What’s on the takeout menu at CB Bottega, Cheese Boutique’s new café and gelateria

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What’s on the takeout menu at CB Bottega, Cheese Boutique’s new café and gelateria

Name: CB Bottega
Contact: 29 Ripley Ave., @cb_bottega, cheeseboutique.com
Neighbourhood: Swansea
Owners: Afrim and Agim Pristine
Chefs: Executive chef Tiago Milheiro, pastry chef Nadiem Qadir
Outdoor seating: About 20 seats, picnic-table style
COVID-19 safety measures: Social distancing (25 percent capacity), mandatory mask policy for patrons and staff, frequent sanitization
Accessibility: Fully accessible

The food

CB Bottega, which officially launches the last weekend of May, is the Cheese Boutique’s new café and gelateria, just down the street from the famous fromagerie. In its 51 years of existence, Cheese Boutique evolved from a much smaller deli to a full-fledged specialty grocer, complete with a butcher, a bakery, a killer produce section and shelves upon shelves of imported artisanal goods. CB Bottega is simply an extension of its sweeter side. “We think of it as an old school, Mediterranean-style bakery and cafe,” says co-owner Afrim Pristine. There’s a gorgeous selection of baked goods, from cakes fit for celebrating (among them, dark chocolate almond fudge cake and dulce de leche) and delicate pastries (flaky, not-too-sweet raspberry and apricot danishes) to savoury items, like spinach pies and empanadas.

A gelato menu will feature the classics (hazelnut, pistachio, lemon, strawberry) along with rotating, seasonal flavours made with local fruit and dairy. There’s also a counter serving up sandwiches constructed with house-made bread and sauces, as well as meats cured down the street. On the shelves, you’ll find a wide range of local and imported cookies and chocolates.

Here we have a scoop of strawberry gelato ($7 a scoop, and $11 for a pint). Flavours will rotate seasonally and incorporate local fruit wherever possible.

 

Top to bottom: butter tarts, opera cake, chocolate mousse cake, carrot cake.

 

Some house-made, perfectly flaky pastry. Top row: pecan danish, croissant, nutella square. Middle row: red velvet square, apricot danish, raspberry danish. Bottom row: vanilla bomba, Nutella bomba, chocolate croissant.

 

A rotating assortment of picture-perfect cakes—for celebrating or just, you know, for a really good Tuesday. Clockwise from top left: chocolate pearl cake ($22.99), dark chocolate almond fudge cake ($25), dulce de leche cake ($24), chocolate fudge cake ($26).

 

A brilliantly designed, ultra-rich and creamy brownie cheesecake in which every slice gets its own brownie. $34.

 

A chocolate pecan pie ($18.99) complete with many mesmerizing swirls.
The drinks

Visitors can expect a full-service coffee bar offering everything from drip coffee to espresso-based beverages, all made with house-roasted custom blends by longtime Cheese Boutique barista James Tso. There’s also a range of plant-based milks and flavoured syrups to jazz up your latte. More than 80 varieties of tea from all over the world are on offer, too.

The space

The sleek space is sun-soaked and airy with high ceilings and plenty of room for social distancing. Part bottega and part high-end kitchenware retailer, there’s an entire wall of Le Creuset products, knives (from brands like Shun, Henkel, and Wusthof), Broil King barbecues and live-edge wood cheese boards, to name a few things for sale.

Local and imported cookies, from Italian amaretti to Ontario-made Reko Pizzelle waffle cookies. Also pictured, a live-edge wood cheese board for a stunning charcuterie platter (for which you can get all the fixings right down the street at Cheese Boutique).

 

A selection of coffee and tea available. (Check out the stained glass and gorgeous Japanese pine shelving.)

 

An entire wall of Le Creuset straight out of a food nerd’s fever dream.