I can't remember how we'd heard about Cava, a tapas style restaurant at 1560 Yonge. It may have been in many of the Top 10, Top 25 or Top 100 restaurants in Toronto but in any event Viv and I had been there before with another friend, Nick, but this time it was another friend David's turn to put up with this place.
Its location is on the Yonge Subway just up from St. Clair so an easy hop from downtown, and when we arrived unfashionably 1 hour early for our 9 pm reservation (on a Sunday! Give me a break. The place was half empty!!) we found David chatting to the barman and drinking a vodka martini. A nice one too, he said.
He'd also read about Cava and particularly the bit about if in doubt as to what to eat, simply "Leave it all to Chris".
Viv and I caught up with our martinis; she vodka with olives, me a James Bond Vesper martini that I had to show the barman how to make. Mind you he had Lillet and made a magnificent one before admitting he'd just joined and was actually the bus boy and not the regular barman. He needs to change jobs!
We told our waiter that we were leaving it all to Chris and ordered a nice hearty Spanish red as we sat down. Then came the plates.
Iberico ham, followed by Quebec foie gras on toast -- sorry, Pinchot of Gamay poached foie gras with rhubarb compote (magnificent incidentally), roasted beet salad, kingfish ceviche, asparagus, roasted lion's main mushrooms, grilled sardines, squid, clams, sablefish, 48 hour beef brisket... my God, it was endless! And to follow chocolate souffle and a cheese plate with a small savoury of even more foie gras at the very end. Just in case it was needed!!
Mind you, so was the bill at the end but it was one of those cases when it was all worth it.
My son Alistair and I had visited San Sebastian on our Euro road trip in 2011 and had discovered that the old town there was the world capital of tapas bars. There the food was simpler but equally magnificent. At Cava it was fancier but certainly all that one could have wished for.
I will go back again when my waistline permits! Next time with Ali.
1560 Yonge Street