I’m glad to see that A Taverna is still kicking round as my last trip was almost a year ago. I’ve been meaning to come back again to try a couple more of their dishes and luckily, J and L were game. I left the ordering in J’s hand and he opted to go with a couple larger, sharing plates.
We came for an early Saturday dinner and again, we were the only ones sitting in the dining area. There were a couple guys at the bar hanging out so pretty much the same as my first trip. Really hope that they’re busier as they are quite off the beaten path.
Entre amigos ($30.00)
We decided to start things off with the sharing tapas platter, which consisted of a flaming chorizo, sardines, corn bread, azeitonas, gizzards,and caldo verde soup.
The caldo verde was hearty and tasted like a Portuguese grandmother would have made it. A nice combination of potatoes, kale (yes your eyes read that correctly), olive oil, carrots, garlic and some other goodies.
Surprisingly good. I’m always curious why people don’t like kale. It was pretty great in this soup.
The flaming chorizo comes out table side on a cute pig roasting ornament. Let it cook for a couple minutes before digging in. Sadly, I found the meat dry and for $15.00 (if you order it individually), that is one expensive piece of meat. I wouldn’t get it next time.
Closeup of the chorizo. At least the presentation is cool. But I’ll take having my taste buds tantalized over visual presentation every day of the week.
The best plate was probably the gizzards. Light, textually pleasant, I don’t know what it is about gizzards and these parts of meat that are just delicious. Must be the Asian in me that digs it.
I didn’t take any photos of the other tapas as I’ve had them on my first trip, which you can see here if you want to see more.
Seafood rice ($40.00)
Traditional Portuguese dish cooked in a light tomato sauce made for two. You get a mixture of mussels and shrimp. Their description of being a “light sauce” was right on the money – not very thick, more soupy than anything else. It was okay but I was expecting much more flavour and flair to it. For freaking $40.00, I wasn’t very impressed. Comparing the entrees I had during my first trip, the grilled octopus seems like a steal in terms of flavour and value.
Espetada mista ($25.00)
A combination of skewered grilled meats. Three types – chorizo, beef and chicken. A bit disappointing that they gave us chorizo again but it was better the first one we had. The best was the beef but the chicken was dry. Again, presentation was pretty unique as it came out hanging a la dry cured meat style. But price wise, totally not worth it.
This dish came with a side of crispy, crunchy, addictive fries and rice. Pretty small portion but both were tasty. Would have liked to see a full plate of each side though.
I think dessert saved face for our meal, for me at least. The cheesecake was freaking amazing. Yes, that’s super fresh berries and the berry compote/sauce was top notch. I could have drank it down. They even whipped fresh cream, which you don’t see too often. Get it.
Pineapple mousse ($6.00)
All their desserts are home made. Again, a nice fresh dollop of whipping cream over the pineapple mousse. The mousse was excellent and you could actually taste real bites of pineapple in it. The mouse was velvety smooth and best of all, not too heavy. Yum yum yum.
Overall, my experience wasn’t as great second time round but the key here is to order wisely. You can’t go wrong with any of the desserts but for the rest, I would probably order a la carte for the petiscos. Entrees, it’s hit and miss, so hopefully you have better luck than me when you go.
12118 – 90 Street