The Spend A Lot list is Joanne’s sky’s-the-limit guide to dining in the big city.

#9 Cava


Cava’s kitchen goes from strength to strength. Chef Doug Penfold (who now juggles Chabrol as well) continues his meat supremacy — His jamón is dreamy, his charcuterie impeccable. He adds whimsies like whipped jamón fat to roasted broccoli to make it sing. He still makes pintxos of fantasia like Spanish blue cheese with sherry-roasted figs and lightly pickled sardines, and the time-honoured favourite fried eggplant with melted fresh cheese, puckery tomatillo sauce and bonito flakes. But chef has added more non-meat treats for a broader audience. Red fife wheatberry salad with parsley, pomegranate, pistachios, pickled cauliflower and argan oil is loaded with flavour, as are grilled king oyster mushrooms with fab flavourings. And what a chile punch in shrimp ceviche. No wonder the place is packed despite its banal location.

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

  • Chef: Doug Penfold
  • Sous Chef: Julian Iliopoulos
  • 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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