TORONTO — The latest Spanish restaurant to open in Toronto is Barsa Taberna, which makes its debut while the ethnic food trend continues to grow at a fast clip.
The modern tapas restaurant opened a few months ago, but the official media opening party was last night. The establishment is located on Market Street, beside the historic St. Lawrence Market, in a building that once housed the converted stables of an RCMP division as well as a Vintages wine store.
Designed by Toronto-based John Tong of TongTong design, chef Michael G. Smith offers a combination of tapas and a selection of sangria. The menu has its roots in the Spanish style of tapas, with a global spin. “Around the world small shared plates are part of a range of cuisines: in Korea it’s Anju, in India it’s Thali, in Japan it’s Izakaya and in Mexico it’s Botanas,” said Smith. “Our vision with Barsa Taberna [is] to incorporate global small plates and Tapas into our menu, while staying true to our roots in Barcelona and Spain.”
The restaurant’s proximity to the St.Lawrence market means the kitchen crew have access to fresh ingredients from around the world. Among the menu items are the Sea Bream Ceviche with pecans, tiger milk, avocado mousse and foie ($11); the Braised Beef Short Rib served with piquillo, sugar snap peas, collards and a PX reduction ($13); Manchego Churros with parmigiano reggiano ($9); and Sangria Cakes with coconut tres leche, compressed fruit and mango sorbet ($9).
The restaurant has already been named one of Toronto’s best restaurants for sangria by Dine TO.