Gluten-Free Brioche? Magnifique!

New York's Noglu Bakery combines a classic French bakery with American sensibilities

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Cupcake at Noglu
Head to the Upper East Side for all of Noglu's gluten-free goodies.

What do you do when you’re French, your world revolves around bread and then you get diagnosed with celiac disease? For Frédérique Jules the answer was to open her own 100 percent gluten-free bakery, Noglu in New York City.

Jules hired a Japanese chef, Mitsuru Yatanase, and an American pastry chef, Jennifer Hearting-Lepoutre, to bring their expertise together and to experiment until they perfected an all gluten-free menu.

After successfully wowing Parisians, Jules caught the eye of consummate New Yorker, Eli Zabar of Eli’s Market, and the two teamed up to bring gluten-free heaven to New Yorkers. Since the doors of the swanky Upper East Side location opened, the place has been packed.

The interior at Noglu
Noglu’s interior.

The proof is in the bread; it’s made from a top-secret custom mix of rice flour and potato starch. It’s a customer favorite and Jules’ personal pick as well. She explains, “It was so hard to transition to eating gluten-free and without bread, and once we made this recipe for a soft and flavorful bread I was able to finally enjoy good bread again.”

The gluten-free deliciousness doesn’t stop with bread (and brioche and hamburger buns). There are brownies studded with pecans, a glamorous raspberry topped chocolate tartlet and buttery madeleines. Upstairs, a full menu is served focused on organic ingredients. Expect light French classics like a quiche of the day, seasonal green salads, berries and balsamic dressing and scallops with fresh corn salsa and cilantro oil.

With 50 percent of the menu also free of dairy, this is one spot that everyone can agree on, no matter  your dietary preferences.