Toronto was brief but fun so I don’t want to sound like I’m whining. I just had no idea that Sunday was such a literal day of rest. For anyone who knows the city, I also looked into Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar, Foxley Bistro and Torito, none were open. And we weren’t ready to go out until after 9pm, which was even trickier. I have a phobia of dining when a restaurant is close to closing time and even more so when I’m the last customer in a room.
Coca appealed to me since I was interested in how Canadians were interpreting Spanish tapas (strange that I have to use Spanish as an adjective but anymore tapas means anything served in small amounts) plus they were supposed to be open until midnight, which turned out to be 11pm. That would still be fine, but it was a little off-putting that we were reminded when arriving at 9:30pm that if we wanted food we needed to order promptly before the kitchen closed. Exactly the kind of thing I hate even though the staff was completely attitude-free. It doesn’t take much to make me jumpy.
I would’ve ordered more food if father time hadn’t been hovering over me. We barely had a chance to scrutinize the menu and chalkboards. Horse bresaola certainly isn’t something you’d find on the charcuterie list at Daniel Boulud’s new much blogged about wine bar. I still can’t figure out how Canadians are pretty much same as Americans except they get wound up over hockey and have no squeamishness about devouring equines.
Also on the never-in-New York tangent, I noticed Czehoski, Coca’s sister restaurant across the street (which was still full when we left, perhaps we should’ve chosen differently) had calve's brain po’boys on the menu. I'm not even sure if the FDA allows us to eat brains in the U.S.
We quickly decided on three items and a couple glasses of big, fruity Bodegas Y Vinedos de Murcia, Caracol Serrano, Jumilla. I didn' t know how to order in metric; wines are served in 60, 120 and 180 ml portions. While I normally find James's Blackberry usage irksome, it was useful to convert milliliters to ounces on the fly.
Elk, lamb and beef sobrasada and machego on toast. See? I wasn’t kidding yesterday about caribou being Canadian food. The oily sausage and melted cheese were very rich; you probably wouldn’t want to eat more than two of these treats.
Hokkaido scallops and chorizo with roasted squash consommé were the opposite. I couldn’t detect the squash and wanted double the portion. And with forks only and no bread, a lot of the liquid went to waste.
I’m still steamed about never getting to try a sugared red pepper coca in Barcelona, despite two attempts. No glazy peppers here but caramelized onions sufficed. Interspersed with gorgonzola and sliced apples, the threesome was perfect on the thin crust. You would hope a restaurant’s namesake dish would be a hit and this was.
Coca * 783 Queen St. W., Toronto, Canada