GF Friendly Restaurants, Travel

Gluten-Free Wedding Gift for Mack and Lizzy!

12 Comments 08 June 2011

Gluten-Free Wedding Gift for Mack and Lizzy!

This is a personal post for two very special people.  I’m using my blog to present it to them, because it’s the best way for Mack and Lizzy to truly understand their wedding gift from me. But I think my readers will enjoy it too, because it’s all about one of my greatest loves.

Mack isn’t just a cousin.  He’s like my baby brother, and I’m so excited to know that he has met the love of his life!  So Mack and Lizzy aren’t getting a gift off of their registry from me. Oh no, a china place setting isn’t going to do it.  Mack and Lizzy are going to dine.  And they are going to dine well.

Mack, like most of my family, is gluten intolerant.  And if there’s one person in our family who just might enjoy eating more than I do, it would be Mack.  So when I found out that Mack and Lizzy were going to be spending part of their honeymoon in New York City, a.k.a. Gluten-Free Paradise, I knew exactly what gift to give them.

Mack and Lizzy, I’m going to make a lot of suggestions, but there are two suggestions that aren’t suggestions at all.  They are mandatory.

Open envelope #1

You must have dinner at Pala Pizza in the Lower East Side.  There is no question about it. This isn’t just any pizza place that offers the option of a gluten-free crust.  This is a romantic bistro with street side tables that has a dedicated gluten-free oven!

Over the years, we’ve enjoyed such delicacies as

Risotto Balls

Fungata Pizza

Arrabbiata Pizza

Romana Pizza

And incredible desserts like

Chocolate ice cream on an almond flour cookie

Tortino al cioccolato, a flourless chocolate cake with almonds and English cream

But they also have great salads and gluten-free pasta options that will blow your mind.

Are you convinced?


Plan on it.

Open envelope #2

The other mandatory meal you must have when you’re in New York City is lunch at Risotteria.

Located in the Greenwich Village, this tiny little restaurant will surprise you with its gluten-free appetizers, salads, risotto, pizza, and paninis.  You’ll sit elbow to elbow with perfect strangers, at a table that has to be pulled out in order for you to sit behind it, but none of that will matter when they place gluten-free breadsticks on the table.  You don’t even have to ask if they are gluten-free.  They just always are.

Then you’ll have the hard part of deciding what to have for lunch.

Will it be pizza?

A panini?

It took me 7 years to finally order the Risotto that they are so famous for, because I always had to have their pizza and paninis.

And then there’s dessert.  Cupcakes, brownies, cookies, tiramisu, pound cake, carrot cake…

(This is my favorite Risotteria picture because of the guy in the background picking his nose.)

Make sure you leave plenty of room in your suitcase for all of the gluten-free mixes you are going to want to take home with you.

Stock up.  I always do.

Their mixes beat EVERY gluten-free mix you’ll ever try.


Open envelope #3

Now come the optional stops.

NYC has two gluten-free bakeries that are worth checking out.

Tu-lu’s Bakery is 100% gluten free and only about a mile walk east from Risotteria.

Everything we’ve ever tried has been wonderful.  And it’s air conditioned, which you’ll be glad for.

(Lizzy, there are some AWESOME vintage clothing stores all up and down that street!)

And then there’s Baby Cakes, which is a funky little bakery deep in the heart of the Lower East Side.

Your walk may remind you of your missions trip to China, Mack, as you walk right through Chinatown.  I seriously thought I was in another country on our way there.  First time I’d ever seen squid on the street.

But this quirky little bakery is worth the walk…or cab ride.  Not everything is gluten-free, but there are always plenty of gluten-free goodies to choose from.

Optional lunches and dinners also abound.

I know Mack likes Chinese food, so you could check out Lilli and Loo.  Their gluten-free menu is extensive, and their food is incredible.  Their sister restaurant, Lilli’s 57, is a little closer to your hotel, but we like the ambiance of Lilli and Loo better.

We love their sushi.

But if you’re not a sushi fan there are plenty of cooked dishes to chose from as well.

Bistango is a cute little Italian restaurant that reminds me of DaLuciano’s.  I almost kissed the waiter when he told me he could make ravioli gluten-free.

I know you’re planning on seeing several shows, so right around the corner from the Theater District are two great options for late night dining.  They are literally right next door to each other.

Five Napkin Burger has delicious burgers with gluten-free buns.  Make sure you ask about the sauces!

Nizza has a fabulous gluten-free menu.  If you order the pizza, keep in mind that it has a socca crust…delicious, but very different.  Their pasta options are awesome.

(Top pizza is gluteny, bottom one is the gluten-free socca.)

And you’ll probably wake up starving at 11am after late nights out and want a hearty breakfast.  On one of those mornings, you’ll have to go to Bloom’s Delicatessen.  (On the other mornings, you can eat the Risotteria cookies you meant to bring home.)

Yes, it’s greasy diner food, but they have a dedicated gluten-free fryer.  So you can have burgers with a gluten-free bun and french fries.  Or you could have breakfast like this:

or this

Gluten-free French Toast

Another great spot is Friedman’s Lunch at Chelsea Market.  It’s fun to walk the market, but Friedman’s has great gluten-free brunch, lunch, and dinner menus.

Southwestern Turkey Burger with Sweet Potato Fries
And you can walk the High Line for a unique perspective of the City.
And while I’m thinking of it, you MUST walk this.
The Brooklyn Bridge
The great thing about New York City is that you’ll find fresh fruit for snacks from street corner vendors.  And you could also head to the Farmer’s Market at Union Square.

Open Envelope #4

Cab fare.

Because you will get blisters, and sometimes you just won’t feel like arriving to dinner sweaty.

Congratulations to you both!  I’m so excited about being here for your wedding on Saturday, and I wish you both a wonderful gluten-free honeymoon and a happily ever after.

I love you!


Your Comments

12 Comments so far

  1. KarenP says:

    What an incredible gift! I can’t believe little Mack is getting married! Congratulations! :)

  2. Kati says:

    WOW! that’s awesome! what a terrific idea and a fantastic gift!

  3. Christine says:

    That is such a wonderful and thoughtful gift! Heck, it makes me want to go to New York just so I can have some of the food!

    • Heather says:

      Yes, many of my vacations are planned around food. I’m excited to have found some really healthy options in NYC this last trip. There’s a lot more available than just pizza now. :)

  4. AnnMarie says:

    Now I am hungry! All that food looked so AMAZING! and so GOOOOOOOOD!!!!! I may have to get to NYC to try all these out. . . . . ;o)

  5. Lauren says:

    Um, why weren’t you at my wedding? Great list, still cracking up about the guy picking his nose. gluten free bun at 5 napkin- you know more things about my city than I do. And Tulu’s jalapeno corn bread…perfection must try.

  6. Amanda says:

    what a great gift idea! those places look so amazing. I wish we had more options for gluten free restaurants in minneapolis.

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A Curious Girl in the Gluten-Free World

I'm a curious girl, wife, teacher, fitness fanatic, gluten-free foodie, high-raw vegan, and Mama Cat living in NYC. I've made the transition from baking and cooking gluten-free to creating raw vegan recipes that are naturally gluten free. My gluten intolerance opened up my diet to a whole new world of nutritious plant-based foods. While I'm not 100% vegan, it's my favorite way to eat, and making and sharing raw foods makes me giddy. Living in the City has its joys and challenges, and I enjoy sharing my experiences with you.

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