3 Comments 05 August 2005

Family Style Italian Restaurant
20 West 72nd Street
(off Central Park West)
(212) 787-5656

When you first get your butt over to Sambuca for some real good gf Italian, make sure you thank the owner, Liza for doing us a BIG favor and asking her very Italian chef if he wouldn’t mind cooking two types of pasta in two separate pots. By the way, I’m not kidding you when I say real good gf Italian. Would I kid you? Fuhgetaboutit!


Maxwell’s Kitchen, created by Doug Meadow who’s son is celiac supplies Sambuca with the bread, and it’s good…soft, with a hint of rosemary and served warm. This Doug guy is also working on a gf breading for chicken and veal parmigiana dishes. We could just kiss him for that!


The first course. Sambuca Salad. I’m talkin’ dream salad here, fresh with everything salad should have. Remember, this place does it ‘family style’. All portions are generous and meant to be shared. And then out comes the Grilled Portobello Mushrooms. Whoa. Delicious. Buttery intense flavor explodes in your mouth. Just the portobellos and a glass of wine would make the perfect quick meal for your chick on the go. Listen up … order the mushrooms.

Now get ready for the pasta course. Sambuca uses our favorite rice pasta, Tinkyada. They have a big selection and will make adjustments for your diet or taste. Speakin of taste…unbelievable! Oh boy, did we eat.

Clams in White Wine Sauce
Traditional Marinara Sauce
Broccoli Rabe with Sausage

3rd course. Not an easy decision, there’s plenty of protein to choose from…chicken, veal, steak, seafood. We decided on the Chicken Paillard, so moist you can cut it with a fork! Tomatoes tasted like tomatoes. We were dizzy with stuffed bellies. Couldn’t even imagine eating another freakin bite until we saw the Homemade Chocolate Brownie…

Chicken Paillard…mama mia!

Homemade Chocolate Brownie…you gotta have it!

The atmosphere at Sambuca is perfect. Tables are set up with breathing room (gotta love that) and you can come casual or dressy. And the waitstaff really takes care of you…as if you were family. Like I said before, we are all very lucky that Liza has gone through the effort for us. A meal at Sambuca is an experience. A real Italian feast. Just like Ma used to make. But don’t tell her I said so…

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3 Comments so far

  1. 1
    Gwen says:

    My husband, who is a celiac, and I ate at Sambuca a few weeks ago after walking by and seeing their “wheat free/gluten free” sign in the window.

    The food was great and the grilled mushrooms are really wonderful. It’s also very family friendly.

    Highly recommended! We’ll go again!

  2. 2
    n69n says:

    sounds dreamy!!!!!!!

    i cant wait to try it!!!!

  3. 3
    Judith says:

    Hi, I attended the Columbia Conference then went to Sambuca for Dinner with My family all non Celiacs We had an incredible experience!!! The service was awesome!!My father had the Mussels, we all shared and have to say they were the best we have ever had. My parents Live in NJ and plan on going back for more!!!
    It was my second time dining out, while traveling, in 3 years and I would like to say thank you thank you thank you to Sambuca for making it safe,fun and normal for me

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Kelly Courson


Thanks for stopping by! I'm Kelly Courson and this is where I've shared my gluten-free finds since 2003. The world has been my gluten-free oyster for 14 years now and I love sharing what I've learned in order to help others adapt to a gluten-free diet. Have a look around and feel free to leave a comment. Connecting with people like you is what has kept me going this long! Seriously.

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