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Nebo Restaurant Review – Gluten Free Pizza, Pasta & More

On June 20, 2013, Nebo opened in its new location on Atlantic Avenue, just next door to Trade. The restaurant, owned by sisters Carla and Christine Pallotta, was originally located in the North End before moving to its new location. Their mother and grandmother’s classic Italian recipes inspired them to first open the restaurant in 2005.Screen shot 2013-11-13 at 2.34.42 PM

Last week I was invited to check out Nebo’s gluten free menu with Amelia from Altus Marketing & Management. We had such a great night. I really liked the open layout and the industrial décor. It was a bit noisy, and there were times we had to strain to here each other. Nebo also offers outside seating along Atlantic Ave.

While I was there I met both sisters, who informed me that Nebo has a dedicated gluten-free section of their kitchen, and have made sure that their staff is well-trained.

Nebo offers an extensive gluten free menu, complete with appetizers, pasta dishes, entrees, and pizzas. Although I do commend them for having so many gluten free options (including fried calamari), I am still put-off by the $3 surcharge for gluten-free pasta and $4 surcharge for the pizza.IMG_5222

We shared the gluten-free lardo pizza as an appetizer. Made with lardo (a type of Italian charcuterie—think gourmet salami), wild mushrooms, caramelized onions, sage, and mozzarella, it was absolutely delicious! The crust had a great texture and taste. The crust was crunchy and not gooey in the middle, which happens a lot with gluten free pizza. Their trick is that they cook the dough first, without anything on it, then add the toppings and finish it in the oven. I will have to remember this when I make pizza at home! If you are willing to spend the money ($19-22) then I highly recommend ordering one of their 8 gluten free pizzas.IMG_5226

For my entrée, I ordered the pasta Bolognese, made with slow braised meat ragu, tomato sauce and pecorino cheese. I really liked the type of pasta they use (I don’t know what brand it is); it had a great taste and great texture, and was cooked perfectly. The Bolognese was pretty good as well, but I wasn’t blow away by any means, and I still couldn’t get over the fact that this dish was $26 if ordered gluten free.IMG_5227

For dessert I tried the flourless chocolate torte. It was incredibly rich and dense. I could only eat half and saved the rest for the next night at home. I would order this again, without a doubt!IMG_5230

Overall I did enjoy my experience at Nebo. I loved the all-around friendly-vibe of the restaurant and its staff, and the bar area seems like a great place to grab drinks with friends or coworkers after work. The one thing I do not like is when restaurants charge so much extra for gluten free options. A $1 or $2 up-charge is understandable, but anything more than that is hard to justify in my mind; it feels like they are taking advantage, rather than off-setting the cost of the ingredients. There are plenty of suitable gluten-free pizza and pastas available on the market, so it is not difficult to find one that is not so costly. So would I go back? Yes, I would go back for a drink and appetizer or to share a pizza, but it would have to be a special occasion for me to spend $20 on a pizza.

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Jessica

I've been on a gluten free diet since January 2009. It's been an adventure, and a challenge at times. I love to go to new restaurants and try new foods, and being gluten free can make eating out difficult at times. But I will not let my dietary restrictions get in my way of finding new restaurants and products. These are my stories of being a young women in a big city, eating out and trying new foods, all while trying to NOT eat gluten. Like I said, it's an adventure and you are welcome to come along... Please note that as I try to eat gluten free 100% of the time, my intolerance is not as severe as others so please use caution when dining at restaurants that are not certified gluten free.

6 thoughts on “Nebo Restaurant Review – Gluten Free Pizza, Pasta & More

  1. Hi Jessica! We met recently at a Blog and Tweet Boston event. :) It was interesting to read your review – I had the same experience. I thought the food was really good, but kind of basic – it didn’t feel worth the high price (and the additional $3-4 bothered me since they have an actual gluten free menu there is no reason to hide the true price in the fine print). BUT the pizza was good! I’ll probably be back at some point when I really crave pizza.

  2. This is really so helpful! I go to college in Boston, so it’s nice to have other people’s opinions on different restaurants. My friend and I, who is also gluten free, are always trying to find new places to go. We’ll have to check this place out!

    1. Being the chef/ owner of Nebo restaurant , I can assure there are no hidden costs nor is anyone being taken advantage of. These add on prices are figured into my food costs as any of my other dishes are ! We have spent thousands of dollars purchasing separate froyalaters , equipment , utensils and paying premium prices to have some of our products outsourced ! This being to make sure my guests can dine in a safe and secure environment ! Other than seeing the smiles on my guests faces and them being so appreciative of the work put into a gluten free menu , there is no advantage to us having one ! Anyone who is truly celiac knows just from buying food for their house that they pay a premium price . I hope this helps you understand where the restaurant owner is coming from ! Thank you Christine Pallotta chef/owner.

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