Thursday, April 3, 2014

Talde (Park Slope)

I had heard through the grapevine (read: Twitter) that Talde was a gluten-free friendly spot, but didn't quite believe it. It's a seriously happening restaurant - on everyone's short list and always packed when I walk by - couldn't imagine they'd bother to deal with special dining requests. But, assured by a quick phone call that they could handle my GF needs, I decided to give it a shot one freezing Monday night.

I think the weather had scared away the usual crowds, so we were able to score a booth for two immediately. I informed our server, Lindsey, of my GF issues and she steered us through the safe menu items, of which there were many. Woman clearly knew the menu inside and out and had a firm grasp of gluten issues. Still, I am always nervous when trying a new place and it must have showed on my face because she actually made a special trip back just to say (paraphrasing): "Please don't worry. I will take care of everything." And she did.

Menu items are served family style, so was glad my dining partner was down to eat all GF. First two dishes up: brussels sprouts - in an incredible spicy sauce - and grilled calamari, with charred napa, pickled cranberries, and Chinese sausage. Both were fantastic.

Delicious *and* beautiful

Next, my new favorite thing: Korean fried chicken. Apparently, this is a trend that I've missed out on (damn you, celiac), but I'm in the know now. Talde serves theirs with a spicy kimchee yogurt sauce, mint, and grapes. The combo is spectacular.

The stuff dreams are made of

By this point, we were perfectly full and had forgotten about the whole roasted branzino we'd ordered! No picture to share of that one, but I highly recommend it.

Talde offers one dessert item which changes periodically. That evening it was a deconstructed apple pie, which contained doughnuts and other gluten-y components. They offered to modify the dessert for me, but I was in a blissed out food coma, with no need for dessert.

That meal was, by far, the best I've had in years. And Talde took such great care of gluten-free me. I was so pleased, I went back a week later for my birthday dinner and asked to be in Lindsey's section again. Since she already knew my food issues, was an easy, relaxed meal, with hardly a mention of my dietary issues.

Big thanks to everyone at Talde. I'll be back again - soon.

Talde is located at 369 7th Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11215. 

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