Mata Petisco Bar

For the last several weeks I have been watching Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as the group behind Mata Petisco Bar worked diligently at getting their restaurant open in time for the World Cup of Soccer in Brazil.  I continued to follow along as they ironed out the kinks with soft openings for fans looking for a new and hip place to watch their favored teams battle it out on the field.  I drooled over their menu and photos and counted down the days to the official media launch but not for the same reason above.  I’ve been waiting patiently because back in June I got to taste this at Luminato’s Taste of the Beach.

Luminato's Taste of the Beach

Silky, rich coconut gelato with cinnamon sugar grilled pineapple.  An absolute to die for, can’t get it off the brain decadent dessert.  And knowing that they created this I knew I would be in for a tasting experience unlike anything I’ve had before.

Bordering on the edge of the up and coming food scene on Roncesvalles and the all things new and cool of Parkdale West, Mata Petisco Bar continues with the popular Toronto trend of small plate sharing. With a limited wine list ( three reds and three whites), locally favored beers and a small compact menu, the brain childs behind this space are left with plenty of room to explore and experiment. A mixture of old and new blend together in an interior best described as a pop culturesque cantina with beaten wood finishes, bright neon lights, mosiac tiles and antique signage-turned wall coverings.

Mata Petisco Bar

Coming together after previous appointments at Salt Wine Bar, back of the house maestros Felipe Faccioli, Patrick Fraser, and Tulio Lessa create dishes that touch on Canadian classics with heavy roots in South American cuisine while upfront Steve Fernandes and Sharath Dwarkanathan keep all the fine details running smoothly and diners well soused with cocktails like the classic Caipirinha and the fresh and citrusy Pisco Sour.

Lime Caipirinha and Pisco Sour

Lime Caipirinha and Pisco Sour

Coming out of the kitchen, I was treated to a seemingly never ending sampling of dishes many with never before tried ingredients starting with these crispy Cheese Breads and fried lobster pastels.  It was served with a Requeijão Cheese Sauce that I wanted to take home and spread on my morning bagel.

Mata Petisco Bar

Cheese Bread and Lobster Pastel

As a recent discoverer of the delights of Ceviche I love to see one on a menu. Marinated in lime and celery with lots of cilantro and cucumber the seafood was tender and the bonus bites of maple candied sweet potato was a wonderful contrast to the citrus.

Mata Petisco Bar

Corvina Ceviche

New to my palate were these smoked crispy chicken hearts that while texturally were a bit to get use to, they were combined with an amazing cauliflower puree and ancho chili aioli. The breading on the little hearts was so tasty, perfectly seasoned with a wonderful crunch. As someone whose taste buds lean heavily to hot and spicy I quickly took advantage of amazing trio of hot pepper oils that came to the table.  Each with a bigger kick they completely elevated my flavor experience with the chicken hearts.  My only wish was I had them when I was trying the ceviche.

Mata Petisco Bar

Smoked Crispy Chicken Hearts

Mata Petisco Bar

Hot Pepper Oil Trio

Seeing sliders on the menu was no surprise with thinking about a shared plate experience and these picanha ones were outstanding.  Medium rare and topped with carmalized onions, house made catupiry cheese and a malagueta pepper aioli this was one of my favorites of the evening.  Picanha, a rump based cut of beef produces very moist and flavourful ground meat that when paired with the creamy brie like cheese and heat of the chili pepper results in a fantastic burger.

Mata Petisco Bar

Picanha Slider

Another fairly new flavour to my repertoire is octopus.   Great food needs to have all the senses involved and mouth feel is a big part in deciding whether a dish is loved or hated. This is one of the problems I have had with past experiences with this cephalopod. Chewy and uncompromising.  This plate of grilled octopus was a whole other story.  Soft, tender slivers of smoky meat paired with another standout puree, this time Hearts of Palm and a sweet raspberry balsamic reduction.  I really, really wanted to like this dish.  I ended up loving it.  And those Taro chips! They need to be sold in bulk.

Mata Petisco Bar

Grilled Octopus

As a tip of the hat to Canadian culture poutine can be found on the menu.  But this is not your mother’s poutine.  Cassava, a tuberous root vegetable native to Brazil, is turned into fries and topped with shredded smoked beef cheek, red wine demi glace, cheese curds and fresh herbs.  Strong cheese, a hearty beef gravy and crunchy fries, everything needed to make a stellar poutine.

Mata Petisco Bar

Beef Cheek Poutine

While I slightly hoped that some of that coconut gelato may be lurking back in the kitchen I was just as pleased to try the dessert choice of the evening, an avocado creme brulee. Velvety smooth with a vibrant, tart, lime flavour it was a refreshing end to an incredible meal.  And as with all creme’s placed in front of me I ate around the brulee only to savour it’s burnt caramel sweetness at the end.

Mata Petisco Bar

Avocado Creme Brulee

With plans of opening for brunch on the weekends, expansion of the wine list, and regular seasonal menu changes Mata Petisco Bar has placed it’s roots firmly in the neighbourhood.  By building their introduction into Toronto’s culinary scene slowly and revolving it around the world’s biggest sporting event of the year it is easy to gauge that the combined experience and knowledge between these 5 friends will be the backbone of their success.

Mata Petisco Bar
1690 Queen St. West.
416-627-6460
 
Tue, Wed, Thu: 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Fri, Sat: 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Sun: 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Monday: Closed
 
*Disclaimer- While I was invited to try out this restaurant free of charge all opinions (and you know I have lot’s of them) are solely my own.www.matabar.ca
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Comments

  1. kiel goncalves says:
    Parabens aos chefs e a vc meu querido mano Itu Lango Faccioli. Que Jah ilumine todo seu caminho my brotha. Ki e Fla.

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