Carmen – Cocina Española

While wandering home from work last night, my boyfriend and I stumbled upon a brand new Spanish restaurant on Queen West called Carmen – Cocina Española. As we sometimes do, we looked inside, took a quick glance at the menu and gave it a shot. It had been a really long time since I had eaten Spanish food. Toronto’s renown for Italian, Portuguese, Mexican, Chinese, Thai, Indian and even Tibetan food but rarely do I stumble across Spanish restaurants. I like Spanish food not only for its unique flavour but also for their varied vegetarian tapas.

We started our meal with some delicious Bodegas red wine that was decently priced. Though we were both tempted to share a traditional paella (they make a vegetarian one too!), we were told that it would take at least 45mins to make since it’s made for scratch. So instead, we opted for sharing a bunch of tapas. The first one we ordered was fried green tomatoes with feta cheese, peppers and corn. We followed that up by Jimaca shells with creamy avocados and finished off by the traditional Spanish omelet. My favorite dish out of the three vegetarian ones we ordered was without a doubt the fried tomato. I loved the combination of sweet and spicy. The avocado was also delicious but a little small for the price.

All in all, the food was super tasty but it was a little pricey. A restaurant like Grand Electric, which is pretty much the hippest joint in town right now, charges $3.75 per taco and they’re pretty filling. These tapas weren’t nearly as filling and cost upwards of $6. The ambiance was also really laid-back. I really dug the bar and more café-type front and the lounge and comfy back dinning area.

If you’re looking for a new spot to try out around Trinity Bellwoods and don’t mind paying a little more for your dinner, pay Carmen a visit!


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