Our last day of vacation. Dan and I were determined to mount a more organized eating assault on the Big Apple so we splurged for tickets aboard a double-decker tourist bus outside the Empire State Building and rode around downtown Manhattan. It was a great way to get guided neighborhood tours and amazing views of the architecture. We could hop on and off whenever we saw something interesting, which in our kids' eyes was usually a clothes or shoe store.
We were able to hustle them in to our first gourmet
destination, Babycakes, a bakery that caters to gluten-free
and other allergy-sensitive customers. Located in a funky section of east Chinatown (248 Broome Street, between Orchard and Ludlow), this was a quiet, small haven with the feel of a 1930s-40s grandma's kitchen. At least four aproned bakers were busy behind the counter in the tiny kitchen, so the quarters were cramped, but we sat down and enjoyed tasty cupcakes, chocolate cake and blueberry crumb cake with sides of coffee and soda that were scrumptious. My daughter raved that her wheat-free, sugar-free cupcakes were the best she ever had.
Erroneously thinking that Chinatown was right next to Greenwich Village, home of the parental lunch spot of choice, we marched the kids many miles before we finally plopped down to eat at 4 o'clock in the afternoon at Risotteria (270 Bleecker Street). This was the Holy Grail we had been seeking: most everything on the menu was safe to eat and designated as gluten-free and/or
Of course we had to try two of the spectacular versions of the 35 different risottos offered on the current menu. We also tried the pizza, which I didn't like as much since the crust was too crisp and thin for my taste. However, if we had the luxury of another day in New York, we would certainly have come back to sample the panini, salads and decadent-sounding appetizers. Risotteria was just so relaxing for our family. Ordering food was transformed from a worrisome task to effortless pleasure. We grabbed a bag of gluten-free croutons and breadstick mix to play with back home, but the croutons got gobbled up in-transit. Four thumbs up!