Monday, August 12, 2013


You know Risotteria, yes? They've been feeding gluten-free folks in NYC for at least as long as I've been GF - over 11 years. When I was first diagnosed, Risotteria was THE spot I made a beeline for when I visited NYC from upstate. Such a tiny restaurant - just 20 seats - off a narrow side street in the West Village. It's often tough to get a seat, so I try to go during off hours, for a very late lunch or an early bird dinner. During a recent week off during a heat wave, a friend and I did that luxurious thing known as a weekday matinee (Landmark Sunshine - one of my top three) followed by a 3pm lunch at Risotteria. Even then, it was still busy, but we snagged one of the last tables.

You've perhaps heard about the warm gluten-free breadsticks they plunk down on every table - and refill as needed. Would love to show you a pic, but I ate them all before thinking! Chewy and warm, with sea salt on the outside, they are fabulous. I usually get the thin crust pizza or risotto for my entree, but saw Sicilian pizza on the menu and got so excited. I grew up in Brooklyn and miss my Sicilian squares!

Alas, what arrived bore no resemblance to what the rest of NYC considers a Sicilian pie. It was a round slab of bread, the texture of a GF sandwich bun, with no discernible pizza crust, topped with tomato sauce and a thick blob of mozzarella. The sauce had already made the bread soggy. I should have sent it back - truly, it was that bad - but was so very hungry. So at least learn from my mistake and order the regular pizza (thin crust and delicious) or what my dining companion had:

Thankfully, Risotteria is, in fact, really (really) good at making risotto. They also make amazing GF baked goods. I have made a 20 minute detour to the West Village for one of their old school black and white cookies alone. They also make pies, cakes, and even GF knock-off versions of Twinkies and cake-style Oreos.

Before you settle up your check, be sure to check out the frozen to-go items under the counter. Soups, doughs, entrees, treats, and more are available to take home.

Risotteria is located at 270 Bleecker St. between Morton and Cornelia Sts. 

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