I was a regular customer at this charming Italian restaurant in Manhattan’s midtown east before ever hearing the term gluten. Now that I have Celiac disease and eat at restaurants that can accommodate my gluten free needs, Bistango is still one of my favorites. It is a small trattoria-style restaurant with a wonderful owner who knows his regulars and greets them with joy. One of the best things about Bistango is the ambiance.
You can make a reservation for large or small groups even though it’s not a huge restaurant. They are part of the Gluten Free Restaurant Awareness Program. While they used to have a gluten free menu, the owner recently changed the kitchen so that virtually anything on the menu can be adapted to be gluten free.
Everyone who dines at Bistango is served bruschetta. Tell any one of their staff that you are eating “gluten free” and you will be served your bruschetta on a piece of fresh radicchio. No awkward explanation is necessary, your needs are immediately accommodated. The food is wonderful but the environment and experience of eating gluten free at Bistango is truly unparalleled.
When you are eating gluten free it’s always a luxury to have more choices than you could possibly consume at one sitting. Broccoli rabe sautéed with garlic and their insalata tropicale with avocadoes, shaved romano and hearts of palm sated my palate this visit.
I am always amazed when I can order gluten free pasta at an Italian restaurant now. The only part of their menu that is truly off limits is the Pizza. They are happy to adjust any of their other dishes.
Some of my favorites are the Mussels with white wine sauce, the Salsiccia with Broccoli Rabe, Il Cantinone appetizer with prosciutto, roasted peppers, fresh mozzarella and tomatoes, Funghi Tre Follati – cremini, portabello and shiitake mushrooms sautéed with garlic and olive oil. And I haven’t even started on the pasta or main courses that will surely delight gluten and gluten free palates alike.
It’s times like these that I am glad I live in New York with it’s incredible options for delicious gluten free dining.
Bistango 415 3rd Ave, New York 10016 At 29th St Phone: 212-725-8484