4.5 Stars – Overall Experience
3.5 Stars – Price
4.5 Stars – Service
5.0 Stars – Enjoyment of Food
4.5 Stars – Atmosphere
Barsa Taberna has created a trendy underground Spanish “cave” in one of Toronto’s amazing heritage buildings, located right next to the St. Lawrence Market. Having been to Barcelona before, I felt that they really captured the Spanish feel with their beautiful mosaics, bright colours, brick walls and arched entry ways. Flickering candles and dim lighting really set the stage for this sensual, Spanish inspired tapas restaurant. Perfect for impressing clients, celebrating a special occasion, having a romantic meal or a great night out with friends. Not really a “kid” friendly feel so I would say leave this place to the adults 🙂
Now Barsa has more than just a beautiful space inside. It is also one of the few restaurants in Toronto to boast a large, raised patio out front. Lined with flower boxes and plenty of seating, it is a welcome venue to a beautiful summer meal! Very little traffic zips by so it is pretty quiet, other than the people chatting away on the streets.
Our hostess and server were both extremely pleasant, helpful and accommodating. As a vegetarian I decided to call ahead to see if there were options for me as they tend to have a seasonal menu (so it changes often). The woman I spoke with was able to reassure me and suggested many great vegetarian options. I was also extremely impressed with our server when she was able to list all the cocktails from memory (including the different brands of bourbon they could make the cocktail from). Impressive knowledge of the menu and friendly demeanor lead to a great experience with the staff.
Barsa is known for their amazing sangria’s…a Spanish specialty! We went with a jug of the red (they have white and cava as well) and each sip was very much enjoyed. They are not stingy on the fruit, that’s for sure, and the server always make made sure our glasses stayed full. An absolute must order if you dine here! Would be even better on the patio I am sure.
As this is a tapas restaurant, the idea is to order many dishes for the table to share. The plates are larger than an individual appetizer size, but smaller than a typical main dish plate. They have plenty of options so the items I was able to partake in included: PATATAS BRAVAS (roasted potatoes topped with a garlic alioli and a tomato type sauce), and TABLA DE QUESOS (Spanish cheeses served with bread, crackers, picked veg and jellies), EMPANADA (pastry filled with blue cheese and spinach served with an apple, rhubarb compote), VEGETARIAN FIDEOS (catalan noodles served with spring vegetables including asparagus and peas topped with goat cheese). Everything was so flavourful and fresh. Despite my pants becoming tighter and tighter as the night went on, I could not stop myself from taking a few more bites. My other diners had an even bigger challenge as they had also ordered a charcuterie platter (various meats) and a seafood paella (another Spanish specialty) as well. We all left completely stuffed and satisfied! Consider yourself warned that it is a good idea to order less in the beginning and more as the night goes on…otherwise you might over do it like we did!
At first glance it might not seem like the most vegetarian friendly place, but they always seem to have lots of different items on the menu that I can choose from. If you are vegan you would be hard pressed to find a full meal here, but vegetarians rejoice as there seems to always be more than enough.
Between the amazing atmosphere, delicious food and friendly service, I have trouble finding any issues with this amazing restaurant. That being said it is definitely not an inexpensive meal. If you are taking someone out to impress and don’t mind spending a little extra money, the restaurant is totally worth it, but it is definitely a pricey meal (around $40-$50/person would be my rough estimate with drinks and food).
Time of Dinner: 6:30pm
Date: Tuesday May 17th, 2016
- SANGRIA – RED
- PATATAS BRAVAS
- TABLA DE QUESOS
- VEGETARIAN FIDEOS
For more information on their restaurant, booking a private event or their menu, visit http://barsataberna.com/ and be sure to check out their Facebook page for updates on events happening!