New York City has no shortage of unique pizza places. They also have no shortage of small tightly packed restaurants either, like Rubirosa, but we’ll save that talk for another day. Among the many unique pizza places in the city, Rubirosa stands out for a few reasons. One of those reasons has to do with their famous “tie dye” pizza which I’ll discuss below. The other reason is their impressive gluten free menu and ability to safely cater to gluten free eaters. I also won’t mention how it is impossible to get a reservation here, even 45 days in advance (Carbone was easier).
We tried a few different dishes here including the famous “tie dye” pie along with gluten free mozzarella sticks and gluten free rice balls. Let’s start with the pizza, which was really good. The crust is MASSIVE and has to be custom made. I would guess this was a 16 or 18 inch pie which is astoundingly large for a gluten free pie. The crust was great and held up well. The reason this is called a “tie dye” pie is because they throw marinara, vodka and pesto sauce all into the same pizza. I would never expect this combination to be good but I would also be wrong. It was really good! If you are a sauce lover with pizza then this is your pie. I happen to like cheese, which this pizza lacked, more then sauce but it still packed a mighty flavorful punch with every bite that I enjoyed.
Onto the more amazing thing, gluten free mozzarella sticks and rice balls. Having mozzarella sticks is a distant memory and I’ve never come across a restaurant that can safely create these gluten free. Rubirosa is an exception to that expectation though. In terms of taste, they were pretty good. Not as amazing as I remember them being when I could eat gluten but these definitely did the nostalgic trick. The rice balls though were to die for and should be a must order for anyone visiting this restaurant.
I’ve mentioned this before, these service ratings aren’t just about the server and how they handle gluten free eaters. It also incorporates the kitchen because the server and the kitchen need to act in unison. Your gluten free experience can only be as good as the weakest link in that chain. But when the kitchen is setup to take gluten free orders and can cook everything separately and safely, then the server’s duties become that much easier to handle. At Rubirosa, the kitchen is setup to handle gluten free eating separately and safely. Dedicated fryers, dedicated kitchen space and dedicated pizza oven racks for gluten free food are a staple of this kitchen. The server just has to mark it down on the ticket and double check on everything, which was done here. Great gluten free experience overall.
There is a separate gluten free menu and the options are fantastic. Rubirosa offers some incredibly rare offerings such as fried rice balls and fried mozzarella sticks. Their pesto and vodka sauces are also gluten free too which is impressive. For those reasons alone, a 9.5 is well deserved.
Did I Get Sick (NO)
I felt very full but didn’t get sick afterwards. I even brought my Nima gluten detecting device but didn’t feel the need to take it out whatsoever. That is how confident I was in everything. Well done Rubirosa, well done. The menu items they offer are not easy to safely cook gluten free but they did and did it well.
The food is really good here. Is it worth the hassle of needing to make a reservation 45 days out? I’ll let you be the judge if you decide to try this place out. I recommend you do though. Because the pizza is good and the menu options along with gluten free kitchen safety are even better.