The National

Posted by on Dec 29, 2011 in gluten free grubbing | 0 comments

What do you get when you combine modern American cuisine with an award winning Iron Chef? The National. That’s right people, we have the next Iron Chef cooking up some amazing food only 2 avenues from my apartment (Benjamin Hotel). Que fabuloso!!
The National’s Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, @gzchef, recently won the Next Iron Chef, wearing Hello Kitty band-aids I might add (how chic – loves it). Actually, according to Twitter, his daughter gave them to him as good luck.
I’ve been here twice and although I have heard mixed reviews, I must say that I pleasantly & thoroughly enjoyed both visits.
Our eats included:
Steak Tartar: Hand cut filet mignon, pickled hon shemiji (no clue), cherry peppers, mustard and kecap manis (gluten-free sans kecap manis): This basically tasted like a deconstructed burger and it was great!! Perfection for a GF mess like myself that can’t even eat a bun. However! I did find out what kecap manis was before I ate it:
Today’s vocab lesson: Kecap Manis: Sweet soy sauce, which has a thick, almost syrupy consistency and a pronounced sweet, treacle-like flavor due to generous addition of palm sugar
In conclusion, if you know anything about gluten, you know soy sauce is a no-no. So ask for it sans kecap manis and sound really smart in doing so.

Ugly Burger

Ugly Burger: Pickled Jalapeno, NTLSauce, House Pickles, Lettuce (gluten-free sans bun): My friend ordered this and let me tell you, coming from someone who salivates at the sight of a juicy burger & bun which she cannot eat, this thing did not look so ugly to me. As a matter of fact it looked gorgeous.
Grilled Banzino w. cauliflower, grapes, endive & lemon gastrique (gluten-free): I loved the grapes in there, throwing in a sweet touch. Awesome.
drumroll please….Brussels Sprouts w. mustard & creme fraiche (gluten-free): I know I have claimed to have found the best brussels spouts in the past (Alta), but these just stole the throne. Hot damn these things were delicious. I can’t even begin to describe. If you find the recipe, please let me know asap.

Cream Cheese Gelato w/ Berries: No, I did not order the above. Yes, I included the picture because it is beautiful. I saw cream cheese gelato listed on one of the desserts and immediately thought, wow that sounds ridiculous. I used my Celiac to my advantage and was able to swing some berries in that bitch and it was a perfect ending to my meal.
Rating: A
Pros: Chef Zakarian keeps it simple, but oh so delicious. And he wears Hello Kitty band-aids = badass.
Cons: Weekdays can have that Wall St after work blegh vibe. If you are a cougar on the prowl you may have hit the jackpot.
The National Bar and Dining Rooms on Urbanspoon
The National: 577 Lexington Ave. NY NY 10022 USA (212) 715-2400

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