#8 Cava


Modern Spanish food is the new new thing, and few do it better than chef Chris McDonald. His delicate hand informs everything, starting with the sweet and hot knife-edge flavour balance of chipotle caramel popcorn. His squid is divine, it’s so tender and complex, charcoal grilled and garnished with fabulous romesco sauce (the sharp Spanish pure of hazelnuts and roasted garlic spiked with vinegar). I love the sophistication of his cornmeal tamale stuffed with wild mushrooms and sauced with pasilla chilies pureed with wild plums. Deep dark roasted Brussels sprouts with black garlic are a hymn to the only trendy veg that’s cooler than kale. But the best Cava evening involves telling the waiter: “Let Chris choose,” and let chef’s parade of small plates unfold like a dream. It’s all so yummy that one forgives the ordinariness of the room.

  • Cava
  • 1560 Yonge St., Toronto (map)
  • 416-979-9918
  • www.cavarestaurant.ca

  • Chef: Chris McDonald
  • Cuisine: Spanish
  • Cost of dinner for two: $120
  • Hours: Mon. to Sun. 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Reservations: Yes
  • Meals served: Dinner
  • Veggie-friendly: Yes
  • Wines available: 250
  • BYOB?: Yes
  • Corkage fee: $15
  • Patio: Yes
  • Private party area: No
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • CC accepted: Yes
  • Parking: Side streets and Green P parking nearby
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