Freestyling Chef Winning Rave Reviews

By Bob Peters
May 22, 2012

Chef David Petrynka of Eight Zero ZeroRestaurant reviewer Walter Siebel of the Watertown Daily Times has travelled north and west to review another Cornwall restaurant. And once again, he and his group of "foodies" took the trip back across the border with a happy and satisfying experience under their belts.

This time Mr. Siebel visited Eight Zero Zero, a restaurant he describes as a "fine-dining restaurant with an unusual name and a sophisticated feel". The restaurant is owned by Chef David Petrynka, who took over from the previous owners in February.

Mr. Siebel describes Chef Petrynka as "a passionate and ingenious cook offering a menu that appeals not only to foodies but to anyone looking for an accessible, upscale dining experience."

David Petrynka has been in the restaurant business since the age of 14, where he started out washing dishes at a local pub. Two years later found him apprenticing in the kitchen on a path that would eventually lead him to complete the Culinary Arts program at Algonquin College. Upon graduation, he worked at a number of restaurants in Ottawa's famous Byward Market area, serving professional hockey players, local socialites and visiting celebrities such as Drew Barrymore.

It was during his stay in Ottawa that David would develop what he calls the "Canadian Freestyle" approach to cooking - his dishes are a mish-mash of influences from home and abroad - a perfect allegory for the Canadian cultural landscape.

"I am intrigued by the variety of tastes and textures that can be found in various ethnic dishes," says Chef Petrynka. "It is very rewarding to take different influences and incorporate diverse flavours into one dish."

"I call it Canadian Freesytle as isn't that what Canada has always been about? Blending in influences from elsewhere into our own native flavours?"

Chef Petrynka says he learned a lot from previous owners Dominique and Ahmad, who helped make the transition very smooth. The two previous owners will be opening a new restaurant in Downtown Cornwall shortly called Truffles Burger Bar.

"Ahmad taught me the about the business side of running a restaurant," says David. "I am fortunate to have inherited a loyal clientele and a successful business."

Since taking over, David has renovated the restaurant, adding a bar, re-envisioning the patio and changing up the menu.

"The menu has a little bit of the old and quite a bit new stuff as well," he notes. "I am a big fan of old flavours, rich sauces and powerful meats, but can also appreciate the beauty of a light, tasteful treatment of fish."

It is the food that is drawing people from Ottawa, Montreal and even Watertown to sample the fare at Eight Zero Zero. In his review, Walter Siebel writes of one dish:

"The signature steak pasta featured grilled beef tenderloin, wild mushrooms, spinach, tomato concassé (rough-chopped seeded, peeled tomatoes) and linguini in a red wine and blue cheese cream sauce. It was a superb dish ...hearty and filling, and kept us coming back for more."

Mr. Siebel describes the menu as appealing "not only to foodies but to anyone looking for an accessible, upscale dining experience."

Chef Petrynka agrees:

"Good food should not only be for the rich."

You can check out Eight Zero Zero for yourself at 800 Cumberland Street in Cornwall, Ontario, by calling (613) 936-0322 or online at

Category: Business