Dietary restrictions shouldn't have to include boring or limited options. Asking the chef or staff the right questions can result in an unexpected world of flavor. Through trial and error, amazing dining experiences can be had with nearly any cuisine, yielding an impressive feast. This week's visit to Zona 78 was no exception.
Zona 78's ability to accommodate food allergies is underrated. The idea of Italian food sans gluten and dairy might sound just plain wrong. But, between the use of Zona's regional-style vegetables, fresh herbs, rich spices, and perfectly seasoned sauces, wheat and dairy is rendered unnecessary.
The shared meal:
How it comes: Prosciutto, Calabria salami, grilled zucchini, Kalamata olives, marinated artichoke hearts, marinated mixed peppers and onions, sweet piquant peppers
Gluten FREEstyle version: We requested a small serving of Cilantro Hummus as a substitution for cheeses.
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How it comes: Chipotle BBQ sauce, Zona-made mozzarella (request without for dairy-free), gouda (request without for dairy-free), bacon, onions, cilantro
Gluten FREEstyle version: We requested a gluten-free crust that was baked to perfection. The thin-crust offered a delightful chewiness without retaining excess moisture.
“We use Udi’s brand crust," said our server. "It comes frozen, the pizza built on top, and baked on a sheet-pan in a designated kitchen oven…away from the corn meal, wheat flour mix in our wood-fire oven.”
How it comes: Housemade sausage, ground beef (request without for dairy-free), fennel, onion, San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella (request without for dairy-free), housemade ricotta (request without for dairy-free), fresh basil
Gluten FREEstyle version: We requested the Zona-made Quinoa Linguini as a substitute for rigatoni pasta. Also substituted was the sauce. To avoid dairy consumption (Parmesan cheese), our server suggested their rustic-pizza sauce for the San Marzano option. Additionally recommended was extra housemade sausage. Cheese is added to the ground beef and prepared all at once to make the meatballs, leaving the kitchen with no extra ground beef for special accommodations.
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Lacey & Suede say:
Zona 78 is a must for gluten and dairy-free foodies. Like the majority of restaurants, items are always susceptible to cross-contamination. However, the staff’s knowledge of ingredients and composition of dishes is highly respected. The accommodations were generous. With so many available options, every visit welcomes a fresh ‘FREEstyle.’
For more information, visit zona78.com.