Sunday, May 21, 2006

Cava - Tapas in Midtown Toronto

Who says wishes don't come true? Cava, the new restaurant which has opened in the Delisle Court at Yonge and St.Clair specializes in Spanish Tapas with influences from Mexico and Italy mixed in. And it is owned by Chris Macdonald, the reknowned chef who formerly resided at the now defunct restaurant Avalon.

Tapas is the generic name for a variety of Spanish appetizers, similar to Chinese Dim Sum. Tapas are served in small portions, but can span all traditional courses, from cold dishes such as salads, olives, cheese, to hot dishes consisting of vegetables, seafoods (e.g.calamari, fish, shrimp), meats, rice dishes, etc.

The location is a bit of a challenge since it is tucked away in the back of the Delisle Court and not visible from Yonge Street. This has possibly contributed to the failure of its previous occupants. So having a chef as famous as Chris Macdonald might be just what is required to make this spot a success. His reputation alone can make this a destination spot that patrons will go out of their way to come to. And being just a block away from the restaurant owned by another famous chef, Didier Leroy, could just make this midtown area the new hotspot for fine dining.

In an extremely savvy move, for the first few weeks of its opening, Cava offered a promotional sampling of 8 tapa dishes for $30. The samples featured some of the best offerings from the menu including:

Crostini of garlicky rapini, white bean puree and manchego cheese
Chipolte caramel popcorn
Cabbage and mixed green salad with fig and rhubarb dressing
Tuna tartar with taro chips
Grilled sardine with black olive tapanade
Black cod on a black risotto
Duck Confit with roasted red peppers
Dessert tapas consisting of a trio of sweets including churros with chocolate sauce

The food was all delicious, using unique combinations of spices and sauces. However at the regular price of $5-17 per dish, it would cost a pretty penny to feel full from a Cava meal.

So far, Cava seems to be a big success, doing good business even during the middle of the week. In the summer months, patio tables are set up for al fresco dining.

Cava Restaurant
1560 Yonge Street

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