When I went gluten-free almost seven years ago, I regretfully said goodbye to Italian food because I thought I had to. Going out to eat with my family or even eating dinner at home as a family immediately became more difficult. I wish I had known then that Obicà was on the horizon, and that I didn’t have to say goodbye forever…
Let me just start by saying that for an Italian restaurant, Obicà has a staggering amount of items that are either naturally gluten-free or can be made gluten-free. Part of this is due to an impressive and diverse selection of homemade cheeses, with mozzarella serving as their specialty. Each type of cheese is plated with their own unique accoutrements. While I can’t eat dairy either, I did snag a few bites of the perfectly marinated artichokes and salty anchovies. I had never eaten a straight anchovy before, but it was surprisingly delicious.
One of the highlights of my meal at Obicà was their delicious prosciutto. I am a huge fan of pork products in general and have eaten many a charcuterie plate in my day, but this prosciutto was perfectly fatty to the point where it took on an almost buttery quality. I shamelessly ate this prosciutto plain and with my hands, not even thinking once about a piece of bread or cracker.
While I clearly love my meat, Obicà also has a well-rounded selection of vegan and vegetarian items, in case you follow that type of diet. I had the pleasure of trying their Burrata and Mango Salad, but without the burrata due to my dairy intolerance, which Obicà happy omitted with no issues. This salad featured fresh kale, radicchio, cherry tomatoes, red radish, fresh mint, and – my favorite addition to the bunch – toasted hazelnuts. I also indulged in the Cavolfiore al Forno, which entailed perfectly roasted cauliflower, raisins, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, olives, and fennel pollen. It was clear in trying Obicà’s vegetarian items that they can create a well-rounded and flavorful dish even without the meat.
The pasta course was another favorite, because I could actually partake in it! I ordered the Pappardelle all’ Anatra e Arancia, but with gluten-free penne instead of pappardelle. Obicà makes all of their gluten-free pasta in house, which is an extremely impressive feat. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to a restaurant that simply buys dried gluten-free pasta because it’s “easier.” This pasta itself was fantastic, but enhanced further by the other components of the dish, which included a savory duck ragu and orange zest.
When it came to the main course, there were also many items to choose from, as a good portion of them were naturally gluten-free. I opted for the branzino, which was served with roasted tomatoes, fresh green beans, and white beans. The fish was extremely flavorful and the skin was delightfully crisp.
The dessert round included a beautiful Greek yogurt panna cotta with fresh passionfruit. The presentation of this dish was so superb it was almost too pretty to eat! While it wasn’t ordered on this occasion, you should know Obicà also has a flourless chocolate cake on their dessert menu for you chocoholics out there.
If you’re ever feeling down in the dumps about being able to indulge in a pasta dish on a whim, head to Obicà. Their expansive and gluten-free friendly menu in addition to their even more comprehensive wine list and excellent service will have you feeling better in no time.