This fairly new Toronto King-west restaurant has knocked my socks off. Hidden under a new residential building in an alley-way, Patria, the new collaboration by the same owners of sister restaurant Weslodge, brings a little bit of Barcelona to our palates.
With an eclectic decor, comfy chairs and an open-kitchen concept, the tapas-inspired restaurant delivers a modern take on traditional Spanish food with ingredients directly imported from the mother-land and flavours that explode in one’s mouth.
I visited Patria for lunch to take advantage of the lower-priced tapas option. The restaurant is not cheap by any means, but their lunch menu delivers some of the most delicious tapas I’ve had the pleasure of tasting in this city. Starting with my favourite and one that makes me salivate just thinking about it, the Beef Cheek Fideos.
A tremendous explosion of sweet and savory flavours that marry well on a plate of noodles, soaked in a tomato broth, topped with pieces of juicy beef cheek and cilantro. The noodles are soft and mushy, and rightly so, as Spanish “fideos” usually are. They are thin, short, with the right moisture balance.
Patria’s take on the famous tapa – Tortilla de Patatas is one to admire.
This potato, cheese and egg concoction has texture like no other. Layers of “un-mushy” potatoes are wrapped in an omelette-like egg and cheese mix. The tortilla comes served with a small pouring of a tomato compote that gives the dish that extra punch of flavour.
On the fish front, Patria opens up one’s imagination to the possibility of using chimichurri on fish, with their take on a halibut covered in the precious traditional Argentinian sauce.
The fish, cooked with a nice flaky centre and lightly fried skin, comes smothered in the parsley, garlic, oregano, red wine vinegar and olive oil sauce. The chimichurri is so fresh and tasty, you almost want to order bread to dip in the sauce and wipe the plate clean.
On the dessert front, Patria delivers just as well. The popular dessert, Churros, has crowds craving for more.
The popularity of this dessert stems from the fact this Spanish-staple is made on the premises. Their churro-making machine sits at the front of the kitchen, outputting hundreds of the doughy treats that are served on a bed of thick and sweet dulce de leche.
With this kind of food, Patria, also known in English as Homeland, hits the spot when in search of a little of Barcelona in the city.
Until next time Foodies!
Specialty: Spanish Tapas
Location: 478 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario
Menu items: Tortilla de Patatas, Halibut with Chimichurri, Beef Cheek Fideos & Churros