Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gluten-Free Watercooler-Bar Brenton

I have heard so many wonderful reviews of  Bar Breton through other blogs, celiac meet-ups and plain reviews through Google.  This lovely little French restaurant on Fifth Avenue in the heart of Chelsea, NYC was a place I had wanted to try for months!  Their mouth watering menu alone had me salivating with thoughts of amazing gallettes (crepes) both in dessert form and dinner form with ingredients such as ham and goat cheese to Nutella and chocolate mousse wrapped by a buckwheat pancake.  Their menu both interesting and diverse, I thought would draw in a crowd both gluten-free friendly and gluten friendly.

Forest Ham and Egg Buckwheat Gallette

Nutella Buckwheat Gallette

I have to say that I was quite disappointed with the taste, but blown away by the presentation.  How could these gorgeous meals prepared so beautifully taste so tasteless??!  I was shocked.  I even brought a date to this restaurants as I was sure Bar Breton would convert him into my gluten-free world.  My date was not happy as he felt that the gallettes tasted like a bran bagel (ouch!) and the Pea Soup he felt did not taste remotely like peas.  A man who loves food and gluten-I learned Bar Breton was not the way to go.  I like converting friends, co-workers and dates to my new found lifestyle.  I love when people who are not gluten-free realize just how amazing going gluten-free can actually be, however this restaurant was not life changing or Gluten-Free converting worthy.

Pea Soup with Crushed Chilled Tomato and Juice Drizzle

Grilled Mahi Mahi

I have to say as the days progressed after eating at Bar Breton, I disliked the food even more.  I would not go there again, and I love gluten-free food.  Now Pamela's GF Crepes on the other hand are fantastic, and those are a mix that you can make in your own home.

I am just so surprised that so many people love it there, and I am shocked to have not felt the same way.  I am gluten-free and have been for a long time, and I was very disappointed.  My date, now learning about gluten-free foods and baked goods has tried many other products and this restaurant was at the bottom of his list as well as mine!

I felt that the crepes were too thick.  When I think of crepes I think of paper thin pancakes wrapped with rich foods, and that is something that Bar Breton did not accomplish.  However, the insides of their crepes were oozing with goodie goodness but its wrapper left little to desire.  I would even go to the length of saying that I would only eat there as a last resort. 

I would love to hear everyone else's feedback on this post, as there are so many gluten-freebee's out there loving this restaurant...So what do you think? 

xoxo Julie


  1. It is really unfortunate to read such a poor review of Bar Breton. I am sorry you didn’t enjoy your meal there. Yes, I am one of those who has raved about Bar Breton to others and I will continue to go back there as a gluten-free fan. I have also held two very successful NYC Celiac Disease Meetup events over the past few months at Bar Breton and will plan on another one this fall.

    Galettes are not crepes. My understanding is that galettes are made from buckwheat flour which tend to have a more savoury flavor than a crepe and make for a slightly thicker batter. Also, galettes are usually larger in size than a traditional crepe. If your expectations were for a light and airy crepe using a flour like Pamela’s mix , then I could see why you would not like the galettes.

    I am also a fan of Bar Breton because of their exceptional staff. They are a member of the GREAT program and were also researching the GFRAP program. Their pastry chef is their point of contact for both gluten-free restaurant programs and after meeting her, it is obvious that the kitchen staff take the gluten-free meals seriously. I had had the pleasure of meeting Chef Renaud, his wife, the general manager, and their social networking coordinator on more than one occasion. They spent a lot of time with the NYC Celiac Meetup group to really understand the needs and eating habits of the gluten-free community. I think this is a rarity in a city like New York, especially in a popular restaurant like Bar Breton. The staff play a big part in my desire to want to return to Bar Breton.

    I really urge you to give Bar Breton another try.

  2. Hi Erin,

    I know! I was dying to try the restaurant and sadly was not a fan. I will definitely give it another try, but I was truly not a fan. I am a big gluten-free person, I bake, I cook and I dine and I am the last person to give a bad review, but I would have to assume I am not the only one. I had signed up to go to one of the events with the Celiac group there, but sadly had to bail last minute. I think there are so many other restaurants in nyc that provide gluten-free dining that are great and that are at the top of my list, but this one definitely was not.

  3. I am so sorry to hear that. I just hope others appreciate the effort that Bar Breton has put into their preparation of gluten-free meals and give it a chance. Personally, I need a Nutella galette fix on a semi-regular basis.

    Great blog, by the way, and I hope to meet you at an upcoming NYC Celiac Disease Meetup soon!

  4. Thanks Erin! I will def do a meet-up soon! As I love meeting other gluten-free people in my community!!

    : ) Julie


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