Gilt Restaurant opened last week in Downtown Kitchener. I have been looking forward to their opening since I saw their beautiful signage. It seems to convey the concept of glamour and chic.
Hot new contemporary restaurant NOW OPEN in the heart of Kitchener’s innovation district. Owned by two women who love food, people and wine.
I planned a lunch date with one of my girlfriends as soon as I saw that they were open.
I love the classy decor. It feels upscale yet comfortably casual.
For dinners, Gilt offers a small-plate (ie. tapas style) menu. The “sharing concept” has been steadily gaining popularity over the years, with good reason. A small-plate menu allows one to try more varieties, causing its traditional big-plate brother to seem relatively boring.
There is still the option of ordering individually for lunch though. Despite that, we opted for their tapas menu.
On the Table for Maple:
- Duck Confit Chinese Steam Buns ($13)
- Beer Battered Edible Flowers ($8)
- Venison Skewers ($11)
- Tuna Nachos ($14)
- Sweet Jar ($9)
- Doughnuts ($10)
Steam buns with duck confit, cucumber & scallions.
Excellent balance of filing versus bun, although the bun was not as sweet as I would expect from a typical Asian-style bun. The duck was tender and deliciously saucy. A potentially heavy dish was made refreshing with the addition of cucumbers.
Orchids, daisies and carnations dipped in beer batter, served with aioli.
Flowers… YUM. To be stereotypical, maybe guys will say “beer… YUM”.
Venison skewers with cinnamon aioli.
Not a traditional pairing with the meat and dessert-like sauce. However, the skewers went surprisingly well with what tasted like cinnabon-mayo. Strange I know, but I enjoyed it.
Yellow fin tuna, spicy mustard emulsion, lime aioli/soya reduction on taro root chips.
This dish was a refreshing change given that the other dishes focused heavily on creamy sweet sauces. Although there was lime aioli, the spicy mustard balanced it out. The bright citrusy salad went nicely with the raw fish. The taro chips could have been a little saltier as it was drowned by the numerous elements on this plate.
Although these dishes do not look overly filling, our lunch was excellently paced by our server so we were comfortably satisfied by the end of the savouries. By comfortably satisfied, I mean we still have room for a lot of dessert.
Have you ever wondered why restaurants don’t serve desserts first?! If they serve dessert first and appetizers last, you can simply skip the salad when the entrée leaves you stuffed! Genius.
Our first dessert was a “sweet jar” – which was a take on pie in a jar. Instead of cake filling, it was crushed pistachios with strawberry cheesecake toppings. It was like a parfait, not extremely rich but sufficiently creamy.
On their dessert menu that included maple bacon nitrogen ice cream (you can see them make it) and peanut butter cheesecake spring rolls, our other dessert order – doughnuts with cinnamon sugar and caramel – sounded seemingly unadventurous. $10 for doughnuts in Canada?! Seriously… and I don’t even like doughnuts that much to begin with!
However, they were absolutely delicious! The exterior was perfectly crunchy – imagine the crispy skin on best fried chicken you have ever had, then imagine that sort of crisp on this doughnut. YES. The inside was like cotton candy, fluffy and light.
If you need some encouragement to visit Gilt, take a look at their Sunday Brunch menu:
- Spicy chicken & waffles
- Smoked pork hock eggs benedict
- Duck confit blueberry pancakes
- Pumpkin pie yoghurt parfait
- Pineapple & banana french toast
It looks like the two owners just know what the ladies need.