I wish I could take credit for finding this restaurant, but that will have to go to my Mom! We were looking for a dinner option that was a little different, and she succeeded at finding a great spot. Madrina Bar y Tapas is located in The Distillery history district in Toronto.
Our server was one of the sweetest servers I’ve had in a while, her name slipped my mind as soon as she said it though. She explained the entire menu to us from memory, which I love to experience. A server with full knowledge of the menu is so important, especially now with all of the dietary restrictions and preferences. She mentioned that they have amazing sangria, so Mom and I both ordered the Blanco Sangria. It was AMAZING, our eyes bulged out of heads with flavour! Even though I dined there months ago, I can still taste it perfectly.
Growing up, my family would go through at least a jar of olives a week, we absolutely love them, so it is no surprise that the Marinated Gordal Olives was the first thing that Mom and I ordered. It would also be no surprise that we ate them in a matter of minutes, and asked for another order of them! And yes… we ate all of those as well. The menu describes them as marinated in “herbs, garlic, lemon, cumin and paprika”. The “herbs” is their heavenly secret mixture that they don’t want to share. I’ve tried to replicate these olives multi times at home, and haven’t even came close… maybe one day (cross your fingers for me)!!
Next we had the Iberico Ham Croquetas (2 per order), they were pretty much exactly how I had expected them to be, soft and creamy on the inside and a slight crunch on the outside. They were rich and heavy, I probably wouldn’t have eaten both by myself, one was perfect.
The Papas Arrugadas weren’t exciting at all, we might have had one or two simply to try the sauces. Sauces were a Sriracha Brava, and a Wasabi Aioli, both of which were tasty and very flavourful.
After the first disappointing potato dish, we decided to order the other one, which was much better! The Patatas Bravas Madrina Like a Millefeuille, not only tasted really nice, but they looked like little pieces of art! Very beautiful!
Besides the Olives, the Oxtail Mini Baguettes were my favourite dish. They were super cute! I really liked the texture component of the soft slow braised oxtail mixed with the crunch of the cucumber and then the chewy bread. Yum!! Mom on the other hand did not enjoy the Oxtail, she found it had a weird after taste.
The next dish Mom and I switched opinions, the Huevos Estrellados Con Chorizo was a neat presentation, it comes with the whole poached duck egg ontop of the dish and the server cracks it open with a spoon and stirs it into the dish (it happened too quick for me to get a picture before the egg was cracked open.. sorry!). I had one bite and couldn’t eat it, the texture was complete off for me. Mom loved it! Ate every morsel that was in the bowl. It worked out well since I ate all the Oxtail!
Regardless of my dislike of the Papas Arrugadas and the Huevos Estrellados Con Chorizo, our experience here was outstanding! The dishes were unique and there was clearly a lot of work and thought put into creating Madrina. I’d give them 5/5 stars for the Sangria & Olives alone, so I’m going to give them 5/5 stars. I was blown away by the level of service and quality, this is a must try (even if its only for olives and sangria).
Until next time,
Date Visited: May 16, 2016