For those that were wondering what would finally launch in the old Keriwa Café spot, the wait is no longer. Mata Petisco Bar is a restaurant largely influence by South American flavours and backed by a culinary powerhouse of Felipe Faccioli, Tulio Lessa, Patrick Fraser, Steve Fernandes and Sharath Dwarkanathan, whom all met while working in various Toronto restaurants together.
The concept of the restaurant is comfort yet shared plates. For reference, Petisco, which means shared plates in Portuguese – as we were told the evening we were invited to their menu tasting.
The tapas / shared-plated format at Mata is great for a communal dining experience and helps for them to change the menu seasonally. Some of the standouts from the evening were the Corvina Ceviche with Maple Candied Sweet Potato, Celery & Lime ($11) that was mild but very textured (candied sweet potato and celery). All the flavours played nicely off one another. This dish was beautifully plated and a wonderfully presented dish.
Next up, the Grilled Octopus with Heart of Palm Puree, Raspberry & Balsamic Reduction & Taro Root Crisps ($15) was perfect. All too often we see this delicate seafood mistreated and the taste comes out all wrong. But thankfully, the cook on this was perfect and the puree just added a nice extra touch.
Another standout from the evening was the Picanha Slider with Cachaça Caramelized Onions, House Made Catupiry Cheese, & Malagueta Pepper Aioli ($12) and although you’re thinking, “it’s just a slider” – it was so much more than that. The cheese was housemade and added an extra kick. The meat was seasoned properly and well. This slider was just well done.
One dish I can say I was slightly disappointed about was the Beef Cheek Poutine with Cassava Frites, Fresh Curds, Scallions ($14). I had heard nothing but amazing things about it and was excited that we were having the opportunity to try it. But my verdict: it wasn’t worth the hype. The fries were great but there were not enough cheese or beef gravy. Perhaps I’ll need to re-try this dish again.
Overall, this restaurant’s casual dining atmosphere and delicious eats are worth the trek to Parkdale for a fabulous South American-inspired meal.Ama Scriver, chefs, fat girl food squad, Mata Petisco Bar, parkdale, queen west, Shared Plates, South American, Tapas, where to eat in toronto