This past weekend I went for a lovely girls night out at Barsa Taberna on Market street in Toronto.
This was my second visit to Barsa in just a few weeks. I was incredibly impressed both times! The atmosphere is both cool and intimate. The tapas is both delicious and gorgeously presented. And the Sangria... well... Let's just say you should order the large pitcher, not the small.
When you first step down into the restaurant, you'll notice that the ceiling is vaulted low and the doors are stone arches. The Restaurant is built into the foundation of the old buildings on Front street, giving it a really neat atmosphere for a tapas restaurant.
Cool lighting, art and live Flamenco music (every Thursday!) will welcome you in as you settle at the bar or in the dining area.
For this visit, I brought my friend Nela, who is a great buddy to take out for dinner (she's game for anything) and a lover of the Spanish way of eating. I knew she'd dig the atmosphere and the menu. By the time we left she was planning on which friends she could introduce to the spot (which was my first reaction on eating there too!)
We dug into the food pretty quickly! We ordered a (large) pitcher of Sangria Rosso, along with some Grilled Octopus and a Squash Salad.
Instead of ordering a bunch of things in one go, we opted to order in waves as we finished dishes, never more than 2-3 at a time, making sure to enjoy some sangria and conversation between each course. This was probably for the best as I think we had about 7 different things brought to the table and may not have had room for it all.
Here's some of my favourites!
Goat Cheese and Mushroom Pinxtos
Banderillas (house pickles, Orange blossom, mixed olives, marinated goat cheese, fennel) - I didn't manage to take a picture before this one was mostly demolished...
Duck Two Ways (Bourbon Glazed Duck Breast, Duck Leg Tortellini)
And of course, for dessert, the Sweet Tapas for Two, a delicious plate of sorbet, truffles, pastry, dark chocolate, fudge, custard and cookies to be shared and enjoyed!
After we were too full to move, we made the nice walk back to Union Station (well... after stopping in at Wine Bar for a drink of course!)
Winter has it's clutches into Toronto right now, and the snow was coming down pretty hard for early April. I couldn't help commenting that it looked really pretty (and then wondered, briefly, if I had some kind of Winter Stockholm Syndrome).
There's something gorgeous about walking in the snow though, and Nela and I both paired our "early spring" light wool coats and gorgeous boots with a bright bag, making for some gorgeous snowy photos on our walk home.
My new leather over the knee boots, my favourite blue Kate Spade bag, snow, lights on the Esplanade and a night of sangria and tapas...
What's not to love?
If you're looking for a new girls night or date night spot in Toronto close to Union Station that won't break the bank, give Barsa Taberna a try. I know it's still cold out, but they're setting up a 75 person patio for summer that is calling your name!