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Riverhead: Gluten-free at Dark Horse

Owner Dee Muma checks in with dining patrons

Owner Dee Muma checks in with dining patrons at the Dark Horse restaurant on East Main Street in downtown Riverhead. (Dec. 5, 2010) Credit: Doug Young

Toward the bottom of Dark Horse Restaurant’s menu is a little box, less than an inch square. “We speak GF!” it says. If that means nothing to you then you don’t suffer from celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. “GF” means gluten-free, indicating that the food in question does not contain the wheat protein gluten that wreaks havoc on some peoples’ health.

Dee Muma, the owner of Dark Horse (and herself a gluten-avoider) explained her decision to soft-pedal the restaurant’s GF cred. “I was afraid that if we promoted the gluten-free thing, no one else would come here.”

Here’s how it works at Dark Horse: Most of the menu items are completely wheat free. Where wheat is a factor—rotelli for the chicken pasta, brioche roll for the burgers—gluten-free versions (homemade and quite good) are available. A gluten-free bread basket is available for the asking. All desserts—from and mousse to cakes and pies—are gluten free.

Muma promotes other healthful agendas at Dark Horse. Wednesdays are dubbed “For the planet, damn it” nights, where the kitchen goes meat free, serving vegetarian dishes “that a carnivore could love.” From Sunday through Thursday, happy hour is officially “locavore,” with local oysters, local beers and local wines served straight from the cask.

Dark Horse is at 1 E Main St., Riverhead, 631-208-0072.

Owner Dee Muma checks in with guests at Dark Horse Restaurant in Riverhead.

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