As mentioned in the past, two cuisines that are easy to eat gluten-free are Japanese (abundance in rice) and Mexican (abundance in corn). What better idea than to marry the two into one distinct restaurant, also known as Citrus in NYC’s Upper West Side.
Owner & Executive Chef Louis Lanza (also of Josie’s and Josephina), is known for his health conscience cooking and innovative menus. It is no wonder that when compiling the Citrus Gluten-Free Menu, it actually filled up 2 pages!
Check this place out on a Friday or Saturday night, and it will be bustling with a young crowd. If you are looking to dine with a more demure crowd, I would try earlier in the week.
And now – the food.
In lieu of bread & butter they give you chips & salsa. This would have been a perfect GF alternative except for the fact that the chips were fried in the same oil as flour – making them non gluten-free.
Lobster & Shrimp Salad Roll (gluten-free): Not pictured. I asked for Tamari but they unfortunately did not have any. However, the mango-yuzu gave it a nice flavor that I was actually fine eating this without soy sauce.
Trio of Dips: fresh made guacamole, smoked pinto bean queso fundido & pico de gallo (GF option: ask for corn tortillas): Honestly – all I really wanted was the gauc. But I got the trio knowing my father was sitting next to me and has a tendency to eat half my dishes. I wasn’t too fond of the bean dip so I pushed it his way.
Citrus Chopped Salad (gluten-free): romaine, sweet potatoes, pumpkin seeds, chayote, avocado, jicama, manchego cheese & red wine maple vinaigrette: Nice twist on a typical garden salad.
Spicy Tuna & Salmon Tartar (gluten-free) w/ guacamole & a mango yuzu drizzle: Stay away from that chip if you are gluten-free. Not your typical tartar but I liked the flavor combo.
Roasted Natural Half Chicken Au Jus (gluten-free) cheddar mashed potatoes & grilled vegetables: If you are looking to go healthy, although tasty, nix the cheddar mash.
Seafood Paella de Valencia (gluten-free): If you have ever been to Spain, you are accustomed to authentic paella - which is served in a paella or paellera (wide, shallow pan) that ensures the most amount of rice touching the bottom of the pan (where the flavor is). Going with the non-traditional theme of the meal, this paella was served in a red bowl. I can only comment on the appearance because I did not try it.
Pomegranate Ancho Chile Glazed Salmon (gluten-free) w/ wasabi mashed potatoes & haricot verts: I’m usually not a huge cooked salmon lover but this was pretty good. The glaze made all the difference.
Pan Seared Long Island Duck Breast (gluten-free) w/ sweet potato mashed, haricot verts & port wine reduction: Again, didn’t try this. I would ask about the fries being GF before eating if you are concerned.
Overall, we had a nice meal. I was slightly thrown off by eating sushi with gauc, but it was the best attempt at marrying the two cuisines that I’ve seen thus far. If I had to pick though, I would go Josie’s; Lanza’s other restaurant.
Citrus Bar & Grill
Pros: Can’t decide between Latin & Asian? Why not have both. Extensive gluten-free menu
Cons: Your palate might be confused.