In the spring of 2014, Gluten-Free Living had the chance to speak with Frédérique Jules, owner of the completely gluten-free restaurant NOGLU in Paris, as part of the ‘Day in the Life’ series. When the interview was over, Jules mentioned she hoped to open a NOGLU in New York City.
Earlier this month, Jules brought French cuisine and pastries to New York when she opened NOGLU New York on Madison Avenue between 90th and 91st Street. It is the third NOGLU, and the first outside of Paris, joining the restaurant and a second take-out only restaurant.
The New York location has a gluten-free bakery on the ground level with French pastries including chouquettes, madeleines and fruit tarts, a variety of loaves of bread and take out options, such as quiches and salads.
Next month, an 18-seat gluten-free restaurant will open on the second floor, serving lunch and dinner and brunch on Sundays. NOGLU’s New York team will be overseen by Italian chef Filippo Gimraldini and pastry chef Cécilia Grissa. Both Gimraldini and Grissa have trained in French, Italian, American and gluten-free cuisine, which included spending time training at NOGLU Paris.
A few days after the opening, I went to NOGLU to speak with Jules. “I love the U.S. I love New York,” she says, explaining what inspired her to open in the Big Apple. Additionally she was encouraged to open in the city by customers in Paris who
come from New York. Jules selected the Upper East Side because she loves the area. “I think this is a good neighborhood to open a small place to start in New York,” she says.
The restaurant’s lunch and dinner menus will change throughout the year, focusing on French classics and seasonal dishes made with local ingredients. The fall menus offer four starters, four entrees and several dessert options. For lunch, diners can start with lentils topped with a poached egg or pumpkin and ginger group. A NOGLU club sandwich or suckling pig and ceps (mushrooms) are lunch entrée choices, with a cheese plate with homemade bread, lemon meringue pie, chocolate lava cake or a pear and chocolate shortbread offered for dessert.
The dinner menu includes starting options such as bruschetta with ricotta, eggplant caviar and sun-dried tomatoes or Jerusalem artichoke purée and poached egg, truffle and toast. Dinner entrees range from a burger with sautéed potatoes to gnocchi with smoked eggplant and roasted pumpkin or Calf’s liver a la Veneziana, polenta and caramelized onions.
Jules is excited about the new challenge New York offers. “It’s French pastry for me, gluten free, but French pastry,” she says. “I hope people will come uptown to see that.” And she hopes that all diners will be enticed by her French creations, not just those who are gluten free.
Susan Cohen is a New York freelance writer. She contributes regularly to Gluten-Free Living.