I splurged on Chéri for his birthday and brought him for brunch at Restaurant NoGlu, one of the first truly gluten free restaurants in Paris. Set in the Passage des Panoramas, this restaurant has a charming industrial chic décor style which fits well withing the frame of the passage, and serves up gluten free food to trendy Parisian hipsters and celiacs alike.
The brunch menu offers a breakfast-brunch option and a more lunchtime meal option. We went for that as we had already had breakfast that morning and were really in the mood for a hot meal. But we were more than delighted to be served toast with jams to start. Now, this bread with which they make the toast could probably use a blog post all on its own. It’s so good. It’s THE BEST GLUTEN FREE BREAD I EVER HAD. Ever. No lie. Chéri and I were really impressed with the light spongy texture and how it wasn’t crumbling and falling apart when trying to spread butter and jam on it, like most gluten free breads that you can get here in the natural foods stores. They served up two kinds, plain, and raisin bread. Sooooo good!
We were also served fruit juice to start our brunch and so we indulged in the toasts with delight before our main dishes arrived. I had a ris de veau (veal) with roasted vegetables that I could have eaten several servings of. They were tender and full of flavor. Chéri had cod fish with a tasty risotto and a pesto and diced fruit garnish. Now Chéri generally doesn’t eat white fish, it’s not his thing as he says white fish has no flavor, but he really enjoyed his meal. I guess it was well seasoned to his liking.
Dessert was so delicious. Chéri had the pain d’épices with pineapple and a generous dollop of thick cream and a salted caramel garnish. I tasted his. Oh my….. it was divine. He was in heaven. He never gets to eat spice bread as it is very hard to find it gluten free (although I do believe Café Marlete sells a gluten free spice bread mix). I had the profiter rolls… Seriously yummy and indulgent, the light pastry puffs were perfect and filled with more cream.
We were quite full by the end of our meal. The price tag : 32€. Not cheap for brunch, but this tends to be the trend as far as brunch pricing goes in Paris, and you get the added benefit of eating in an entirely gluten free environment. The one downside to this restaurant I found was the low roof in the dining area upstairs which made the acoustics a little annoying, or was it just that the two bimbos at table next to us were particularly « chiantes« ?!? Either way, it was difficult to converse over them. We had to force ourselves not to allow their conversation to intrude upon our meal. I did like however, the style of the décor, (industrial chic as afore mentioned) with black and white accented by neutral woods. It was cosy in spite of the color palette. Perhaps the low ceiling helped with that coziness as well.
There is a counter on the ground level for those who are looking for a quick bite without all the table service. I am sure the celiacs and hipsters who work in the vicinity vie for those seats at the lunch hour rush.
On our way downstairs to pay for brunch at the counter, I noticed a loaf of wrapped bread and asked if we could purchase some to take home. The answer was Oui! So for 6,50€ (yeah, fresh gluten free bread is NOT cheap, even Marks & Spencers sells gluten free bread for over 4€ a loaf) … right, so at 6,50€ we had our own loaf of that amazing bread. Only a euro more than the crumbly bricks of fresh gluten free bread we get at the organic store. We vowed to never buy gluten free bread in the organic store ever again. The NoGlu bread is so worth it to splurge on occasion. So Chéri will most likely stop in there a couple of times a month and grab a loaf or two when he’s craving bread. Now this bread, mind you… it remained moist and spongy for three whole days! We wrapped it in plastic wrap to help it stay that way, and maybe it would have lasted longer but we ate it all so I couldn’t tell you…!
16 Passage des Panoramas
Tel : 01 40 26 41 24