Before or after a performance at The Sony Centre check out Barsa Taberna for a tasty tapas meal. It can be found just down the street from the Sony Centre for Performing Arts – think Spanish, relaxed and delicious. Be sure to grab a special discount off your food/drink receipt when you show your Sony Centre for Performing Arts ticket before or after your show! A perfect way to stretch your dollar, feed you and your guests and keep the good energy flowing!
Bar Cru takes its name from the French word for “raw,” and they’re paying homage to three main raw seafood dishes: sushi, poke and ceviche.
The minimal little restaurant is tucked away on Market Street opposite the St. Lawrence Market.
Photos by Hector Vasquez
Serving up lunch, dinner and weekend brunches, Barsa Taberna has Spanish inspired dishes that are to die for. No matter your tastes, you’re sure to find something at this restaurant that will satisfy and have you craving more. Plus, who doesn’t love a good pitcher of sangria?
While Yashy and I are not shy about taking the kids to a nice restaurant, on many occasions, we are eager to have a night to ourselves. Following a recent Travel Massive meet-up near St. Lawrence Market, we seized the opportunity to discover a new restaurant. Naturally, we conducted some quick research at the meet-up, and the place that we found most intriguing was named Barsa Taberna, which had some solid online reviews and was described as a “bright, artsy Spanish eatery serving Barcelona-inspired tapas”, exactly the type of place we sought. This spot is by far one of Toronto’s coziest restaurants!
Bindia aims to serve Indian food within an airy brightly lit bistro. Their dining room doesn’t have an ounce of red or gold, instead there are calming blues and warm wood tones. The well ventilated restaurant means you can even go out afterwards without being perfumed with the aromatic aromas.
Always a sucker for markets, I often find myself looking for excuses to venture to St. Lawrence to peruse the aisles and explore the area. In recent years, there has been a bit of resurgence, with new restaurants setting up shop along the Market St. strip. One of those restaurants is Bindia, a modern Indian restaurant serving some delicious gluten-free eats. Indian cuisine is typically gluten-free friendly, which is awesome because I love the bold and spicy flavours.
Barsa Taberna sits at the north tip of Market Street’s restaurant row that now runs down the west side of the old St. Lawrence Market building. The 85-seat restaurant inhabits a historic building filled with original stone archways and 19th-century beams, with decor that contrasts old world elements with curvaceous bespoke furnishings, 30 foot artworks backlit with LEDs, and rich mosaic patterns.
Patio seating out front will offer room for 75 and its major draw is pitchers of Sangria ($19-$20/half, $33-38/full) in red, white and sparkling Cava variations. Expect to see Estrella Damm, the beer of Barcelona, on tap in the coming weeks.
A number of exciting new restaurants are about to take Toronto’s dining scene to the next level. When we posted our 2014 forecast back in January, we teased you with the idea of ethnic food trucks, more burgers and creative dessert menus. Nearly five months later, we’re starting to see a wave of new exciting eateries opening from east to west.
Here’s a look at 10 openings we’re very excited about. What’s going to be big in 2014?
Read on to find out.
Market Street is in the midst of a makeover, and Barsa Taberna is just one of the new restaurants that will soon grace the street. Redevelopment of the tiny street next to St. Lawrence Market has been in the works since 2010, and the results of those years of planning are finally beginning to take shape. Aras Azadian is one of the owners of the new tapas restaurant, and he says the whole concept will be based on life in Barcelona.
Barsa’s menu will be half tapas, half entrees. Azadian says he’s sick of seeing mains disguised as tapas in Toronto, and he’s going to do his best to honour the original concept of the snackable plates.
“Tapas are not supposed to be $13 and $14. You’re supposed to order two or three plates each, and share. It’s just ridiculous.” On Barsa’s tapas menu, everything will range in price from $6 to $9. There will be a carefully selected wine list and pitchers of sangria to go along with it.
In case new tapas places aren’t your thing (even if they’re endowed with 75-seat patios), there is a string of other businesses slated to open on the street in the next couple of months, too. Pastizza is an Italian restaurant opening on the south end of the street. From what I could see by peering in from the street like a creeper, it looks like it’ll be a pretty stunning spot. A balcony-esque upper level overlooks the mezzanine area, and as of now, it looks kind of like that pervasive scene from Romeo and Juliet.
Farther up will be Bindia, an Indian bistro which will also be graced by a patio. I’ve noticed a liquor license displayed in the window, too. Olive&Olives, a small and ambiguously-named chain imported from Montreal with an outpost in Riverside, will throw open its doors to their second Toronto location here. Down the line from that, Azadian tells me, there will be an espresso place.
The last item on the list, for now, is Market Street Catch, a 36-seat seafood restaurant from the owners of Buster’s Sea Cove. There’s still one vacant space that appears to be up for grabs, according to Azadian and as far as appearances show. I wouldn’t know for sure, though, as the developers wouldn’t get back to me after repeated interview requests.
While it’s a tourist-heavy area, Azadian, for his part, says his restaurant is targeted toward young professionals who are seeking out an authentic experience. It was actually a bit of a happy accident that he wound up with the Market St. location, he says. He was looking at other areas, but it was hard to find a good fit for his first restaurant. When he saw the space, though, he says he was sold immediately.
That said, he tells me the renovations have been a nightmare. “The design should have taken a month, and it’s been two and a half months to figure out the engineering.” They wanted to open the patio in September to have at least a semblance of patio season, but they’re now scheduled to open for mid-November.
While there’s lots of work still to be done, all of the businesses along Market Street are apparently aiming to have their doors open by the end of the year.