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Toronto Just Got A New Hidden Spanish Tapas Resto & There Are So Many Drool-Worthy Dishes

Can you spot this hidden gem on Portland Street?

Toronto Staff Writer
Brooke Houghton at Chica. Right: Interior of Chica.

Brooke Houghton at Chica. Right: Interior of Chica.

If you've been wandering around the King West neighbourhood this past month, you may have walked right past a new hidden gem on Portland Street.

Chica, a new Spanish tapas restaurant, quietly opened up on April 8, and the little sister restaurant of Patria may have been hiding right under your nose.

The intimate location serves up traditional tapas with a twist as well as cocktails, Spanish wines and sherries. The magical wanderlust of visiting a hidden laneway bar in Barcelona can now be found right here in Toronto.

The Space

Located at 75 Portland Street, the late-night restaurant is easy to miss with its tinted windows and unassuming sign.

Chica in Toronto.Chica in Toronto.Brooke Houghton | Narcity

But the simple exterior is a far cry from the warm, intimate vibes that lie behind the shielded door and grey curtain.

Inside Chica in Toronto.Inside Chica in Toronto. Brooke Houghton | Narcity

The modestly sized restaurant features a hand-crafted wall of terracotta tiles, high exposed ceilings, beachy wicker lights and a gorgeous green tile pillar that draws your eye the moment you walk in.

Inside Chica in Toronto.Inside Chica in Toronto.Brooke Houghton | Narcity

The restaurant seats 60 people comfortably, with large grey and leather booths and a series of high-top tables spread throughout the dining room and into the bar area.

Inside Chica in Toronto.Inside Chica in Toronto.Brooke Houghton | Narcity

The intimate bar only seats six guests and is lavishly spread against the backdrop of a massive mirror.

Inside Chica in Toronto.Inside Chica in Toronto.Brooke Houghton | Narcity

Guest dining at the bar and throughout the restaurant will be able to look into the open kitchen and watch Chica's chefs at work.

Food

The menu is constantly changing with inventive spins of traditional tapas dishes. It offers a wide range of price points, so everyone is sure to find something, whether you're looking to grab a quick $8 bite or a few larger plates like their grilled snapper to make a meal of the experience.

Table full of Chica's tapas.Table full of Chica's tapas.Brooke Houghton | Narcity

Executive Chef Ted Corrado, Development Chef Zachary Albertsen and Chica's head chef Chef Kevin Le (Noma) collaborated to create the menu, and diners will find that each dish has its own special something from edible flowers to duck liver parfait in a tart.

The "Tarta de Paté de Hígado" is one of the restaurant's most popular dishes, according to Albertsen and features duck liver parfait in a shortbread tart covered in a sherry jelly and edible flower petals for $19.

Tarta de Pat\u00e9 de H\u00edgadoTarta de Paté de HígadoBrooke Houghton | Narcity

"Tartar de Carne con Cubierta de Chalupa" is another floral dish with a spread of beef tartare on an in-house-made tostada for $12, topped with blue cornflower.

 Chica's Tartar de Carne con Cubierta de Chalupa. Chica's Tartar de Carne con Cubierta de Chalupa.Brooke Houghton | Narcity

The menu includes a good variety of options, including larger dishes like their "Prucha con Pan," a trout dish bathed in sauce with scallion onions and topped with in-house-made bread, to smaller dishes like their "Hojaldre de Crema," a uni mousse bite-sized puff pastry.

Drinks

Cocktails at Chica.Cocktails at Chica.Brooke Houghton | Narcity

Whether you're looking to sip on a fancy craft cocktail or enjoy a bottle of Spanish wine, you'll have plenty of tasty options to pair your snacks with.

The "Ronda Sour" is the perfect twist on a New York Sour. It's a mix of kola syrup, Bulleit rye, red wine, orange bitters, lemon juices and frothy egg whites for a sweet and sour flavour with a light finish, perfect for those who don't love the taste of a super-strong drink.

If you're in the mood for a strong take-charge drink, you may want to try the "Benidorm," an Iberico ham-infused Bacardi 8-year rum-based drink with vermouth and a maraschino liqueur with bold flavours and a hint of sweetness.

Chica

Brooke Houghton at Chica.

Brooke Houghton at Chica.

Brooke Houghton | Narcity

Price: 💸💸

Cuisine: Spanish

Address: 75 Portland St., Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: To try out a new hidden gem in the city while dining on a variety of unique dishes.

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