I was recently reminded of Cafe Pleiade on a visit to Culinarium to pick up my first CSA share of the season (more to come!). Cafe Pleiade is located on Mount Pleasant near Davisville, a nice walk from either Davisville or Eglinton Station. It’s a great neighbourhood for food lovers, with restaurants like Simple Bistro and Boland’s Open Kitchen, not to mention great food stores like local food purveyor Culinarium or Spanish emporium Pimenton. I chanced on Cafe Pleiade two years ago on my first trip to Toronto before moving here; in fact, Cafe Pleiade was the first restaurant I ever visited in Toronto! It’s possible that the delicious meal I had at Cafe Pleiade is the reason I now live in the best city in North America.
I visited Cafe Pleiade for a solo lunch while canvassing the city to get a sense of what neighbourhoods I was interested in living in. I looked a lot around Yonge and Eg and Davisville, and was especially attracted by the great restaurants and food stores I found. I wandered into Cafe Pleiade right after visiting Culinarium for the first time and was welcomed warmly by the waitress. I got the feeling that she was the owner or wife of the chef, but I could be wrong. The menu is a sort of French/Mediterranean fusion that is quite appealing.
I started with the Bruschetta on Pita, which consisted of warm grilled Greek pita topped with a salty and delicious mixture of green and black olives and crumbly feta. This was a huge improvement on the insipid tomato bruschetta found on many Italian menus. I am a huge fan of olives and feta, so I was a pretty easy convert to this style of bruschetta. The pita was a nice touch and a better choice than the crostini that tomato bruschetta is often served on.
For my main, I had the Grilled Calves Liver and Bacon, served with frites. This was a classic preparation of liver and onions with the delightful accompaniment of crispy bacon. It’s a good thing I was doing a lot of walking that day, as this was certainly not a light lunch! The liver and bacon was prepared simply to really let the meaty flavours shine. The fries were some of the best I’ve had; perfectly crispy outside and fluffy inside.
Both of these items are still on the (on-line) menu; the Bruschetta is $7 and the Calves Liver is $13. I would say this is a great value for a very substantial lunch (or dinner, for that matter). I plan to head back to Cafe Pleiade this month for a two-year anniversary of my first visit to Toronto. I’ll let you know what’s changed and what’s stayed the same. In the meantime, I would highly recommend a visit!