When Grant van Gameren debuted his Bar Isabel back in 2013, he was relatively green. After forging a name for himself at the Black Hoof (RIP), the chef departed, causing many a foodie to question his next move. A stint at Enoteca Sociale resulted in a partnership with Max Rimaldi and the birth of the
Grant van Gameren and Robin Goodfellow, of the superb Bar Isabel, opened Raval to mimic the tapas bars of Barcelona. Its look is pure Gaudi, mahogany carved into great swooping curves and cutouts, a triumph of gorgeous whimsy. It’s a bar. You stand. No cutlery save for a tiny fork, mostly finger food — pintxos
Barcelona Tavern invites us to dine in typical Spanish style. The two-storey glass building in Liberty Village is putting out a menu of tapas, or small sharing plates, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant is designed in a laid-back style to encourage its guests to relax and unwind when they walk in the door.
With a specialty in sangria and taking inspiration from Gaudi, Picasso and Dalí, what else has to be said to lure you in to Barsa Taberna? Perhaps that it’s housed in a 19th-century heritage protected building and its authentic tapas bar perfectly captures the essence and ambience of the Barcelona nightlife all the way on
Tapas are the new normal and Spanish food is all over town, but few do it as well as Carmen. Fried artichokes with aïoli are ungreasy, cute ‘n’ sweet. Shishito peppers (small chiles with small heat) are slightly blistered and sit pretty on chile-kissed tomato sauce. Pintxo de pulpo is #1: Crusty toast painted with
If you judge a book by its cover, then this place is dead. It looks like a cheesy, overdecorated ethnic caricature, with more Spanish tchotchkes than any sane person should have to look at. The menu too is off-putting, in its excessive length, which suggests that you can have anything you want — from the
A few short blocks north of Yonge and St. Clair, Cava has been serving eclectic and inventive food to diners for over 10 years. The classy yet cosy space is complete with a lighting fixture that takes up much of the dining room’s ceiling and a large bar with wooden finishes. The cuisine is inspired
Taking over the former Niagara Street Café space is Edulis, a charming new bistro from Tobey Nemeth and Michael Caballo. After a veritable tour of the world saw the married duo working and living in Italy, Spain, Panama and Vancouver, it was time to find a place to call home. Last year, when they caught wind that Anton Potvin was selling the Niagara space, they figured it was just what life had in store.
Although it gained attention as a tapas spot, Labora has graduated to becoming a fully realized restaurant with incredible drinks and raw bars, plus weekend brunch options! Labora specializes in rustic Spanish food from the Andalusia region where chef Rob Bragagnolo had spent time in Mallorca. Classics include a fried squid sandwich reminiscent of the
Catalan flavours are flamenco dancing onto peoples palates at the Distillery District’s Madrina Bar Y Taperia. Celebrated gastronome and native Catalan Ramon Simarro has curated a tapas menu that features your favourite memories from the Mediterranean with some international influences. The interior is beaming and whimsical and, in typical Spanish fashion, is fitted with native
For Hanif Harji and Charles Khabouth, it’s all about the details. Originally slated to open properly in time for TIFF — when it did open for a brief stint — Patria officially swung open its doors a few weeks ago. Harji and Khabouth’s latest offering is an ode to all things Spanish. Translating into “fatherland,” the term patria is reflective of the restaurant’s desire to showcase traditional Spanish cuisine.
The slabs of jamón serrano hanging in the window are the first clue as to Pimentón’s offerings. José Arato’s uptown space is part grocery store and part take-out joint, with a dash of cooking school on the side; the essence of Spain links everything together. Fire-engine-red and lime green walls set off rows of high-end products (think homemade strawberry jam and wedges of goat cheese), while salads and sides greet visitors from the countertop display.