Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Urban Eats @ Barsa Taberna

By Natalia Dziubaniwsky

When I first set foot in a new restaurant I’m full of anticipation, excited to try something new and different. Wanting a taste a bit of everything, I inevitably struggle with deciding what to choose off the menu. This is why I love sharing small plates. Tapas are the perfect cure for the indecisive foodie!

Located in a restored heritage building in the St. Lawrence Market area, Barsa Taberna serves up modern tapas and larger share plates which have elements of Spanish cuisine combined with worldly flavours.

The fare is largely inspired by the travels of the team at Barsa Taberna. As said by Executive Chef Michael G. Smith, “our vision with Barsa Taberna was to incorporate global small plates and Tapas into our menu, while staying true to our roots in Barcelona and Spain”.

With the original brickwork in place, stepping into Barsa Taberna is like walking into a softly lit grotto. In keeping with their desire to bring “a piece of Barcelona” to the restaurant, Barsa Taberna is furnished with Salvador Dali and Antonio Gaudi inspired pieces, mosaic floors and a colourful mosaic made up of 1,400 half-cut wine bottles which spans a whole wall.

During their official launch party, I had the opportunity to sample several of the items on their food and drink menu. Here’s a look at some of their offerings:

They make some of the best Sangria that I have ever tasted! You cannot dine here without enjoying a glass. There are five different kinds offered on the menu and sixth selection which changes on a monthly basis. For a light and fruity option, I recommend trying the Sangria Rosado (Blush Rose, Brandy, Pama Liquor, raspberry syrup, fresh cucumber, blackberries and watermelon) or for something bolder, the Sangria Rojo (Merlot, Brandy, peach liquor, red wine, orange and strawberries).

The menu is divided into cold, hot and fried tapas. A few of my favourite bites that were served at the launch party include (from left to right): the flavourful Cheese Boccadillo with Idiazabal and Mahon cheese and green olive hazelnut tapenade, creamy Cumbraes Beef Tartare with Albacore Aioli and lightly battered Manchego Cheese Churros. The two-bite Chorizo Croquettas (bottom right) are tasty and very creamy; however I couldn’t really detect the chorizo and chicken confit. Another juicy option is the tender house made Chorizo Skewers (not pictured).

Other delicious sounding tapas on the menu include Braised Beef Short Rib, Seared Scallops, Ceviche and larger plates such as Lobster Linguine and Paella. The tapas and large plates range from $7-$32.

They also feature Flamenco guitarist performances during dinner service and a monthly Barsa Soul Party.

Barsa Taberna
26 Market Street, Toronto
Tel: (647) 341-3642

Natalia Dziubaniwsky is a professional in the not-for-profit sector, freelance writer and an avid traveller forever searching for a new adventure. A lover of life, wildlife enthusiast, movie buff and hobbyaholic, you can interact with her on Twitter @taliasfootsteps or follow her footsteps through her blog.

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