Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Nice Matin

201 West 79th Street [Amsterdam Avenue]


Nice Matin is a traditional French style brasserie on the Upper West Side.  It is owned by the same individuals that own Nizza in midtown.  I had read that they have a very good gluten free menu so I was excited when we decided to go there for brunch last weekend.  We had to wait quite a while for a table but I think that is the norm for that part of town. 

When we sat down I inquired about their gluten free menu.  The waiter informed me that they do not in fact have a gluten free menu for breakfast but was very helpful in pointing out what dishes could be prepared gluten free.  I asked to see what their evening gluten free menu looked like just to get an idea of what was available.  

I noticed on their menu that they had hamburgers served on a gluten free hamburger bun.  One of my favorite breakfast foods is eggs benedict.  I don't get to enjoy them all that often but sitting at that lovely french brasserie I knew that is what I wanted.  I asked the waiter if I could get the eggs benedict served on a gluten free hamburger bun instead of an english muffin.  He looked at me a bit inquisitively and said he would have to ask the chef but thought it seemed possible.  

He quickly returned to our table and informed me that the chef said that he could definitely prepare my eggs benedict that way- success!  The food was wonderful.  The eggs were perfectly poached and the sauce was excellent.  The hamburger bun served as the perfect substitution.  My friend also ordered a gluten free dish (not intentionally).  He had eggs and asparagus served over polenta.  He said that it was also excellent.  

I very much enjoyed my visit to Nice Matin.  I am looking forward to going back for dinner and ordering from the entirely gluten free menu.  



overall experience: 

Friday, July 30, 2010

Corn Pesto Pasta

I found this recipe last week when I was looking for a quick and easy summer recipe.  I ended up making the pesto and serving it on a sandwich with bacon and lettuce kind of like mayo but this is what the recipe is actually intended for. 

Serves about 4- 6 people depending on how much pasta you make.
  • 6 pieces of turkey bacon cut into half inch sections
  • 4 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 6 large ears)
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 box gluten free penne
  • 9 fresh basil leaves chopped
Heat a pot of water. Take the bacon and chop it into the half inch sections.  Brown the bacon in a non stick pan until it is crunchy.  Remove bacon from the heat and place on a paper towel.  Take the same pan (if you are using low fat turkey bacon you will need to thinly coat the pan with a little olive oil) and place the corn and the garlic into the hot pan.  Stir until the corn has become golden brown.  Reserve 3/4 cup of the corn and take the remaining corn and place it in a food processor.  Put the lid on the food processor but leave the spout open so the hot air can escape while you are making the pesto.  Add in the olive oil, cheese, and pine nuts grinding until it is a paste like thickness.  Take your pasta and put it in the boiling water (follow cooking instructions on the box).  Chop the fresh basil.  When the pasta is done drain and place in a bowl.  Stir in the pesto, the remaining corn kernals, bacon, and basil and stir together.  Finish with salt and pepper to taste. 

I served this with an arugula salad topped with baked/ seasoned cannelloni beans and chopped apricots with a homemade vinaigrette.  It was the perfect summer dish.

** adapted from a recipe found on epicurious.com**


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Keste Pizza

271 Bleecker Street {between 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue}


Keste Pizzeria is located in the West Village across the street from every GF fans heaven, Risotteria.  I actually heard about Keste a couple of years ago because it was started by my dad's friend's old bread chef from his restaurant in Pittsburgh.  This gentleman moved to NYC and opened this fine establishment which has been a rave for years.  I of course thought I would never have the opportunity to taste his fine pizza, but thankfully I was wrong.

Several months ago, Keste added gluten free pizza to its menu on Mondays and Tuesdays.  I finally had a chance to try it this Monday.  I ending up buying two pies that were gluten filled for my roommates and two that were gluten free.  The gluten free selection is far more limited than the regular menu but the pizzas were excellent.  I ordered the marinara and the margherita pizzas.  The cheese was fresh and the sauce simple -- really the perfect authentic pizza.  The marinara had actual garlic cloves on top with fresh basil and the cheese on the margherita was perfectly toasted.  I had my gluten eating friends compare the two crusts and they said that they tasted very similar-- utterly delightful.

I ordered an amazing regular pizza that was made with butternut squash cream, artichokes, peppers, and smoke mozzarella which I wish was available gluten free but sadly it wasn't.  However, I have to say, if you are dining with a companion that has an unlimited diet on a Monday or Tuesday, this is definitely a great place to go.  I took the pizzas home but the restaurant itself is very cute so I do want to go back and eat in.

Even though it is limited, I really do appreciate the effort really masterful pizzerias are making in offering gluten free options.  It enables us to enjoy great food.  And with Keste, after you finish your great pizza you can still run across the street and get some gluten free carrot cake at Rissotteria.



overall experience: