Gluten-Free Restaurants NYC: ALTA in the West Village

web Gluten Free Restaurants NYC Alta montage
This summer a friend recommended a restaurant in the West Village called Alta.  It’s a Mediterranean tapas restaurant.  It wasn’t noteworthy in the ‘gluten-free community’ – but the menu looked great and seemed pretty ‘gluten-free friendly.’  It tends to be crowded but my friend and I were able to squeeze in to two seats at the bar on my first visit. I started my gluten-free spiel with the bartender and he stopped me mid-sentence and went to retrieve something from the back.  When he returned, he held in his hand a gluten-free menu.  I couldn’t believe it – I had a plethora of options without reviewing every dish with him.  Since that first visit this summer, I’ve been back at least 5 times.

I have a few favorite dishes – going with a group is great because you can try so many more, but a few visits with just 2 people will get you on your way.

The tuna tartare with hearts of palm and macadamia nuts combines a range of textures from soft to chewy to crunchy with subtle flavors in a light small plate.

I’ve introduced avowed Brussels sprouts haters to Alta’s Brussels sprouts with Fuji apples, crème fraiche and pistachios. I always have to fight them for the last spoonfuls.

The mussels with lobster broth are just a little bit spicy.  As a seasoned diner, I’ve learned to ask the server for a spoon so as not to let all that delicious soup to go to waste (you can only scoop up so much with the shells).
web Gluten Free Restaurants NYC Alta
The wok-seared calamari with jalapenos, almonds, garlic chips and haricot vert  dish combines more flavors than most grilled calamari dishes I’ve enjoyed at restaurants.

Bacon wrapped dates and olives stuffed with almonds – I think that dish pretty much speaks for itself and at less than $5, they are worth every penny.

A whole dish of Marcona Almonds for $3 – I think that’s less than they cost at Whole Foods.

If you still have room for sweets after all of your savory indulgences, I’ve had their chocolate fondue with fruit instead of cookies.  It’s rich and delicious and I love having gluten-free dessert options other than sorbet. (Though I’ve also been known to head 2 blocks south to Otto for a cheese plate or olive oil gelato for dessert.  ) If you really need a cookie, cake or other dessert options – Risotteria, Gus’s Place and Sacred Chow are all within walking distance.  The West Village is becoming a gluten-free restaurant haven rivaling the Murray Hill nexus of Bistango, Rice, and Blue Smoke.

Restaurant: ALTA
Address: 64 W. 10th St., New York, NY 10011
nr. Sixth Ave
Phone: 212-505-7777

Reservations are a must for Saturday nights but I’ve been able to get in early on weeknights without much trouble.

Note: they only take cash and American Express.

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mondschein.us said,

March 2, 2009 @ 2:53 pm

I’ve visited Alta a couple of times. On my first visit, the waiter took the menu to the chef, who marked GF eligible items by hand. That was short-lived, since their menu changes periodically. It’s that kind of service which keeps me coming back. Glad to know they’re addressing GF in advance these days!

H.Peter said,

March 5, 2009 @ 10:56 pm

STOP! STOP! STOP!
The rest of the continent is getting GF Resto envy big time.
I know I need to go to Newe York and print out your Blog.

A Gluten-Free Guide said,

March 8, 2009 @ 8:10 pm

Mondshein- thanks for paving the way!

H.Peter – you definitely need to come take a culinary tour of NYC!

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