NYC has a new 100% gluten free restaurant, and it is a dream. I had the great privilege and joy of sitting down to dinner with Frank Baldassare, one of the partners and creators of the restaurant. As a Celiac Disease advocate himself, Frank spoke about his unwavering dedication to the community, safety, high quality ingredients without fillers, incredible flavors, and creating an experience that will not be forgotten.
The ambiance is bright, friendly and open. Giant windows overlook the streets of the West Village. The staff is professional, courteous, and always happy to recommend their favorite cocktail or dessert to suit your tastes.
“Would you like a gluten free cocktail, Jessica?” Music to my ears! In order to ensure the highest level of safety, all of the cocktails are made with naturally gluten free spirits – you won’t find any wheat/rye/barley-based alcohol here. Even the whiskey is made from sorghum. The cocktails are skillfully crafted. The Holiday Citrus is one of the best cocktails I have ever had – perfectly sweet and balanced. They also have an extensive cider list with favorites such as Downeast along with other more obscure brands.
Sorghum Swirl – Highwire Sorghum Whiskey, Cocchi Torino, Cio Ciaro, Orange Bitters
Holiday Citrus – Vodka, Cranberry, Cointreau, Lemon, Soda
The food was absolutely incredible. I chose a crabcake appetizer – I haven’t had crabcake in years, and this is by far the best that I have ever eaten. Why? High quality crab without a ton of flour and fillers. The aioli sauce that went with it gave it the perfect kick. They could make a fortune selling that sauce.
Franky B’s Chunky Crabcake – Maryland Crab, Cholula Aioli, Greens
Pate was a new adventure for me, and I loved it. The 7 grain toast is locally made at a dedicated gluten free bakery. Wonderful quality and complimented the food perfectly. The bread combined with pate and preserves made for a perfect bite. The appetizers were so good I could have eaten them all night long.
Country Pate – 7 Grain Toast, Cornichons Seasonal Preserve, Dijon
I love sea food, and the chef at 99 Bank created a beautiful plate. It was so pretty, I almost didn’t want to eat it. The fish was perfectly cooked, and all of the flavors blended together in perfect harmony.
Black Sea Bass – Lemon-Garlic Bok Choy, Sunchocke Puree
Simply excellent pizza. I warned Kristopher that I would be coming home with leftovers. After one bite, the regular gluten eater said “This is really great. Can we go there together soon?” When your pizza wins over a gluten-eater, you have done well.
Stone-Fired Pizza – Local Mozzarella, Tomato & Basil
No, this is not another cocktail. My server recommended the Lemon Mousse – she had excellent taste. Creamy, light, and with just the right amount of sweetness, this dessert was the perfect ending to a wonderful evening.
Lemon Mousse – Raspberries, Chantilly Cream, Mint
With their unwavering dedication to the Celiac community, I cannot recommend 99 Bank more highly. It has quickly become one of my favorite restaurants and one that I will return to again and again (in fact, Kristopher and I were there Sunday night!). Trust me, you are in for a treat that you will always remember.
99 Bank is located in the West Village in NYC and is open for dinner, lunch, and brunch. For more information visit www.99banknyc.com
Disclaimer: I enjoyed a comped meal, but I was not ask nor paid to write this review. All opinions are my own, and I only recommend restaurants that I personally love, trust, and will return to.