We finally went to Zero8 (on St-Denis) last Tuesday. For those of you who haven’t heard, Zero8 is a restaurant that has zero of the eight major allergens (no wheat/gluten, no fish/seafood, no milk/lactose, no eggs, no soy, no nuts, no peanuts, and no sesame). You might be wondering what’s left, but really, a lot of this cuisine is about substitution. I do it to a certain point when I cook lactose-free, but this restaurant just does it for a lot more. For example, the pasta is made with corn flour, not wheat or other gluten-containing grains.
The Engineer and I were with our good friends R. and J. R. is allergic to fish, seafood, nuts and peanuts, and I am lactose-intolerant, as you know. R. found it very refreshing to be able to eat out without worrying about sudden death, and I loved not having to pick from the menu based solely on how much lactose might be in the dish. For example, I was able to eat risotto without a care in the world!
We tasted the smoked duck with caramelized onions (delicious) as well as an exquisite cream of green onions and curry (cream-less, of course). And there were thin slices of gluten-free toasted bread. I then had the grilled duck steak (predictable) with squash purée and mushroom-shallot risotto, all of which was very good; the Engineer had the duck Sheppard’s pie (that’s with potatoes, not pot-pie style). R. had the braised beef short-rib and mashed potatoes, with meat practically falling off the bone, while J. had a New-York steak with fries. Great fries, by the way, and we all loved our meals.
For dessert, we tried the apple cake and the lava chocolate cake. I have to say they didn’t quite get the “lava” part right, but there was a dab of moist in the center, made with coconut milk. The crumb had either corn or rice flour; it was very good, even for those of us who can eat gluten.
I really loved this restaurant, and I hope that others will go try it. It’s got a great location and hip décor. Were it just because of the attention to the lack of major allergens, I would hope it stays in business for a long, long time, but it’s worth going just for the food even if you don’t have dietary restrictions.
There is a take-out service, too, for those of you who are interested.