Eating with the James Beard Winners in NYC Gluten Free

James beard Gluten Free NYCCan you enjoy the finest chef’s and sommeliers in NYC Gluten Free? Why yes—yes you can!

The James Beard Awards were announced this week. Here are the local NYC winners:

Outstanding Chef :

Winner Daniel Humm who serves up nothing but delicious at Eleven Madison Park. My recent visit was gluten free at its best including fresh gluten free french bread….and did I mention the outrageous gluten free granola they gave me as a gift when departing? Eleven Madison has three Michelin Stars and four stars from the NY Times. Its worth every penny of the indulgence.

Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional:

Winner Paul Grieco from Terroir. Terroir, called the “Elitest Wine Bar for Everyone,” is an off-shoot of Hearth, one of my favorite restaurants. Hearth is able to make most things on their menu gluten free and they also have homemade gluten free pasta!

Terroir is a wine bar with encyclopedia sized wine list. Their staff is highly knowledgable about gluten allergies.They have lots of great snacks (see menu here) that are gluten free already without modifications as well as charcuterie and cheese plates. There are a few locations in Manhattan, but my favorite is the original in the East Village.

If you like tons of wine choices -ones that you have likely never tasted, and a low key vibe, check out Terroir.

Best Chef NY: 

Michael Anthony is the chef behind the delicious Gramercy Tavern one of my favorite haunts. I suggest eating here at the bar as I prefer a more low key vibe rather than the formal dining room. Its a little fancy in the formal dining area. Make sure you book a reservation and book early. Gramercy Tavern is totally hit or miss on a possible table. I have walked in there many times without a reservation so give it a try if you are in Flatiron.

One more local NYC shout out!

I also want to direct your attention to winner in the publication category! The founders live here in NYC. This website is full of great recipes and it can be searched to find gluten free options!

For all of the James Beard award winners check here.

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Eating Gluten Free Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Gluten Free GranolaEleven Madison Park. Michelin 3 Star. Impossible reservation. Unbelievable experience. Truly the ultimate in gluten free eating. Courtesy gift from the chef: amazing gluten free granola.

Eleven Madison has an approach that is highly specific to each diner that is perfect for someone with a food allergy. The waiter arrives at your table and asks you to pick one item from 4 rows of words. Each row is a course on the 4-course pre-fixe. He or she will then ask you what you do not like. This is your chance to laundry list everything you hate!!

Eleven Madison MenuMy selections: Octopus – Lobster – Beef – Chocolate.

My modifications: Gluten Free. Pregnant so avoiding raw shell fish. No poached eggs, liver or foie gras. The waiter already knew I was Gluten Free because I added it to my open table reservation (read more about this gluten free tip here.

Eleven Madison Amuse Bouche Gluten FreeWhen the first amuse-bouche arrived I got a big pit in my stomach.

Crap, are they really going to not cater to my allergy?

The two tiny toasts with quail eggs on top looked almost exactly alike (except one egg was well-cooked).

My husband said “can she eat this?”

The waiter said “yes we cooked the egg for her!!” in an excited voice.

And I said “I am allergic to gluten.”

“Oh, THAT! Its on a gluten free toast!” he answered.

This was a moment. I realized wow, they just assume that I know they are taking care of me and I do not have to worry. The kitchen has it covered. This is the kind of gluten free moment that I live for, where I can just throw it over to the chef and relax.

Eleven Madison Amuse Bouche 3 Gluten Free

A series of amuse-bouche followed that I enjoyed. The last one was memorable: a yogurt lollypop with a thin crust over the top and a slight taste of curry. It had a sour essence that I assume was presented to warm up our palettes for the first course.

Eleven Madison Gluten Free OctopusOctopus

The true genius behind this dish was the dried chorizo. It was like bacon-bits on steroids. The octopus was cooked perfectly with its garnishes of pickled onions.

Eleven Madison Gluten Free Lobster


The best thing about this plate? The leek. Of course the lobster was perfect. But, I have never had a leek that was cooked like this. It was so easy to cut it. The texture was not stringy or chewy. It was like cutting bread. It blew me away. This dish include gluten free bread crumbs and was surrounded by a very complex mole sauce.

Eleven Madison Gluten Free BeefBeef

The beef was perfectly cooked medium rare sirloin strip. The accompanying sauce was amazing along with the dried shallot bits.

Throughout the meal I was served bread from Everybody Eats. The bread platter included French Bread, White Bread and a bread with nuts. The French bread is the best gluten free bread I have tasted in the United States. It was very similar to the awesome gluten free bread I had in Barcelona. I highly recommend checking out any of the places that carry Everybody Eats on their website.


I was not a huge fan of the desert process at this restaurant. They serve a freshly made New York Egg Cream before the desert courses are served. I am not a fan of milk and at this point was so FULL that this novelty was lost on me. My husband was also less than enthused. A New York Egg Cream has neither eggs nor cream. It is made with milk, seltzer (Brooklyn made NYC Seltzer in this case), and chocolate syrup. It’s a heavy choice to lead into desert and my opinion the fizzy choice is also not great for your stomach before eating ice cream or a cheese plate. It felt way out of place like a kid threw it on the menu.

I was served gluten free cookie crumble with lavender ice cream. The ice cream was ok but not at all near exciting which surprised me. There are so many local ice cream proprietors that make mind blowing creations here in the city yet here was this crappy ice cream. The dish was hard to understand.

How do you get a reservation at Eleven Madison?

This restaurant books out 28 days in advance on Open Table. It is sold out every day. I had to monitor the website and count off the days to get this slot. I also accepted a slot on Monday which is likely not as busy as the days that lead up to the weekend. Another thing I noticed is that it may be less busy during Easter / Spring Break. In short, plan your visit in advance and mention your Gluten Free needs in the comments section of Open Table!

Neighborhood: Flatiron

Address: 11 Madison

Price: Very Expensive

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