Sometimes a restaurant opens in Toronto and the anticipation is over the top. We’d been hearing through the grapevine that Hanif Harij and Charles Khabouth, restaurateurs extraordinaires, would be opening an authentic Spanish tapas eatery on King West for months. First taste I got of it was back in May when they did a pop up at the beautiful Storys building – the pop up had the exact effect it was meant to: anticipation for the real thing to open. Finally last month, Patria opened its doors. I had told my good friend Stella Yu how good the pop up tasting was so I absolutely wanted to bring her to try out the menu, hoping she would agree with me! I think she’s been back twice since…. Here’s what she had to say.
On this particular Friday night we met at Patria and it was the end of a very long week for both of us… so we tried out some cocktails… four to be exact. No judging please! The famous homemade sangria was a must try and I also wanted to taste their mojito – which was well done. Felt like I was in Spain…. Well sort of. 😉 Then I insisted on ordering the JAMON IBERICO DE BELLOTA, a 36 Month Acorn-Fed Black-Hoof Iberico Pig that is thinly sliced and served simply on its own. So tasty that it melts in your mouth like butter – $30 but worth every dime. After that we indulged in four more tapas plates, one of which was SECRETO IBERICO CON PIMIENTOS DEL PIQUILLIO Y MERMELADA – Iberico Flank Steak + Piquillo Pepper Jam. We had no intention of ordering it but when we saw the guys next to us oooing and awing at it we had to and OMG, it was pure deliciousness.
Overall our meal just kept getting better and better and as a result, I’ve been back twice. I would recommend the brunch – here you will find innovative Spanish brunch tapas as well as many of the staple dishes on the regular menu. Patria is a great spot for all with fantastic service and an attention to detail that does not surprise coming from one of Harij’s innovative ventures. Every time I am there, he is there – even on Sundays. His restaurant creations (he opened Kultura and Nyood and more recently Weslodge) are perfectly executed symphonies and he is the conductor who never disappoints. Well done, Patria is a masterpiece.