Gabrielle café is a quaint compact gem. It is nestled on the outskirts of Old Montreal west and knocks at the doorstep of trendy Griffintown. The surrounding area is not what it was a few years ago. Many abandoned dilapidated buildings resided without city intervention for years. The rejuvenation of the area is a bonus for the café. Adorned by new condos and businesses, it is sure to be a great hub to feed hungry mouths on the move in the area.
Parking could be an issue for new visitors so keep that in mind. I waited for Carmelo to join me for lunch.
Sabrina Kale (Scarlett, Bar Le Confessionnal) and Anne-Catherine (Laiterie Charlevoix and Aux Terroirs family) both have with many years of restaurant experience are the food architects of Gabrielle. They both wanted to create a unique gastronomic experience in the area. I truly think they have accomplished their task.
I was informed by Sabrina that Gabrielle’s grand opening was pushed back due to the global COVID-19 outbreak. With government clearance, many restaurants re-opened and had to adhere to COVID-19 safety practices to protect citizens.
It will be an uphill battle to stay afloat with the new COVID-19 reality, but they are ready for a challenge. From the looks of it, they had a decent lunch crowd. I saw a mix of office workers and residents in the area. Gabrielle caters to both sit-in and takeout clients. Perseverance and the local condo population surely help the café steer the rough waters ahead.
Honestly, the size of the café from outside was a bit concerning to me at first. I was surprised by the coziness of the smallish café. We got a full-size view of the kitchen and a well-stocked bar. The intimacy of the kitchen integrated within the eating area is part of the charm of your dining experience. Still, within that claustrophobic feeling, the ambiance is private due to the capacity of 15 customers. We watched as the chefs labored creating their unique meals. The kitchen is commandeered by veteran chef Samuel Sauvé Lamothe (Laurie Raphaël Montréal, Radicelle) and young talented chef Alexis Yale-Soulière (Hoogan et Beaufort). The duo is sure to bring novel epicurean meals to please the neighborhood.
The lunch menu was concise and perfect for our hunger. We both had small appetites.
We started with the beet salad with grilled halloumi (semi-hard, unripened, brined cheese made from a mixture of goat’s and sheep’s milk), fiddle-heads, and smoked salmon. The gourmet salad was fresh and saporous.
Carmelo remarked to me that the beet salad was conveniently proportioned. It satisfied my appetite, and it did not fill you where you will not be able to venture onto the main course. It was savory and delicious. The beets were excellent.
Carmelo had a sandwich compiled of braised beef, Le 1608 cheese (A semi-firm, washed rind cheese, Le 1608 uses milk from hardy Canadienne cattle, whose ancestors were brought to Canada from France between 1608 and 1670.), cabbage salad on a toasted loaf bread. The crunchy bread with diverse ingredients was scrumptious. Carmelo thought the braised beef sandwich, was also well portioned. It was satisfying and tasty. There was a distinct taste of Dijon mustard, which added to the global flavor
I had a sandwich comprised of shrimps, sour cream, marinated cucumbers, and radish on a single toasted bread. It was simple but gratifying when consumed.
We both had water to wash down our meals. Both meals were healthy, and we had a great time at Gabrielle café. I was quite surprised by the atmosphere. I thought the smallness of the café would take away from the experience. The comfort was a bonus for my lunch. If I lived in the area, this would be my secret spot.
The morning menu is complete with classic coffees, croissants, chocolatines, and a variety of breakfast sandwiches.
The take-out refrigerator is brimming with ready-to-eat meals (lasagna, Parmentier, paella, etc.) The shelves are well stocked with fresh products, including cheeses from the Laiterie de Charlevoix, homemade preserves, viennoiseries, and bread from local favorite Hof Kelsten Bakery.
644 Notre-Dame Ouest Montréal, QC, H3C 1J2
Tuesday-Friday: 8 am till 10 pm
Saturday: 10 am till 10 pm
Sunday: 10 am till 4 pm