A doctor ordered ban on gluten to calm an auto-immune condition has left me jonesing for pizza! Sure, there are plenty of options in the frozen food section (see our recent blog post). But frozen pizza, no matter how good, is still frozen pizza, and I longed for a fresh out of the oven experience! Risotteria is a small restaurant on Bleecker St in NYC that serves GF pizza, risotto, Panini and plenty of GF desserts.
On our first visit, we noticed most of the patrons are enjoying risotto over the pizza. Allyson, Jordi and I dig into the breadsticks-salty, flavorful-almost air puffed but stick-to-the-teeth-ish. Tasty, yet odd – but then again, pre-meal baskets of bread are typically off limits to me so this is a fun experience already!!. The menu is conveniently coded, GF, V, D, etc. – everyone knows what to avoid. Jordi orders risotto w/ a meat topping. Allyson and I share a margarita pie-basics for the baseline tasting! And a bottle of wine to chase it down, Avalon. (FYI-Risotteria offers Gluten-Free beer, as well). I tasted Jordi’s risotto (around the meat) and it was delish-firm, not mushy. Our pizza-a 4 slice personal pie was lovely.. fresh basil and mozzarella, light sauce and thin, thin crust. My first thought? OMG I am having pizza! It was heaven! The only bummer was the crust, like the breadstick it left a chew in my teeth. We each ordered a GF dessert: apple pie, tira misu and carrot cake. Tiramisu was a chocolate tiramisu. The cream was delightful-but the cake had that odd chewiness to it and no coffee flavor. The carrot cake was very flavorful-but dry-almost like stale bread. The pie? Wow! How did they get a GF pie crust to flake like that????? On our way out we grabbed a B&W cookie. Jackpot! You would never know it was GF!! Fresh, spongey and cakey w/ vanilla and chocolate icing!
Jordi couldn’t join us for round 2, so Allyson and I had to eat everything on our own, shucks! On our second visit, we were disappointed to find the breadsticks chewy again; we can’t help but wonder how they taste warm and fresh out of the oven. We ordered a portobello, dried tomato and spinach panini since we hadn’t had that pleasure last time and a pizza. We were delighted to find the Panini bread stood up to the fillings….a unique, hard-to-find trait in gluten free breads. The filling was flavorful and fresh. The pizza we selected was olive puree-based with goat-cheese, arugula and oven dried tomato. It was SUPER tasty, with a very thin and crunchy crust. You can imagine our almost embarrassment when we ordered three desserts-the staff must have thought we were on a binge! Because it had so much potential our last trip, we revisited the carrot cake-it was tasty as we remembered, but fresher! Fantastic! Cupcakes were next; we sampled the chocolate cupcake with vanilla icing and filling and the vanilla cupcake with strawberry filling and icing. We were a little underwhelmed by the chocolate cupcake, expecting to revisit ding dong and hostess cupcakes memories. But the vanilla/strawberry cupcake? OMG! Do you remember what a jelly doughnut tastes like? Yup, well you can visit that memory here with these cupcakes! We were blown away by the strawberry!
Walking down the street in NYC inevitably takes one past a pizza joint, and the smell that wafts out ushers in happy pre-gluten free lifestyle memories of a slice at the counter. Risotteria doesn’t quite duplicate that experience, but nonetheless it is thrilling to be able to meet friends and know I can safely enjoy all aspects of the menu. And enjoy I did!