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Jun 18, 2013 01:52 PM

Fine dining with serious food restrictions

Hi BC chowhounds taking a trip up to Vancouver in July and starting to plan my food itinerary a la greyelf's epic SF itinerary. I do need some help with some meal with my hosts up there who have some food restrictions.

I'm looking a place that has white linen level food without being snotty or old-fashioned, price really isn't an issue but I want my hosts to be comfortable and they prefer more relaxed, suit-free environments.

Their dietary restrictions are Gluten free, reduced nightshades, omnivore for one. One person is vegetarian, allergic to soy protein and peanuts. My own spouse is pescatarian.

So I need to find a place that has gluten free, soy free vegetarian as well as seafood and meat (although I'd do vegan if it worked) and is aware of allergies.

Open to all types of cuisine would prefer to keep it under 70 a head and be a sit down fining dining place.

We'll have a car so we can drive anywhere although not looking to go outside the city, East Van is great.

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  1. Had to google nightshades: Potatoes, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, tomatillos, tamarios, pepinos, pimentos, paprika, and cayenne peppers are classified as nightshade foods.

    You have yourself quite the tall order, tj! I'm taking some SF friends to L'abbatoir, which might suit your requirements if they can do the restrictions. Give them a call if the menu appeals (and don't forget to ask for atrium seating if you go).

    5 Replies
    1. re: grayelf

      the menu looks great. was planning on going here with just the spouse. think there isn't enough vegetarian choice for dinner with a vegetarian. Is it an easy reservation to get? BTW how hard are reso in Vancouver? You know even weekday ones are hard to get in SF at many places.

      1. re: tjinsf

        I do know that : -). Generally Van is easier though there are prolly a few exceptions. I booked a couple days ago for L'Abb at the beginning of July because I noticed the "good" times (7:30) were going even on Tues and Wed. But that was on Open Table, not calling directly.

        Re dining there with a veghead: we took my inlaws and SIL is a vegetarian. They did a special dish for her which she loved. I believe they will treat your DC very well, especially if you mention the v'ism when you book. I met someone recently who works there, and it is a serious, "French" kitchen with high standards. Depends if you are willing to put yourself in their hands, of course.

      2. re: grayelf

        My personal experience with L'Abbatoir a few weeks ago was not positive. I have a dairy allergy and when I asked the server what dishes he would recommend or what would be done dairy-free to proceeded to suggest a dish that was "butter poached" and another where the key ingredient was goat cheese. Did not install alot of confidence. I also found it a bit pricey if the OP $70 budget is to include more than one course and drinks.

        I have had very good luck at Yew Restaurant with allergy/dietary restrictions. They also have a vegan menu and are heavily weighted toward the pescatarian. They do take reservations and on Sunday they offer 1/2 price bottles from their winelist.

        1. re: islandgirl

          That's a drag. Did you tell them about your allergy when you booked? I've noticed I get better results when I give the resto a heads up about such things (not that this in any way excuses the lame suggestions made by the server, of course).

          1. re: grayelf

            Seems obtuse that a server would even make any suggestions that are glaringly dairy'd ! Imagine if a nut-allergic patron had been served foods containing nuts as suggested by that waiter .... the consequences could be serious.

      3. I'm not 100% sure about how their menu stacks up with the nightshade restriction (that's a toughie!), but I'm confident that The Acorn on Main St. would be able to prepare something to suit everyone's requirements.

        The only trouble is that they don't take reservations, except for their big table, which is for 6 or more. Don't count on getting a table as a walk-in, unless you arrive either very early or very late. At least they are open until 2 am...

        1. Some of the newer vegetarian places seem to be pretty gluten-and-other-food-restrictions conscious. Acorn (as suggest above) would probably be a good option, as would Heirloom. Neither of them are really white linen level, though.

          I wonder if Kitsilano Daily Kitchen might be flexible enough for your group? It's a nice space, and the food and service are good. I get the sense that the chef could tailor the menu fairly well.

          1. A vegetarian friend who sometimes is in the mood to "go vegan" had his 40th b-day celebration at The Globe @ YVR, and said they're quite lifestyle-friendly.


            OP said: "white linen level food without being snotty or old-fashioned, price really isn't an issue". Globe prolly would fit that requirement.

            1. Hmmm this is a challenge - I would to like to add Burdock & Co and Forage to the list of recommendations.