308 - From Pool Hall to Bistro
By Lauren Gosnell
Serendipity plays a large part in Genoveva Silva’s entrance into the restaurant business.
After years of living with the noise and hooliganism of the neighbouring billiard hall, she marched in and challenged the owner to respect his community. His response was to offer her his bar for sale. Surprising even herself, Genoveva trusted her instincts and decided to reinvent the billiard hall as an artist-friendly nightclub – something of which the Bloor-Ossington community could be proud.
Lo and behold, the Concord Café was born - named for a nearby street. Amidst walls exhibiting the photographs and work of local artists, regulars can sit back to enjoy a leisurely Americano or glass of red at the bar. At night, the café draws a crowd for for live performances from new musical acts.
Though small, Genoveva’s menu offers familiar bar fare with a South American flair such as beef empanadas and bruchetta hispana.
The sopaipilla, a favourite comfort food from her childhood back in Chile, is an addictive squash fritter that can be eaten either as a sweet or a savoury.
For the sweet tooth, try Genoveva’s traditional thick syrup made from molasses, lemon juice and cinnamon poured over a sopaipilla. But even better is the sopaipilla topped with Concord’s pebre, a picante salsa of chopped tomatoes, cilantro and aji peppers.
Another satisfying dish is Genoveva’s universally appealing home-style potatoes. Though many have tried to prepare this simple dish of steamed potatoes sautéed with onions, peppers, parsley and oregano at home, few have succeeded in reproducing Genoveva’s fresh rewarding flavour.
An easy place for locals to enjoy both food and music, the Concord Café has settled right into the neighbourhood comfortably.
The Concord Café
937 Bloor St. W