#9 Cava


When Chris McDonald sold Cava to chef Doug Penfold in late 2014, I worried the fab food might deteriorate. But chef Penfold (who btw was trained by Claude Bouillet at Pastis) is at least as good as Chris. The superb tapas menu remains, but Penfold has added some winners to the roster. He does a thin savoury chickpea tortilla topped with splendid little jewels — black trumpet mushrooms, idiazabal (pressed sheep cheese), and roast squash. He’s also added a superlative sea bream ceviche with sweet/sour persimmon, bitter escarole and crunchy corn nut. The Penfold sweetbreads are big fat and tender, made luminous by spicy radicchio poblano salad. He makes pintxos of fantasia like Spanish blue cheese with sherry-roasted figs and lightly pickled sardines. A tapas triumph.

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

  • Chef: Doug Penfold
  • 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: $30
  • Patio: Yes
  • Private party area: No
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • CC accepted: Yes
  • Parking: Street parking and Green P nearby
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