Saturday, October 27, 2007


Last year Zagat seemed to make a giant step forward by mentioning gluten-free options in its listings for Risotteria ("sets the standard for gluten-free dining") and Sambuca ("also offers a gluten-free menu - 'is that an oxymoron for Italian?'").

This year the restaurant guide seems to have taken a baby step backward. It still doesn't acknowledge gluten-free dining in its Cuisine and Special Features sections...and its choices of comments for Risotteria and Sambuca are actually misleading. The guide says that at Risotteria "'everything is gluten-free,'" which is just not true. And the guide says that at Sambuca "a separate sans-gluten menu lets everyone 'eat freely'"—a bit of an exaggeration.

Risotteria is still a bargain spot compared to the other rated restaurants. Asia de Cuba still gets a special "top spot" designation. According to the guide, the average tip went up a smidgen to 19%. And I still suspect that Outback Steakhouse is treated too harshly.

So here are the ratings for the NYC GFRAP restaurants listed in Zagat 2008. Alas, the ratings tended to stay the same or decline in comparison with last year's results.
Candle 79
Food: 23 (down 1)
Service: 21 (down 2)
Decor: 17 (down <4)
Estimated dinner for one: $36 (down $4)
Top-rated vegetarian restaurant

Food: 23
Service: 20
Decor: 24 (down 1)
Estimated dinner for one: $58 (up $2)
"Hottest Servers"

Food: 21
Service: 16 (down 2)
Decor: 10
Estimated dinner for one: $23

Gus' Place (reopened, relocated)
Food: 20
Service: 20
Decor: 16
Estimated dinner for one: $37

Lumi (unlisted 2007)
Food: 19
Service: 19
Decor: 18
Estimated dinner for one: $52

Food: 18 (down 1)
Service: 18
Decor: 16 (up 1)
Estimated dinner for one: $38 (up $2 from 2006)

Outback Steakhouse
Food: 14 (down 1)
Service: 15 (down 1)
Decor: 12 (down 1)
Estimated dinner for one: $32


Susan said...

you have to add BabyCakes (on Broome right off Ludlow) to your lists...wheat-free and gluten free, sugar free cupcakes and more!! HOORAY!!!

David Marc Fischer said...

The purpose of this post was to look over the Zagat NYC Restaurant rankings of places that have made a commitment to participate in the Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program. Babycakes isn't listed in the guide (and it isn't in GFRAP, either), so there was no reason for me to mention it. Risotteria does sell gluten-free cupcakes, though.

n. said...

Anyone have a suggestion for GF brunch/breakfast places. I am also lactose intolerant and egg intolerant :(


David Marc Fischer said...

I think it's hard to address the question when it's phrased in terms of what you're avoiding--gluten, lactose, eggs. It's probably better to start with what you'd want to eat and then figure out on how you'd obtain it. Out of the current GFRAP restaurants in NYC, your best bets might be Peters' and Bloom's, which both have morning hours. I hope that's useful!