Introducing: Gilead, Jamie Kennedy’s wine bar redux in Corktown
Name: Gilead Wine Bar
Contact Info: 4 Gilead Pl., 647-288-0680, jamiekennedy.ca, @ChefJKennedy
Executive Chef and Owner: Celeb chef Jamie Kennedy, whose daytime operation Gilead Café operates out of the same space
The Food: Gilead marks Kennedy’s first return to wine bar style dinner service since 2010, when the chef sold his popular Church Street restaurant and transformed his haute dining room at the Gardiner Museum into a casual café. The menu reflects Kennedy’s signature brand of simple, hyper-seasonal cuisine made with local ingredients. Entrées include braised short ribs, vegetarian cabbage rolls and various lake fish, which are cured, smoked, sautéed in butter and blended into a creamy chowder. Fans of Kennedy’s previous restaurants will recognize some holdovers, like braised beef poutine topped with gooey aged cheddar.
The Drinks: Kennedy’s locovore philosophy extends to the wine list, which is Ontario-focused. Seasonal cocktails blend local spirits like Dillon’s gin with wild honey, chamomile tea and preserved cherries. Barrel-aged Manhattans and Negronis will be ready to pour in February 2014.
The Place: Gilead Wine Bar operates out of the same pickle and preserve–lined dining room as the Gilead Café. At dinnertime, the lights are dimmed and the retail counter is transformed into a bar.
• 42 seats
• 5 nights a week (Tuesday through Saturday)
• 3 months to barrel-age Manhattans and Negronis, which will be ready to pour in February 2014
• 2 blackboard menus