Bistango on 29th Street is a gluten free heaven where you get to play the role of God. The atmosphere isn’t anything to write home about and it is kind of small but the gluten free options make it very worth the reservation. This place is actually just called Bistango, but there are two locations in nyc. One of them is located in the Kimberly hotel which has a totally different menu. If you are looking for more modern unique Italian dishes then go to that spot. If you want good old traditional grandma style Italian then go to the 29th location. I tend to like the latter since most places nowadays have swayed toward the modernized menu. It gets a little tiring, especially in Hoboken. Either one you choose though will fully cater to gluten free eating.
I read somewhere that this 29th street location has been open for many years and that they were one of the first to adopt the whole gluten free thing. If that is true then I applaud them for being progressive and caring. So I guess this is more or less a right of passage for gluten free eaters, right? If this is where it all kind of started? With that said, the entire menu can be made gluten free. Everything on the menu can be made gluten free so if you want anything whether it be breaded, deep fried or an adapted dessert, they have you covered and SAFELY too.
I’ve eaten a lot of things on this menu and have never been disappointed. This is where I first ate breaded gluten free calamari since my diagnosis. Although Bin 14 in Hoboken makes it a little better, these are the only two places that I’ve ever been to that offers this safe for celiacs. The Kimberly hotel location doesn’t even offer this dish.
UPDATE 8/29/18: I’ve had gluten free calamari at Carbone in NYC which is better than both of these. No change in scores though, just worth noting.
For this review, we decided not to get an appetizer. My girlfriend and I love ravioli but they don’t provide enough raviolis for a full entree, which is where it lives on the menu. So we decided to get the mushroom and ricotta ravioli with pink sauce for appetizer. Again, they make everything from scratch and their gluten free ravioli is phenomenal. Tastes just like real gluten, according to my girlfriend.
I decided to go with the traditional grandma style Chicken Parm with fettuccine on the side. SO GOOD. The chicken parm is of course breaded with some kind of gluten free breadcrumbs. The mozzarella cheese is cooked and browned to absolute perfection. The gluten free pasta that they use is apparently imported straight from Italy and tastes fantastic too, just like the real flour based thing.
We were stuffed by this point but we couldn’t resist dessert. They can make ANY dessert you want gluten free as well. This is one of those extra bonuses you don’t see coming and it hits your taste buds like an explosion of happiness. We split the gluten free cheesecake which didn’t taste exactly like cheesecake, more like a creamy pound cake, but was still amazing to eat.
The drinks are really good here but the wine selection isn’t up to par with a restaurant of this caliber. Did I just sound like a wine snob? My girlfriend is rubbing off on me too much, someone come bring me a gluten free beer and snap me out of this.
Every server asks you if anyone has any allergies right when you sit down. They inform you that absolutely anything on the menu can be made gluten free in anyway that is desired. They don’t even need to understand the extent of your allergy because the kitchen is so well trained and equipped to serve you safely. Amazing. This is the top dog of service because the kitchen practices leads the server, not the other way around which is common in most restaurants that offer gluten free options.
Menu Honesty (N/A)
They don’t have a gluten free menu and don’t really take the time to do much of any labeling. But honestly, they don’t have to. This is one of those rare times where service from the kitchen and your waiter is so good that the menu doesn’t need to do any work. No points will be deducted from here for this considering EVERYTHING can be gluten free at your request and in any way you want it.
Did I Get Sick (NO)
I never got sick and I don’t think I ever will. This place is as good as it gets without dining in a restaurant that is a dedicated gluten free spot. Additionally, I brought along my newly purchased Nima sensor just to be sure. I brought two capsules to try the chicken parm and the raviolis and she gave me a big smile for both. Waste of capsules because I knew it was would be safe but for the sake of science…
I don’t think I need to say more. Safe for celiac. Insane amount of gluten free options. Top notch service. Unbelievable food. In my opinion, this is THE best spot for gluten free eating in the entire area. Again, these reviews and scores are strictly from the gluten free standpoint so your normal gluten eating significant other may disagree with this. And who knows, I may find a better spot in the future but for now this is the reigning champ for gluten free eaters.