Mozzarelli's, located at 38 E. 23rd Street (mere steps from the 23rd street stop on the 6), is a little small, but is a treasure trove for the gluten intolerant, for whom the thought of slices of New York pizza seems like a pipe dream.
Mz's serves big, fat squares of gluten free pizza, crust made from a "secret blend of brown rice and beans", as well as gluten free pastas and plenty of desserts.
There's no need to ask for any special menus or to be wary of ingredients because "GLUTEN FREE" is posted everywhere! Mz's is quite clear about which foods are gluten free and which ones aren't, and its staff is also very knowledgeable.
I have yet to try the pasta, but I've heard rave reviews. I usually order a slice of the bruschetta pizza, which is topped with tomatoes, but this time, I tried the mushroom, tomato, and spinach pie. It's baked right after you order it, so that it's served nice and warm. I didn't inquire about the separation of the kitchens, but the g-free pizza is placed on a separate shelf from the other pizzas, scooped with a separate spatula, and is cooked with a piece of foil beneath it in the oven.
The cheese and sauce are a little oily, but other than that, there are no complaints about this pizza. The crust is superb, nice and crispy, and surprisingly airy. It had great crunch. The sauce is zesty! A nice slice indeed, especially at only $5.
One cannot eat at Mz's without getting dessert. My mind nearly exploded with excitement the first time that I ate here and saw the whole case full of g-free desserts, neatly packaged and looking so enticing.
Cakes, cheesecake, rice pudding, cupcakes, all kinds of delicious treats, silently seducing my gastronomic appetites.
The first time I ate here, I had a slice of vanilla/chocolate marble cake that was divine, but the real heaven was found when I had a piece of cheesecake with strawberries. It was just how I remembered cheesecake to taste: soft, creamy, light, and rich. I'm salivating as I remember it.
One last part of Mz's left to knock your gluten free socks off. The wall of cookies.
Seriously, I was in awe. I have never seen so many different kinds of gluten free cookies in one place before. If one can achieve Celiac nirvana, it might be found in front of these showcases.
And you know what? They're all delicious! And there's a table where you can sample as many different kinds as you want before you buy, just as an added perk. It's hard to suppress the urge to snatch up a sample of every last kind once you taste the first cookie. They're baked by a company called My Dad's Cookies and retail at 3 boxes for $12. Other allergies and special diets are accommodated as well. I saw cookies and desserts that were dairy and egg free, as well as sugar free.
I recommend the creme brulee cookie. After sampling my fair share *cough* I found them to be the best. Another good one is the chocolate "bing bong". Don't ask me to explain the name; I have no clue. But really. Any kind of cookie urge can be satisfied here.
Mozzarelli's: A hidden gluten free paradise.