Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Gluten-Free Watercooler-Carmines Restaurant

Well, well, well, look what we have here...Top restaurants finally joining the Gluten-Free circle by providing GF dishes upon request as well as GF Pasta.  This is a long time favorite of my family.  This fantastic Italian eatery that focuses on homemade dishes served family style.  Carmines is the epitomy of authentic Southern Italian cooking and every meal is unmistakenly delicious.  Known for their fresh sauces and fresh ingredients and known for their pasta.

A few years back, we had a family dinner at Carmines and the waitress informed me that everything including their grilled chicken will have some form of flour in it due to coating the chicken or plain ole cross-contamination (which is truely a killer)!.  I didn't eat there that night.  I drank wine.  It was the only item on the menu I was sure did not contain flour or gluten of some sort.  This news of course is a Celiac's worst nightmare and heartbreak all at the same time.  That was a sad day.

Another one bites the dust I thought.  I wondered then why restaurants didn't take a look at Celiac Disease with a magnifying glass.  I just choked it up to yet another restaurant I could not dine at.  This is and was not a way to live, but what could I do...

Last year for Chanukah, I decided to buy my mom the Carmines cookbook and individually read through it and convert if for her by adding sticky notes where the ingredients needed to be changed.  I read this entire cookbook-well over 200 colorful pages of fantastic photographs and detailed recipes.  First I must say, that reading this menu made me salivate.  I was dreaming Carmines.  What I did notice was that everything they make is purely with fresh ingredients all the way down to their chicken and beef stock which is by the way naturally gluten-free!  There were quite a few dishes from this book that were completely gluten-free like the Chicken Scarpilleo, Salmon Pomodoro, Seafood Pasta (request GF Pasta-they even have all different shaped GF pasta) (Carmines you have come a LONG way baby)!!, Seafood Pasta over Spinach, veggies and more.  I noticed that many of their dishes were naturally gluten-free (of course there were MANY dishes that were loaded with flour, but at least there were some for us with CD).  I handed this to her, late of course, because that cook book is filled with so much detail, it took a bit more time to complete.  But when I did, I was happy.  Had I not read this cookbook top to bottom I never would have learned that EVERYTHING they make is only made with the upmost freshest ingredients possible.  That is a huge plus for this wonderful eatery.  The owners take pride in their kitchen staff and what they make and present to their customer base.  Even some of their desserts were gluten-free!

My mom was there recently and was happy to find out that not only do they now carry GF pasta's (3 to be exact), but their waitstaff is very GF Savvy!  Their waitstaff understands that CD is a major disease and that many people suffer from a Gluten-Intolerance and/or CD.  Great news.  Carmines watches out for cross-contamination and can even make GF dishes upon request.  All I can say is You have come a LONG way since that time I was there a few years back and was told that everything had flour. 

So we can now add Carmines to the list of great NY restaurants that are VERY GF Friendly.

For those of you who don't know, Carmines famous Italian eaterly has two locations.  It's first location in on the Upper West Side of NYC on 2450 Broadway (212) 362-2200 and has been established since the early 90's.  Soon after, opened the second location in the heart of NYC's theater district on 200 W. 44th St.  (212) 221-3800.

And don't forget to pick up a copy of Carmines Family Style Cookbook at Barnes and Noble, Borders or at (Both and Barnes and Noble are selling this book at $18.95-and worth every scrumptious penny)!.

Luckily for me, CD is the word on the streets and now I can visit this lovely restaurant again with my family.

xoxo Julie

1 comment:

  1. Christine7/17/2010

    Thank you SO much for this post!!! I'm going to NYC on a work trip next month and they told me yesterday that they always go to Carmine's for dinner - I was thinking I would have a hard time finding something to eat, but now I can't wait to go!!! So exciting!


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