NEW YORK, Restaurants

Gluten-Free Restaurants NYC: Bar Breton

21 Comments 10 November 2009

Bar Breton Front
Bar Breton

254 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10001

This is a Twitter histoire d'amour (love story). Following up on a tip from two readers*, I asked in partial disbelief if any of my Twitter followers had experienced the gluten-free buckwheat galettes at Bar Breton. James Beard nominated Chef Cyril Renaud stumbled upon my tweet and joined in the conversation by inviting me to try his 100% buckwheat galettes. I went and met Cyril and Brigette Renaud for dinner and the rest is history. J'aime (I love) Bar Breton! And to think I used to be skeptical of Twitter!

Brigette first explained to me that she feels better when she doesn't eat gluten. About 90% of their menu was naturally gluten-free to begin with so it was easy for her to test this out. She still had a lot of questions to ask me. After I introduced her to all of her options as far as getting tested for celiac disease and the diet in general, I also told her about the different gluten-free certification programs that several celiac disease non-profit organizations offer. I emphasized how much our community really appreciates it when restaurants make the extra effort to get certified in order to ensure our safety.

The next time I went back to visit with this dynamic duo they had joined the NFCA's GREAT certification program and were really excited. While I looked over their new menu with "GF=gluten-free" notes, they told me that they bought a new batter bowl that is for galette use only. They also explained how they even rearranged the kitchen for a separate fryer to be used for the french fries and chicken wings! Chapeaux! (Hats off!) They spent hours going through everything, reading labels and listing ingredients. One thing that made it a bit easier for them to do this was the fact that Cyril is the type of chef that makes his own stocks and other items fresh every day, so there aren't any mystery ingredients in anything.

Oh, and I should tell you that Chef Renaud used to work with Bouley and his restaurant Fleur de Sel received a Michelin Star.

While we were talking I had hinted at my personal dream of every restaurant having a list available of every ingredient in every dish. I explained how this would not only make it easier for those of us with additional food allergies, but for the wait staff too. I knew it was a long shot, but mentioned it anyway…and guess what?!! They did it tout de suite! Magnifique! (Immediately! Magnificent!) It is in a black binder available at the front desk!!! I love these people!!

Making galettes 1

Buckwheat galette 2

Galette with egg Galette w: egg 2

Gluten-free galette w: egg 3 Gluten-free buckwheat galette w: egg 4

The making of a galette

So, you may be wondering, "What is a galette?" It is similar to a crepe, but it is made with buckwheat flour. They are a regional favorite in Bretagne (Brittany**), where Chef Renaud is from. I had heard of galettes before, but in recipes they always seemed to be mixed with wheat flour. I had read that they were made from 100% buckwheat flour in France and even tried to make my own years ago, but to no avail. They were gritty and unimpressive. Chef Renaud told me the secret: French buckwheat flour is ground a lot finer than most American buckwheat flours. Voila! He told me it was hard to find a buckwheat flour here in America that would work right. It needs to be silky smooth.

Vegetarian Galette Foreground:Open Faced Galette w/Spinach Coulis, Goat Cheese, Sun Dried Tomatoes, and Parmesan aka The Vegetarian Galette. Background:Black Forest Ham Galette w/Swiss Cheese, Egg,Swiss Cheese and mushrooms; a classic Breton galette.

Bar Breton Salmon 2
My favorite: House Smoked Salmon Galette w/Horseradish Creme, Shallots, Chives, Radish & Capers

Lamb Galette
Lasagne of Braised Lamb Shoulder, Glazed Turnips and Thyme Jus. No worries, the term "lasagne" is just due to the layering of two smaller galettes, like when you make lasagne. Not only is this dish pretty, but the flavor is so intense and amazing. Something you are not likely to be able to duplicate at home.

Bar Breton Frites
Gluten-Free Frites w/Rosemary!!!

Bar Breton Chicken Wings
I enjoyed the new chicken wings while looking over the gluten-free notes on the menu.

Bar Breton Chicken Wings 2
Leave it to a French chef to put a classy spin on chicken wings.

Bar Breton Interior 1
The front of the restaurant

Bar Breton Interior 2
The back of the restaurant

As you can see, the atmosphere at Bar Breton is quite cozy, lending itself to many occasions ranging from an intimate rendez-vous date to dinner with friends. Brunch is especially popular with the neighborhood locals, which includes a lot of families.
Bar Breton Light
This avante garde chandelier was designed by Chef Renaud and is a pot-pourri of over 200 antique wine glasses.

And if you aren't convinced to go to Bar Breton yet, let me show you the desserts….

Nutella Galette
Nutella galette

The nutella galette is served warm and oozing with nutella. Brigette thinks that the nutella compliments the less sweet buckwheat galette better than the standard crepe. Yeah, who needs crepes?!

Honey Galette
The more traditional buckwheat galette served with honey and whipped cream. C'est bon! (It's good!)

Bar Breton Brulee    Chocolate Mousse w:Fleur de Sel and Crisp Rice

Creme brulee or chocolate mousse? Decisions, decisions. Of course the creme brulee is the real deal complete with Armagnac prunes. And chocolate mousse is always a favorite, just be sure to order it without the crisped rice on top. 

So, where else in the city can you get fancy pants quality French food for everyday people prices? The most expensive galette on the menu is $18 and the most expensive regular entree is $21. Real food for real people made by a real French chef. Need I say more? ça s'arrose! (let's drink to that! or that calls for a celebration/drink!)

*Merci Beaucoup, Suzana and Justin!

**Someone from Brittany is called a Breton, thus the name of the restaurant.

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Your Comments

21 Comments so far

  1. 1
    Samantha says:

    Amazing! I wish San Francisco restaurants would do this! Great post.

  2. 2
    Alison says:

    WOWEE. I am so jealous out here in buckwheat-galette-less SF!

  3. 3
    Aileen says:

    Wow! Amazing. Must visit soon! Thanks.

    Also, vous devez changer vos liens de sorte qu’une fois cliqués sur, ils ouvrent une nouvelle page Web et pas laissez le vôtre


  4. 4
    VeggieGirl says:

    Très délicieux! 🙂

  5. 5
    Terry says:

    Mon dieu! I just had lunch, but this is making my mouth water.

    Can’t wait for my next trip to NYC to try it.

  6. 6
  7. 7
    GlutenFreeEric says:

    I’m so excited to try out this place! The food looks amazing. Thanks for the great post … I should know by now not to read your blog when I’m hungry.

  8. 8
    Lesley Carol Prince says:

    What an amazing restaurant! I live in S.W. Ontario. I wish NYC was a little handier for me BUT I make buckwheat galettes too. I’m French Canadian and have made 100% buckwheat flour galettes since I was a ‘jeune fille’. ‘Merci beaucoup’ for the wonderful article and lovely pics!

  9. 9

    I’ve not been but I’m guessing they’re as amazing as the crêpes I had at Le Billig in Québec, (Québec)!

    They’re made in exactly the same way, even the presentation is the same. If you’re ever visiting Québec City check out rue St-Jean where you’ll find this lovely restaurant. Like Bar Breton they serve traditional Breton buckwheat crêpes and most of the menu is naturally gluten-free. They even serve apple cider on tap (instead of beer) to make it the perfect gluten-free meal!

  10. 10
    magpiejst says:

    This is SO cool. I was in
    Brittany a few years ago and was
    thrilled to discover galettes.

    I think a meal of frites and
    galettes would hit the spot.

  11. 11
    zuzupetals says:

    Thanks for this! I went once several months and unfortunately had a bad reaction – I passed it off as cross contamination. It sounds like they’ve stepped up their game and will give them another try. =)

  12. 12

    I’m going to be in New York for the week of Thanksgiving. Sounds like the perfect excuse to find this restaurant and give it a try!

  13. 13

    I am going to start a notebook filled with pages just like this post of terrific GF friendly restaurants to visit in NYC and then plan a trip eating our way around NY. Thank you, it looks fantastic!
    Karen Robertson

  14. 14
    Katie says:

    This is awesome! I had a creperie in Paris do up Gluten-free Buckwheat Gallettes for me once, and I’ve often wished I could get them here. So happy, can’t wait to try!

  15. 15

    Bar Breton is fantastic! I’ve eaten there many times and have never had a problem. Well, actually, I have had a problem: trying to decide what to order!

  16. 16
    Heather says:

    I will be heading to NYC this weekend and I can’t even begin to express how excited I am to try out this restaurant. Crepes?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! I do believe I will be over-indulging this weekend. 🙂

    Thanks so much for sharing this great find.

  17. 17

    This is great!
    Do you know of other restaurants in NYC that are glutten free?

  18. 18
    Marsha Ventura says:

    Does Anyone sell pr-made, buckwheat, or other gluten free crepes?

  19. 19
    Marsha Ventura says:

    Does Anyone sell pre-made, buckwheat, or other gluten free crepes?

  20. 20
    E.L. Rosen says:

    I used to love Bar Breton. It was a reliable standby for me in midtown, and one of the only safe places I knew to get truly gluten-free French food in the city. Sadly, when I tried to go there in early April 2012, I found it had closed. If anyone knows of another safe option for French food in the city, please let me know!

    And, feel free to stop by for gourmet gluten-free recipes and the scoop on gluten-free living in Connecticut and the tri-State area.

    E.L. Rosen


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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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