Showing posts with label Spanish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spanish. Show all posts
Tapas Journey is on now!

Post City has partnered with Estrella Damm to bring #TapasJourney to Toronto for ten days. From August 14 to August 23, 2015, twenty participating restaurants will offer three tapas dishes paired with an Estrella Damm beer for $20. This is an amazing deal, as it allows foodies to sample various dishes from many of the participating restaurants.


Originating from Spain, tapas are snacks, or finger foods that are often enjoyed with company. This form of cuisine has evolved over the years, and has been designed to encourage conversation. It's no longer just enjoyed in Spain, as it has made its way to Toronto. With the #TapasJourney program, each participating restaurant has curated a menu of three tapas dishes that are perfectly paired with a chilled glass of Estrella Damm. 

All 20 participating restaurants are Barsa Taberna, Beast, Byblos, Carmen, Cava, East Thirty-Six, El Catrin, Kanpai Snack Bar, Los Colibrís, Mamakas Taverna, Marben, Mata Petisco Bar,Nota Bene, Patria, Raca Café & Bar, Salt Wine Bar, Taverna pa Mercatto, The Good Son, Valdez, and Weslodge.


I had the pleasure of going to Carmen for my first stamp on my #TapasJourneyCarmen was a lively Spanish restaurant on Queen St W, whose menu focuses on traditional tapas dishes, and shareable paellas. John, and I, were quickly seated in the spacious back patio where we enjoyed our tapas, and Estrella Damm. My personal favorite tapas out of the three was the Montadito of Lobster, which was bursting with flavor. I had a great time, and can't wait to go back to check out their main menu. 


Montadito of Lobster: Braised lobster tail with Brie cheese, jamon Serrano and greens

Pintxo “el jeffe”: Skewer Grilled Shrimp with guindillas, pardon pepper, jamon and pan con tomato

Salmorejo Toronto: Spicy tomato sauce with crispy bread, garlic scapes, hard-boiled egg whites and egg yolk



[CONTEST ALERT] 

Don't forget to fill your passport on your Tapas Journey, and share it on Instagram or Twitter (with the hashtag #TapasJourney) for a chance to win 1 of 3 trips to Miami. The three winners will have the opportunity to attend Estrella Damm Gastronomy Congress, and see Chef Ferran Adrià. Please note that you only need to collect at least one stamp to enter the contest. Good luck!



Photography credit goes to Jeffrey Chan courtesy of Estrella Damm

Estrella Damm Tapas Journey

by on Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Tapas Journey  is on now! Post City   has partnered with Estrella Damm to bring  #TapasJourney  to Toronto for ten days. From August 14 ...
Bar Isabel is a popular restaurant known for their Spanish-influenced tapas dishes. Its location on College and Ossington is easily accessible, and there's a paid parking lot nearby (where Metro and Shoppers are located). I called about 2.5 weeks earlier to secure a reservation for three people for a Saturday. The hostess informed me that their small table might not be comfortable for three, and that they'll need the table back by 8:15 pm. I ended up accepting the 6:30 pm reservation slot as I wanted to try out the restaurant.


The decor is supposed to resemble a Spanish tavern with its wood panels and decorative yet mismatched floor tiles. The atmosphere itself is very lively around 7:30 pm and onwards. I am not too fond of the red lighting that emits throughout the establishment but it's not overly distracting.



I got the sparkling water bottle ($6) for the table, and two coke for the bf and I ($6 for 2 glasses). My friend ended up getting an alcoholic beverage which is not pictured as he was drinking it while I took this picture.

 

To start off the night, we got a bowl of bread ($4) to share, and that came with olive oil and butter. I believe that it was sourdough bread and sadly it was not warm. 


Originally, we got one order of 6 oysters, but ordered another 6 as we really liked the first batch. We ordered a total of 12 oysters ($32), and each was exceptionally tasty and fresh. Each batch arrived on a bed of ice with two condiments and lemon slices.


The 1/2 grilled octopus ($34) was enjoyable, and more than enough for the three of us. Surprisingly, the octopus and its suction cups weren't chewy at all. It was rather tender and had a nice charred taste to it. The dish was also served with greens and roasted potatoes. There's a whole octopus for $59 for those with larger parties, or if you really love octopus.


The spicy fried squid, crispy tongue & kale ($8) was another dish that I enjoyed a lot. The outside texture of the fried squid was flavorful and slightly crispy. The lemon adds an extra zest to the dish, but it's not absolutely needed.


The roast bone marrow ($11) was rich! It's very well expected that portions at tapas-based restaurants tend to be a tad smaller. So it wasn't surprising that this dish came with only two pieces of bone marrow. However, one piece of bone barely had any bone marrow in it which was disappointing. Also, try not to overload on the chimicurri sauce as it has a strong flavor to it.


The spicy pork anticuchos (5 pc) ($12) are essentially long skewers of pork. The meat on the sticks were tender with a good hint of spiciness.


The last dish of the night was the Albacore tuna tiradito, Asian pear, celery, jalapeno & fried rosemary ($14). Personally, I thought that it was a decent dish, but not a personal favorite of mine. The tuna was sliced fairly thin and quickly fell apart when I attempted to divide and scoop everything onto my plate.

Bar Isabel doesn't assign one server per table; I believe that they do work as a team. Our table of three was served by about 2-3 different servers throughout the entire dinner. They were knowledgeable of the menu, and our initial server provided some recommendations. Although the service was not exceptional; it was still rather good as our servers were polite, and quick to take away our finished dishes. Overall, the casual Bar Isabel is a good place for Spanish inspired dishes. Our bill for three came out to be around $188 (including tax and tip); so that's roughly $63 per person. It was not the cheapest tapas, but all of us left feeling full which is always good. To sum it up, their menu offers a variety of Spanish tapas dishes, drink menu is impressive (according to my friend who does drink), and the service was good. 

RATINGS:

Quality of Food: 4/5
Service: 4.2/5
Overall Dining Experience: 4/5
Price: $$$

Address: 797 College Street, Toronto, ON, M6G 1C6

Bar Isabel on Urbanspoon

Bar Isabel

by on Saturday, May 31, 2014
Bar Isabel is a popular restaurant known for their Spanish-influenced tapas dishes. Its location on College and Ossington is easily access...