While it may be difficult to identify singularly Torontonian cuisine, the city’s chefs never cease their efforts at creating the perfect meal. Inspiration can come from anywhere, and so the fact that we have enough restaurants in the city to create a prix fixe adventure out of tapas alone means that we are in a truly inspired place. After an incredible meal at Weslodge it was time to continue my #TapasJourney at the ultimate small bites destination: PintxosTO 2015!
Pintxos celebrated its third year of showcasing a Toronto take on Spanish and pinxtos and tapas. Chefs from around the city gathered at the Royal Bank plaza (across from Union station) to wow us with their elegant presentations. All this was thanks to Spanish beer Estrella Damm!
We were greeted first by the incredible sight of spit-roasted lamb, filling the air with a mouth-watering aroma. All around were chef stations with a cornucopia of Spanish-inspired bites.
The festival weather was beyond perfect – a clear sky looked down on us, reminding us that summer hasn’t abandoned us quite yet. Patio umbrellas provided comfortable shade in under which to spread out one’s selections and sip on refreshing Estrella Damm, Spanish cider, or Dillons cocktails.
While there were fewer vendors than at a typical food festival, they were all expertly curated. Every taste was exquisite and there was never a dip in quality. They each provided an assortment of items, so it was more likely that you’d fill up quickly than that the food would run out.
My pescatarian companion naturally steered clear of the spit-roasted lamb, but still had plenty available to her, including tasty shrimp and a filling crab slider.
My personal favourite station in terms of set-up and selection was Cava. They had at least 8 items all prepared, from smoked mussels to puffs filled with hedgehog mushrooms. It was all so good that I nearly spent all of my money at their table alone.
A ticket for PintxosTO gives you two hours within the confines of the event. This may not seem like a lot of time, but it was more than long enough to stuff myself with so much delicious cured meat, cheeses, and perfectly prepared seafood that any longer and I’d have needed to roll home. I had an amazing time at PintxosTO 2015 and am still dreaming about everything that I ate. Next year’s festival cannot come soon enough!
See our full album for PintxosTO 2015
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