Bar Raval (@bar_raval) the much anticipated sister restaurant to Bar Isabel finally opens it's door back in February after a year in the making.
Chef de cuisine Crant Van Gameren has inspired and lead culinary trends in Toronto from the housemade charcuterie at The Black Hoof to the start of the Spanish tapas craze of Bar Isabel, so you can imagine my excitement in trying out Bar Raval.
It's a stand only 40 person pintxo bar with no seating of any sort. There's someone at the door and no one is allow in unless there's space and be prepare to wait since the place packed up pretty quickly but lucky for us, we got the last 2 spots. Our coats were quickly checked in by one of the wait staff as soon as we walk in and we were told to find a table space squeeze in and in table I mean shelf, bar or wooden barrels. One we claim "our spot", people are surprisingly respectful of each other eating space which can get pretty crowded with all the little plates. I would recommend a hand-free bag since there's not much space to put your purse and wear something light since the place can get pretty hot with the crowd. I hope they do open up the patio when it get warmer.
You can't help but love the space with all the woodwork all surround the entire space, it's kinda a hipster-Gaudi space?! Ben said that it reminded him of Bilbo Baggins' (The Hobbit) house and I have to agree. (See more details about the architecture here). Love the kitchen window where the charcuterie hang and the chef peeking through from time to time.
Our spot by the window, love how there's still sunshine outside which make the picture so much better.
They serve wine and beer as well but with the amazing cocktail list, I just couldn't help myself.
@King_of Ginger $16
~ Lot 40 Bowmore, Averna, Ginger, Lemon, Bee Pollen Honey, Egg White
This was the most expensive cocktail on the menu but it's really worth the splurge since it's everything that I like. Slightly herbal and the ginger, citrus, honey flavors are so well balance together. Oh and I am a total sucker for any egg white cocktail
This is probably the most expensive canned fish I ever had, although it tasted amazing and we finished it in no time, I still thought it was was too expensive. Maybe at a smaller portion for a more affordable price.
Razor Clams in Raval Sauce $14
Tender bits of razor clams with the super yummy sauce, we clean the plate clean with the baguette
Pig Head & Romesco (2pcs) $8
Savory sweet red pepper puree was the perfect match for the creamy cheese head / mortadella and cold crisp shaved fennel, even the pop of head from the pepper on top was perfect.
Morcilla & Egg (2pcs) $8
Blood sausage, quail egg and parsley oil equals yumminess. Everything taste better top with an egg right but it's a messy one especially while eating in standing, so make sure to bring your plate up when eating this.
Pig Cheek in Cider $9
Love the sweet cider caramelization on the chorizo and the pork belly
Sweetbreads Bocadillos $9
Squid in Pork Fat $8
It was tough to resist ordering the grilled octopus since it's so perfect at Bar Isabel, so order this instead. This was cooked perfectly with the flavorful lard which is freshen up with a squeeze of lemon. Tender flavorful simple goodness.
Gothic Quarter $13
~ Tanqueray, Kaffir Lime, Sugar, Creole
The first cocktail was so good that I couldn't resist ordering a second which is rare for me, being usually more of a wine drinker. It was the perfect refreshing drink to end the meal with, love the fragrant flavor of the kaffir lime.
The food was fantastic, simple and to point
Love the atmosphere and the decor just can't be beat.
Love everything maybe except for the price since these are only small dishes, the 2 of us end up spending around $140 plus tips for a stand up meal.