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Review: Gluten Free Menu at Anthem Bar + Kitchen

Believe it or not there are a handful of restaurants in Faneuil Hall that offer gluten free menu options, including Bangkok Express, Wagamama, and Anthem Kitchen + Bar. Screen shot 2013-09-17 at 4.35.05 PM

Tucked into the historic heart of Boston’s Faneuil Hall, Anthem Kitchen + Bar offers a casual chic atmosphere and good drinks. The first floor features floor-to-ceiling windows that are opened during the summer months, offering guests an al fresco dining experience. Anthem is a great spot for people watching, and if you get seated on the second floor, you can look out over all the tourists and trees, while enjoying the comfort of air conditioning.

Owned and operated by The Briar Group, Anthem Kitchen + Bar is one of three restaurants within the Group that offer a Gluten Sensitive Menu— the other two being City Table and MJ O’Connor’s. Read my review of MJ O’Connor’s here.

On Labor Day Jeremy and I decided to walk around Faneuil Hall and have dinner here. It was pretty quiet, but we attributed that to it being a holiday that most people spend at the beach or a backyard barbeque.

Anthem has two spacious bar areas perfect for enjoying a relaxing after-work cocktail, beer, or pre-dinner appetizer. The drink menu includes unique martinis and creative cocktails like the blood orange cosmo (Tito’s vodka, blood orange juice and orange juice) and the lychee martini (Ketel One*, lychee liqueur, lemon, topped with champagne). We were very impressed with the drinks we ordered. The cucumber cooler was delicious, tasted like cucumbers, and was not too strong. It makes for a refreshing drink on a hot summer day.IMG_4533

* Kettle One is made from wheat and distilled. Distilled liquors are generally thought to be gluten-free, but there are people who will react to distilled liquor.

The Gluten Sensitive menu is rather small but offers a nice selection of appetizers and entrées. It’s always nice when a restaurant offers a separate menu for gluten sensitivities; this certainly beats having to ask the waitress about every single menu item.

For an appetizer, we shared the Grilled Corn Tacos ($16), served with salsa verde, spicy chipotle aioli, lime, shredded lettuce and your choice of two of the following: braised ancho rubbed beef, whitefish, pork carnitas, or grilled shrimp. We chose the beef and shrimp. IMG_4534

I loved the beef and Jeremy loved the shrimp tacos. The beef was tender and had a great flavor, as did the shrimp. The salsa verde and aioli were also delicious. This was our favorite part of the meal and we both agreed we would come back again and order this dish. I would even order it as a meal, 4 tacos would be plenty for a meal!IMG_4531

For our entrées we shared the Pan Roasted Salmon ($24) and Pan Roasted Cod ($26). The salmon was served with snap peas, mashed spuds, edamame purée, and a chili-orange mustard glaze. The salmon was cooked perfectly, slightly pink on the inside with a crispy skin on the outside. The salmon had a nice flavor and I liked the semi-sweet and semi-spicy glaze. I do wish there had been more edamae purée. It was more a garnish than actually being part of the dish, which is too bad because I really liked it.IMG_4535

The line caught cod was served with roasted potatoes, buttered asparagus, and a mustard beurre blanc. The cod was a little dry and very plain without the sauce, but I did like the mustardy tang of the sauce. Both meals were good but the value wasn’t there in terms of price, quality, and portion size.IMG_4539

Overall it is a good choice for something a bit nicer than the normal pub fare in Faneuil, which most likely isn’t gluten free anyways. It’s also a great place for after-work drinks and appetizers, or to watch a game. Our server was very friendly and accommodating and overall we had a nice relaxing evening.

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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 NOT eating 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.