Food Allergies? No problem at Zero8 restaurant!

Posted on November 30th, 2009 by .

For people who are allergic to certain foods, choosing a restaurant can be a real problem. Considering some allergies can be severe, even fatal, especially for those who are allergic to peanuts and seafood, Zero8 just might be their last hope if they want to eat out at a restaurant.

This new Montreal resto offers a completely hypoallergenic menu designed without the top eight allergens that affect most allergy-sufferers, according to Health Canada. Surprisingly, it’s not boring, bland, granola hippy food and the décor at Zero8 is also really stylish. It’s a range of contrasts from highbrow design to down home grub — they even have a poutine on the menu made without cheese!

Zero8 has only been open for a few months now, and the owners have assured me that their concept is unique. Although there are many other restaurants with gluten-free kitchens or peanut-free kitchens, Zero8 appears to be the first one on the block to have their kitchen certified hypoallergenic and their menu has been specifically designed without the following eight allergens:

• Fish and seafood
• Peanuts
• Nuts
• Sesame seeds
• Milk
• Soybeans
• Eggs
• Wheat or any grain containing gluten (barley, oats, rye, triticale—a blend of wheat and rye grains)

They don’t take any chances — everything served on your plate has been prepared on the premises, including all the sauces, bases — they even make their own mayonnaise. Plus they make sure that everything they buy has been certified allergen-free.

I had an excellent homemade terrine, followed by a new take on traditional shepherd’s pie, which was made with a generous portion of confit de canard (preserved duck) instead of the usual ground beef. Keeping in line with the dairy-free menu, the mashed potatoes were made with olive oil instead of the usual milk and butter.

Of all the things on the menu, I was most curious about the desserts. If you sit and think about it for a minute, it’s pretty difficult to come up with a good dessert without using any eggs, milk, or flour. The caramel poached pear was absolutely delicious and the chocolate fondant wasn’t too bad, considering it was made without any milk products whatsoever.

Despite all the variety, it seems that their bestseller is their bread! I guess people who have gluten issues must have so many problems with this one. They must be thrilled they can come to Zero8 and chow down on tasty bread made with chickpea flour and not have to worry about the digestive consequences. I have to say, I’m so grateful that I have a strong stomach and can eat just about anything I want. My heart goes out to all those allergy-sufferers out there, but finally there’s a restaurant to for you!

Insider tip: To show you how serious these restaurant owners are, even the soap in the bathroom is gluten-free!

1735 St. Denis, Montreal, QC H2X 3K4, 514 658-5552

Tuesday – Sunday: 11: 30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Closed on Mondays

Dress code: casual chic
Reservations are recommended
Average bill for starter, main and dessert (before tax, tip and alcohol): $27 per person

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