City Bites

10-day tapas journey — 9 restaurants showcase unique nibbles

Grazers take note. Lucky Torontonians have been enjoying Tapas Journey since 2015. Now Barcelona’s Estrella Damm beer is bringing the party to Ottawa, spearheading a tasty 10-day festival (September 15 to 24) in which participating restaurants offer up three unique tapas plates to pair with a bottle of the popular Spanish lager.

Berryman Pub’s caprese tostada

The price? Just $20.

222 Lyon's spicy chorizo mmeatballs
222 Lyon’s spicy chorizo meatballs

The 9-strong list of participants includes restaurants whose menus are inspired by Spanish cuisine — 222 Lyon Tapas Bar, The Soca Kitchen, and Bar Laurel are in the lineup — but also some outliers. We spot southern Indian restaurant Coconut Lagoon, gastropub Prohibition House, Greek specialists Aroma Meze, and the Lord Elgin’s Grill 41. Rounding out the nine are Ace Mercado in the Market and The Berryman Pub in Centretown. It all makes for a great excuse to get out over a few nights for a beer and nibbles with friends.

Bar Laurel's boquerones
Bar Laurel’s boquerones
Prohibition's foie gras ice cream
Prohibition’s foie gras ice cream
Ace Mercado_Estrella Damm_Tapas Journey_Deviled Egg
Ace Mercado’s deviled egg

Some of the participating chefs got into the groove by attending a Gastronomy Congress held in Toronto in July and hosted by world-renowned chef Albert Adrià, whose Michelin-star Tickets in Barcelona was ranked among the world’s top 50 restaurants in 2017. His theme was ‘the art of tapas.’

Soca Kitchen's mussels escabeche
Soca Kitchen’s mussels escabeche
Grill 41’s crab & shrimp cake

City Bites Hot Tip: Do your research! If you head online you can see every single one of the 27 dishes to be tried. Making us drool on a first run through the list: lobster salpicon in a phyllo nest (222 Lyon Tapas Bar); herbed chicken meatballs served with avgolemono sauce (Aroma Meze); and Venezuelan Arepa with citrus pulled pork, coriander aioli, habanero, and pineapple hot sauce (The Soca Kitchen). Of course, if we looked through it again tomorrow, our list would change!

Aroma Meze’s shrimp gnocchi
Coconut Lagoon’s sautéed crab cake