As most people with a food allergy know, eating out at a restaurant can be difficult, especially when you are with people who are not afflicted by any sort of food related issue. They grimace when its your turn to order, because they know you will ask 25 questions about the ingredients in the starters menu alone. Safety is completely understandable, and thankfully there is a place here in Barcelona that feels the same way.
Located in the Gracia neighborhood, Messié Sin Gluten feels right at home. In an area that is surrounded by local artisans, organic veg co-ops, and vegan bicycle shops, this little Italian restaurant is a welcome addition to the club. They are a 100% dedicated gluten free restaurant, and that means you can order anything on the menu without fear. There is no risk of cross contamination, because dirty stinking’ wheat flour never enters their building. You will NEVER have to ask “Does that have gluten in it?” again.
We went for lunch on a Wednesday, and there was only one other table of guests there. One TripAdvisor review says that on the weekend it is highly advised to make a reservation – without one you will be waiting for a while because there are not many tables. The ambiance is a little confused inside, and tries to combine some classic Italian styles with modern art and bistro seating. We were pleasantly surprised at the selection of music they were playing, however – DJ Krush + Fela Kuti. Even though it lacked an accordion and operatic harmonies, it suited the place well.
Besides a tranquil dining room, going out for lunch during the week has another advantage – the Menu del Dia – or 3 course meal at a discount price. Messié Sin Gluten offers their Menu for 11.90€, but excludes pizza. You get to choose a soup or a salad from the regular menu as your first course, a pasta as your second, and cake or gelato as your dessert. Because we were two eaters, we decided to add a pizza a la carte to the order to be able to taste a nice selection of offerings.
The food itself was quite good, and for the price was a decent value. The flavors were simple and balanced, but could have been pushed a little farther. With the Menu del Dia, the goat cheese and beetroot salad we ordered was delicious and fresh. The goats cheese was crispy and warm on the top with a balsamic drizzle. The pasta was my least favorite plate, but still had a unique taste. The corn spirals were mixed with a thick, creamy leek sauce that reminded me of the flavors in a potato leek soup. It was a bit strange at first, but I liked it more after a few bites. There were other pasta choices, but this was one of the only vegetarian options. For dessert, we chose the chocolate cake which, as you can see in the photo, was a fan favorite. It had a dense, moist texture and a rich, fudgy flavor. There were at least 5 other flavors of cake you could have chosen from including, but not limited to: carrot cake, apple spice, and orange almond. Taste them all, I say!
The true draw to an Italian restaurant for any gluten free person is the prospect of real, wood-fire cooked pizza. Pasta and salad are good, but nothing beats a real, normal tasting pizza! We had high hopes for this place, because it has such great local reviews, and it delivered us good flavors, a crispy base, and wide selection of toppings. As advertised, the crust was indeed thin and crispy. I like a thin crust pizza, but for me this was a little too thin. I feel it needed more substance to hold up the delicious, fresh veggies we ordered on top and also to prevent itself from burning on the bottom. Overall, for around 8€ to 9€ a pie, its a one person meal that tastes pretty good.
Messié Sin Gluten
MON-SUN: 12:00pm – 11:30 pm