First Look: Monforte on Jefferson, a new artisanal cheese shop in Liberty Village
By Pay Chen
Totally cheesy (Images: Pay Chen)
Few three-ingredient meals are as delicious and satisfying as bread, butter and cheese. So it’s a good thing that Stratford’s beloved Monforte Dairy has a new bricks-and-mortar location in town. Located in Liberty Village, the shop opened earlier this month to supply the neighbourhood with the same high-quality cheeses that farmers’ market regulars are already familiar with.
Ruth Klahsen, owner and lead cheesemaker at Monforte Dairy, opened the place on Jefferson Avenue, near King West. The small shop shares space with Sweet Everythings, a bakery that’s tucked away in the back.
Grilled cheese sandwiches ($5) allow you to choose your bread (from De La Terre) along with your favourite cheese from the case. On the crisp fall day that we were there, goat cheddar, sheep cheddar and goat gouda were all available. Gluten-free bread will soon be available for grilled cheese sandwiches.
Add a hot cup of soup ($3) and you have a meal for under $10. Coffee from Merchants of Green Coffee is also for sale, in addition to products from the adjacent bakery, such as cookies ($3) or packets of biscotti ($6).
In addition to a rotating selection of cheese in the dairy case, Monforte’s own grass-fed butter is popular in the neighbourhood ($10/250g). A cheeseboard (price varies) puts together some of the best that Monforte Dairy has to offer: Toscano (aged sheep’s cheese), Piacere (sheep’s milk, rosemary, juniper and chili), Little Prince (goat milk and ash) or Black Sheep (sheep milk and ash). Cheese samples, meanwhile, are happily given to indecisive customers.
Monforte on Jefferson is takeout only, but there are hopes to put in a few seats and perhaps introduce a weekend brunch menu that’s heavy on the cheese.
Monforte on Jefferson, 125 Jefferson Ave. 647-700-8598
Pay Chen is a TV host, writer and producer who loves eating and writing about food. She is often asked to share food, entertainment and beauty trends as a lifestyle expert. Pay will eat off your plate, but also shares her fries. Follow her on Twitter at @PayChen.