Gluten Free at NoGlu in Paris

noglu

Passage Panoramas (Thanks, Google!)

After settling into our hotel on Saturday, we meandered the streets around us taking in the Louvre and Notre Dame with the beautiful late afternoon sun gleaming through the windows. We walked from the Louvre to find our splurge restaurant of the weekend, NoGlu. That’s right, no gluten. No gluten is ever cooked in their kitchen, making everything safe for me to eat. It cost a pretty penny, but you get a three-course meal with about three options for each course. And, the bonus: they always have a vegetarian option.

Since we didn’t make a reservation and the space is fairly tight, we waited for them to open at 7:30. Luckily, it’s in a quaint outdoor mall of sorts with covered walkways (Passage Panoramas), so it was a fun area to walk while we waited. We were the first to be seated (our eagerness to get in paid off), but the upstairs room filled up quickly leaving only bar space on the first floor.

2014-06-14 12.46.06Our meal began with cheese biscuits that even my gluten-indulging husband agreed were delicious, and after that came a steady stream of regular bread. Unlike most gluten-free breads, this one didn’t crumble. It was airy in the best way possible (you can kind of see it in the pictures below). And, it wasn’t stark white. It tasted grainy, nutty almost, but it wasn’t like trail mix in your mouth. Apparently they sell this bread in the mornings, but I read that it sells out fast. I understand why!

The atmosphere was intimate with a trendy modern feel. The service was great and they kindly translated the chalkboard menu (of course, the menu changes daily and they use all local products). For my first course, I had a cantaloupe gazpacho–which despite my hesitation was bursting with flavor! 2014-06-14 12.46.17Scott couldn’t stop raving about his heirloom tomato, ham, and fresh mozzarella platter drizzled with pesto. Both of us thought this first course was the best–not to say the others were anything less than delicious!

My second course was the vegetarian option which included a beautiful array of roasted and steamed veggies (beet, snow peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, red peppers, mushrooms) with mixed greens, mashed potatoes, and lentils. Scott ordered the broiled cod-fish with lentils, sweet potatoes, asparagus, and arugula. Did I mention they just kept bringing the bread? (I guess that means we just kept eating it.) We were filling up, especially me, since I am not accustomed to eating many grains anymore but dessert was on the way.

The most disappointing part of the evening was an order mix-up for Scott’s dessert. He ordered a chocolate mousse with a grapefruit sauce (another intriguing combination), but received a cherry cheesecake. We could have said something, but the place was bustling and Scott promised he enjoyed the dessert. Meanwhile, I had a peach cake with almonds and strawberries on top, which once again tasted better than any gluten-filled counterpart I could imagine. I wish I had better pictures, but the mood lighting combined with the setting sun prevented us from getting many keepers.

All in all it was delicious. And for me, it was such a treat! However, at the end of the day, Scott and I agreed that D’Aqui in Barcelona is just as good (maybe better) and a fraction of the cost. But, at any normal restaurant, I always run the risk of cross-contamination, whereas, NoGlu was risk-free deliciousness!

The atmosphere combined with the fact that it was in Paris and I was carefree to eat anything I wanted made it totally worth it! And, it was such a relief that the food was delicious enough even for someone who usually eats gluten. Scott and I love this type of restaurant because not only are you in for something different every day, you are also challenged to try combinations you wouldn’t normally make for yourself, but they always wow your tastebuds. To me, it’s inspiring–I want to go home and try to replicate some of this stuff! The fresh ingredients and creative dishes are a refreshing break from predictable cuisine.

If you would like to visit NoGlu, you can find more information at their website.

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