By Lisa Lagace
A slice of Barcelona has finally arrived in Toronto.
The concept of Barsa Taberna comes from the owners’ love of the social dining experience that’s at the root of Spanish culture.
Tapas – small, shared plates – allow for a much more intimate form of dining that’s traditional fare in Barcelona.
Taste, discover, and share is their motto.
“Around the world, small shared plates are part 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,” Executive Chef Michael G. Smith noted. “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.”
The menu at Barsa consists of cold tapas such as cumbraes beef tartare, hot tapas like the grilled octopus, fried tapas that include panelle frites, and larger plates like lobster linguine and market paella.
When creating it, Chef Smith wanted it to put a global spin on the diverse cultures of Toronto, using only the best local and global seasonal ingredients.
The ambiance at Barsa is another part of its charm. The location offers regular Flamenco guitarist performances during dinner service – hich is as close to Barcelona dining as you’re going to find in Toronto.
They also have a monthly Barsa Soul party where the restaurant turns into a lounge with a featured DJ bringing fresh beats to the table.
Located in a restored heritage building, it maintains its 1800s identity with beautiful wood furnishings, while fusing a vibrant Barcelona inspired atmosphere. The intricate wine bottle wall mosaic is something to see, with 1400 half-cut wine bottles making up the back wall of the restaurant.
But the best reason to visit Barsa is not because of its location, ambiance, music, décor, or even the tasty food. (Though, clearly they all help.)
You should go because you won’t find another bar in the city that understands sangria like they do.
With five different varieties, you’ll suddenly wonder how you’ve ever just stuck to the red and white options offered everywhere else.
We highly recommend trying the Cava and Rosado options. But Rose sangria is a concept we can only hope soon becomes trendy all over the city.
And it starts with you ordering it.