Guest blogger Val is back with a post from her blog, Mangiamo Hoboken. It’s taken a new turn, as you will see, says Val:
I have not updated my Mangiamo blog in awhile and it’s not because I have been not eating out, but because over the summer, I found out that I can no longer eat any gluten products. Whether or not it’s due to Celiac’s Disease is still to be determined, but over the past three months of changing my diet and mostly my lifestyle, I can honestly say that I have never felt better in my entire life. I will admit, when I was first diagnosed, I had severe anxiety over what foods I could actually eat. After dealing with the fact that I could no longer have pizza, pasta, Italian bread – all the foods I love – I realized there are so many food options out there that I CAN eat and enjoy. I did google “is nutella gluten free?” and did a happy dance when I found out that it is. But, as much as I would love my whole diet to consist of eating nutella all day, every day, it is unfortunately not the healthiest way to live.
So, to continue my Mangiamo! Hoboken blog, I decided not to end my journey for the best Italian food in Hoboken, but to expand it to finding the best “gluten free eats” in this town (and still satisfy my love for Italian food). It’s been challenging to explain to family, friends, co-workers as to why I can’t have that scrumptious piece of focaccia sitting at the table, but thankfully going “gluten free” is a lot more common and people are more conscientious of it, especially restaurants and food manufacturers.
So, my first “gluten free eats” review brings me to Amanda’s Wine Bar on 9th and Washington. Over the past three years of living in Hoboken, I have walked by this restaurant numerous times, but never went inside. I have since dined there twice and will continue to go back as my meal here was extremely satisfying and delectable. The inside of Amanda’s is not something I would expect to see in Hoboken. The décor is very quant and the restaurant space itself is rather large and includes three separate dining areas, a bar and a wine cellar.
After settling into our table, I started my dinner off with a nice glass of the Dr. Konstantin Frank 2010 Dry Riesling, Finger Lakes, NY. I have never been a big fan of Riesling, but at the suggestion of the waitress, I decided to try it and definitely enjoyed it! It was not too dry and had a very mild flavor, for those wine connoisseurs out there. For my entrée, I had the Herb Crusted Chicken with roasted root vegetables, garlic mashed potatoes and natural au jus (French for “its own juice”) – for me, this whole dish was gluten free! I did alert the waitress to my gluten sensitivity just to make sure that nothing was mixed with any flour. The chicken itself was perfectly cooked – just the right amount of juices infused the poultry and it was crusted with a perfect balance of herbs such as rosemary and Italian seasonings. The garlic mashed potatoes were extremely light and fluffy and were not overwhelming with garlic. The seasonal vegetables included carrots, turnips and parsnips – the perfect fall vegetables and they were sautéed in a light amount of olive oil, salt and pepper. On this occasion, I did not have any dessert, but a good gluten free option is the sorbet sampler – a scoop of blackberry, raspberry and mango sorbets.
The staff at Amanda’s was extremely friendly and attentive. My wine and water glasses were always full and there was always someone available in case you needed something. I will definitely be heading back there soon, especially to try their extensive brunch menu. Additionally, they currently host an “Early Dinner Special” Mondays – Saturdays for seatings at 5 and 5:30 p.m. and includes a three course prix-fixe menu at $16 per person (check out the flyer below for more information).
Ci vediamo. Mangia bene, Hoboken!
Val is a Hoboken resident who grew up half Italian, lived abroad in Rome, and watched her grandmother make everything from minestrone to lasagna…which in turn put her on a journey to find the best pizza, gnocchi and Italian desserts in Hoboken. Give her a glass of Chianti and some Nutella and she is one happy girl! To follow her foodie blog, visit Mangiamo Hoboken.