Bar Raval had been voted not just best new bar of 2015 but also best tapas in Toronto. Two birds with one stone and within a walking distance? Our anniversary dinner plans were settled. We got there around 5:30 and the place was packed, literally standing room only. There was one spot left, standing by the bar. There were other people standing at high tables as well, so we were not the odd ones out. At first it kind of sucked, standing? An annoying guy beside me? Thankfully the music started drowning him out and I settled in. I soon forgot I was even standing, the bar has a great atmosphere and I had fun watching the bar tenders making cocktails.
Like a dummy I forgot that this was best new bar of 2015 and I ordered a glass of sparkling wine. Sipping from the fancy gimlet glass (and feeling like I was in the Great Gatsby) I realized I would have to order a second drink, a fancy cocktail. Otherwise how could I verify if this was truly best new bar of 2015? Atmosphere and decor-wise yes, but would the drinks hold up? More than. The “dust bunny” was amazing, it was adorned with a dried apple ring and it was one of the best cocktails I have ever had.
Now on to the tapas. We ordered two rounds of food, it made more sense than ordering too much in one round and regretting it. The shishito peppers were the clear winner, they had been fried and sprinkled with sea salt. Nothing else really stood out as amazing. Best tapas still goes to Torito in Kensington Market.