When we heard about the Storys Building hosting a Spanish tapas restaurant pop-up, Nicki and I were on it like two hogs in a mud pile. All happy and fancy-free and such. We hobbled over to the ‘Experiencia de Tapas Auténticos’ last night in dire need of a glass of wine after an arduous day in the office, and three hours later we left stuffed, a little tipsy, and pocket-heavy – the pop-up’s prices are phenomenal.
I hadn’t made a reservation (though in my defence I didn’t think we could), so after glass of Spanish cava and a generous pour of red (her) and white (me) on Storys’ third level we were called down to partake in the experiencia. So essentially what they’re doing is showcasing some amazing Spanish food – something most definitely lacking in the city – using authentic imported ingredients and classic Spanish cooking methods.
We went through eight plates here…and by went through, I mean we essentially polished the plates for them. We noshed on the Pan con Tomate with Manchego (a superbly simple tomato roughly spread on toasted sourdough topped with shavings of Spain’s signature cheese); the 36-month-aged, pinnacle-of-Spanish-cuisine Jamón Ibérico de Bellota (quite possibly the most epic ham I have ever tasted in my life, buttery and nutty and just absolutely outstanding); the D.O. Valdeón (a cow/goat blue cheese with a sweet stick of quince); the Pulpo a la Gallega (perfectly-cooked octopus atop little morsels of potato with tons of smoked paprika); Croquetas Jamon (traditional Spanish ham croquettes with a velvety dipping sauce that kind of tasted like a heavenly mix of butter, mayonnaise, and mustard); the Patatas Bravas con Huevos Frito (think of it like rustic Spanish breakfast); the Pimientos de Piquillo con Ajoarriero (piquillo peppers wrapped with salt cod then battered and deep-fried to smoky and salty flawlessness); and to finish it all off the Tarta de Santiago (the best, I repeat, best almond cake you will likely ever gush over.)
As we sipped a Barrel Aged Wise Guy (this is a proper cocktail folks, with house-made tobacco tincture and house-aged in American oak), and digested the glory of the meal, all we could think was how many times in a week could we potentially go to the full-on restaurant at 478 King West when it opens in July…
The ‘ Experiencia de Tapas Auténticos’ is only on for two more evenings, tonight and tomorrow. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP a spot for this amazing Spanish culinary experience. (Or be prepared to wait for a table while sipping cocktails in the upstairs lounge.)
Storys Building | 11 Duncan Street, Toronto | storysbuilding.com