Jam Cafe Carlton and Cabbagetown - Review
Wow I just had dinner last night at Jam Cafe on Carlton and what a truly unexpected treat it was to find this hidden gem. I had somehow missed this restaurant when it was bought and renovated sometime last year and became Jam Cafe. On the edge of Cabbagetown I think I just didn't notice it as I headed over to Parliament but last week on my way to the bike store I stopped and read the menu in the window and my interest was piqued. They seem to be very regionally focused with interesting flavour combinations. So last night I trekked over to try it out and I am glad I did.
We sat on the back patio which is nice though a little dark and will actually benefit when the days are quite not so long as there is no direct sun after noon but is really nice when light by candlelight.
The food was fantastic. We started with the pulled pork on jalapeno cornbread and the ricotta stuffed crepes with sautéed grapes and sage. Both starters were great and light perfect for summer on the patio. The service was attentive but the poor waiter was a bit rushed as this was the first night in a few weeks it hasn't rained out the patio. I think they had let the second server head home early as they had been washed out by the crazy storms we have been having for days on end. That said we never wanted for anything and the waiter was always there when we needed anything.
The entrees were fantastic as well. I had the elk special. It seems they have an organic free range elk breeder that supplies them and have been featuring different cuts each night as they work through what they have. Last night it was elk tenderloin with potato gnocchi, I was sceptical at first as it seemed a little bit of a heavy dish to be enjoying on a hot summer night with a bottle of rose but it was perfect. The gnocchi were light and fluffy and not heavy or gluey. My friend had the steak and frites where good but just a little past medium rare which became a non issue as the flat iron steak was still tender and juicy.
The only downside was the lack of desserts. Last night there was only a few on offer including a crème brulee and a flourless chocolate torte. We decided we didn't really need dessert but we did hear the table next to use rave about the crème brulee. I would have loved to see some of the regional flourishes that populate the main menu show on the dessert list....Ontario strawberries or some rhubarb maybe?
The prices were great with the apps at $8 and almost all mains at $18 with only 3 item having a supplement of $4. At those prices this is could become a great week night drop in resto.