Is there a better time to bring you a Brazilian restaurant than during the World Cup?
Don’t answer that – it was rhetorical.
It’s not just the projection screen that’s going to make you want to visit Mata Bar (1690 Queen W.) though; this new addition to the Parkdale strip offers savoury South American sharing plates with a distinctly Canadian twist.
Not sure what that means? Picture beef cheek poutine, smoked crispy chicken hearts, and smoked pork side ribs with delicious guava BBQ sauce.
Oh, and for you hair of the dog Canadians (aka: all of us), they even offer a unique twist on the Caesar: a Cachaça version that includes muddled South American pepper, Cachaça (clearly), lime, Worcestershire, crackling, and a cumin spiced rim.
(Just a heads up – brunch will kick off as soon as the World Cup finishes. Not each game, but the whole tournament.)
The interior of Mata Bar is like a polished cantina; lots of smooth wood, doors open to the street, old Brazilian beer signs, and an open kitchen where you can watch the chefs put together one of the prettiest salads we’ve seen in a long time, a quinoa and goat cheese combination that features granny smith apple, kale, and pine nuts under a lemon dressing.
Co-owner Steve Fernandes (there are five partners total at Mata) tells us that the menu is their take on soul food. It includes both local and national dishes but the food is meant to match the restaurant’s atmosphere – unpretentious, welcoming, and full of flavour. After all, soul food needs to be enjoyed in the right space in order to earn its name.
If Neymar going down caused you to take a day off work, this is where you’re going to want to be tomorrow afternoon at 4:00pm. If you don’t know who Neymar is, this is where you’re going to want to be anytime that isn’t tomorrow at 4:00pm.
Either way, Mata Bar is a must visit.