. It is true that I can order a plain piece of fish or chicken and steamed veggies at many restaurants, but getting flavorful and exciting dishes that are also gluten-free is more of a challenge. If I am going to fork over the cash for a meal – I want it to be a GOOD meal.
While I’ve employed the “Non’tree” technique featured in this SFGate article and Saturday Night Live, I don’t want to leave a restaurant with hunger pangs just because appetizers weren’t enough to satiate my rather considerable appetite.
There are many affordable restaurants in NYC, but not so many with a variety of gluten-free options. So recently I was absolutely delighted to make the discovery of Knife + Fork in New York’s East Village. This cozy restaurant on East Fourth Street is heavy on ambiance and offers food on a level equal to the top fine dining establishments at a fraction of the price. They offer a “theater special” – $35 for three courses before 7pm or $45 for a SIX COURSE Chef’s tasting menu at any time. While the individual dishes are still pretty pricey – $17-18 for appetizers and $27-28 for a main course, the tasting menus are practically a steal.
I kept my natural gluttonous inclination in check and ordered the three courses rather than partaking in the full six-course menu. I plan on making it back for the six courses soon.
The chef was able to adapt almost everything on the menu to be gluten-free if it wasn’t naturally.
The amuse bouche made with crème fraiche and butternut squash was the perfect way to start the meal.
The next dish to arrive at the table, scallops with crispy pancetta, white beans and an olive tapenade combined texture and rich flavors in an appetizer that wasn’t too heavy.
Our main was substantial and thoroughly satisfying – braised shortribs with greens, sweet potatoes, cauliflower puree and eggplant. My photo doesn’t do justice to the presentation.
You would think I would have a difficult time eating dessert after all of those dishes, but I did somehow manage to clean my plate of the warm chocolate fondant with ice cream. The sacrifices I make!
It’s difficult to pick my favorite course because each individual dish would have been a standout on its own – all in one meal — and it becomes almost an embarrassment of riches. The menu changes frequently, but you will surely find something to please your palate.
The Chef, Damien Brassel, is also hosting cooking classes on Sunday’s, according to a posting on Facebook “Private, hands-on Irish brunch cooking classes on Sundays at Knife + Fork for parties of 12-14 people. The restaurant will be reserved for the group, allowing guests to get in the kitchen and then sit-down to enjoy their creations. Recipes will be provided. Fee is $75 per person. For reservations, call 212.228.4885” I emailed to find out if they could accommodate gluten-free cooking classes and the answer was ‘absolutely yes.’ Since I love cooking classes and the classes at ICE cost upwards of $95, this is yet another great alternative for me.
I feel so lucky to live in NYC sometimes and am particularly proud of my country today. Happy Inauguration Day!
Knife + Fork
Address: 108 East 4th Street, NY, NY
Phone: 212-228-4885Tweet Pin It
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