Gluten Free Family Style – Sambuca Serves Up Italian on the Upper West Side

If you are living gluten free then I am sure you have experienced the same look of horror and sympathy when people realize you can’t eat “normal” bread, pasta or beer. At least those are the first three things most people mourn for me. Well, Sambuca, a warm and friendly restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper West Side will satisfy all of your carb loving cravings. From appetizer to dessert, Sambuca has something to feed every aspect of your gluten free appetite.

Because the restaurant serves big family-style portions, you will get the most pleasure for your palate if your entire group opts to order from the gluten free menu. But don’t worry, even if you are the only gluten free diner in your group, Sambuca offers smaller portions of the gluten free dishes if needs be.

Even with a group of four eating gluten free I didn’t have enough room (or funds) to order all of my favorites. We started with the Sambuca Salad served with mixed greens, tomatoes, roasted red peppers, red onions, carrots, celery and olives with a balsamic vinaigrette. If you are with a bigger group, be sure to try their grilled portabella mushrooms.

The group decided on the Shrimp pasta with broccoli rabe, garlic and olive oil. This plate looked so good, the table next to us asked the waiter what it was, when the waiter responded “That’s the shrimp with a special gluten free pasta” and then proceeded to tell him about the ‘regular’ pastas. The gentleman responded “Well, whatever they are having looks great, bring me some of that!” What a wise man.

While the rest of my friends were served gluten filled bread, I received a gluten free roll. It’s not the best gluten free bread I’ve ever had, but the joy one feels when eating a warm, freshly-baked gluten free roll with a great Italian meal is beyond compare.

For our main course, I insisted on the Chicken Paillard. A light dish which packs a full-flavored punch, the grilled chicken breasts are topped with chopped tomatoes, arugula, fresh basil and red onion.

And a Southern Italian meal wouldn’t be complete without a big serving of sautéed peppers and onions.

If you haven’t completely over-indulged in the gluten free largess, your waiter will gladly bring you a homemade gluten free brownie sundae for dessert.
Sambuca 20 W 72nd St, New York 10023 Btwn CPW & Columbus Ave Phone: 212-787-5656


Kelly said...

Hey Cat,

Yeah...when we went the first time the rolls were excellent...then for some strange reason they changed them and now they are hockey pucks. *sigh*

Dianne said...

GF brownie sundae, I want a branch of that restaurant here!


Sheri said...

Looks wonderful! But I would probably have an issue going here - very bad experience with tha alcohol Sambuca (the black stuff - very nasty) in college LOL

Anonymous said...

Catherine, this looks amazing. I have been meaning to check out Sambuca for a while now. Thanks for posting such a great review.

Catherine said...

kelly - as my friend put it "hmm, it's not bad if I couldn't eat real bread, I would eat this"

Dianne - you are spoiled with gluten free choices in the UK - I always wish I was there (I guess the grass is always greener...)

Sheri - LOL, stick to their wine list!

Erin - maybe for the next meetup?