Jamie Kennedy has moved into Corktown with his latest culinary installment, Gilead Cafe. My friends and I popped in for lunch and fully enjoyed our meal, owing to the mixture of great tasting food, casual atmosphere, and super friendly staff. You can be sure to find JK's traditional philosophy (of sourcing local ingredients and bringing out the best of seasonal produce) incorporated into every item on the menu. The cafe is perfect for those looking to enjoy a nice hot cup of java, grab a quick bite, or bring home some good eats.
The Beer Braised Beef Poutine with Caramelized Onions and Ile aux Grues ($8.00) may very well be the king of gourmet poutine! The beef was braised to perfection - so tender that it was near melt-in-your-mouth. The fries were fresh and had a light, golden crunch. Maybe I'm so used to the cheese-packed meatless poutine from NYF, that I felt I would have liked more cheese in Gilead's gourmet version. But the overall combination achieved a good balance of all the ingredients. A word of caution, the portion is like a meal itself, so go easy on ordering more food.
Freshly made Tomato Soup with Crème Fraîche & Basil ($5.00) was leaps and bounds better than any canned tomato soup out there (no offense to those who dig the stuff). The texture was consistent while the flavour was rich and was bursting with the essence of meaty tomatoes.
Sandwiches are also a staple on the menu. The Fried Halloumi Sandwich with Roasted Red Peppers and Zucchini, Grilled Red Onion & Arugula Pesto on Seeded Sourdough ($9.00) was a heavenly combination fused between two pieces of freshly baked sourdough bread. I noticed that a lot of people ordered the Roast Beef Sandwich with Le Ciel de Charleviox, Pepper Cress, Red Onion Chutney & Garlic Mayo on a Ciabatta Bun ($9.00), which I will try next time.
The coffee cake was not too sweet and the coffee flavour was not too overpowering. I imagine the cake would have paired up nicely with a Cappuccino ($3.00). I also had a taste of the Cake ($3.50).
Prices are reasonable and reflect the quality of the food. I'd really love to see what new creations Gilead Cafe will come up with next season. In the meantime, I'm still reminiscing on how I devoured that poutine, which I think should be a permanent item on the menu because it's deliciously appropriate for any season of the year.
Review and photos by Kitty Lo.