Friday, August 2, 2013

Toronto: Patria

:King West:

The minds behind Patria are not new to the block, Harji and Khabouth (Nyood and Kultura; La Société and Ultra; and Weslodge). But they're not known for kicking out high quality food. I give them this - they know how to create the ultimate environment, one you want to be seen in and one you gravitate towards for its style, grace and precence. Patria is no different. It's a beautiful restaurant with a wonderfully long terrace. It's just north of King Street behind a brick facade. It's hidden (unlike Wesldoge) and the only marker is the wrought iron gate that you'd miss, unless you're looking for it.

Apart from design, they got it so right this time. The Spanish cuisine coming out of their kitchen is banging, right down to the ibérico they're slicing and serving. Iberico is deliciously divine. It's more expensive because it accounts for just 8% of Spanish cured hams.

My favourite duo are back in this post - Cracker and The Scotsman. I miss them. They're like two eggs shy of a basket and five kilos too much fun. I realize that makes no sense, but the greatest things in life are nonsensical, and the best relationships are the ones where you ask yourself - "wait, why are we friends?". No really, why? They pick on me. They laugh at me. Oh woe is me.

The three of us had some quality time while I was in Toronto, including brown bagging some wine and pigging out on chips on the great communal patio in Cracker's condo. But before that, we were classing it up at Patria.  I lament not trying the paella, but we weren't that hungry when we went. By all accounts, it seems Patria's paella is worth the $40 and serves about three, or in my case, just me?!?

We did get to try the paraíso naranja, aperol codorníu cava blood orange. $36 for a pitcher, but it was killer good.
Then we snacked on these:

Albóndigas con salsa de tomate
Traditional lamb meatballs tomato mint
Dátiles con Tocino ibérico
Dates ibérico bacon manchego guindillas $9
Patatas bravas con huevos fritos
Crispy potato spicy tomato fried egg 
The meatballs are good, but compared to the other two they became really forgettable. The dates came highly recommended by our lovable and knowledgeable server. Be warned that service here is hot and cold: the hostess was annoying with a side of pretentious, but our server was warm with a dash of precious. She was also dead right - those dates are a winner. Really, really, really good. Same thing goes for the patatas bravas. Just get in there and mix and mash it all together. Perfect bites of crunchy, tangy, gooey garlicky greatness.

It's wonderful Spanish tapas made with quality ingredients. They didn't compromise anything this time. Every plate was fabulous - simple ingredients melded to make bold flavours.
Patria on Urbanspoon

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