Introducing: Patria, the new King West spot for traditional Spanish food from Charles Khabouth and Hanif Harji
Patria is the latest collaboration between Hanif Harji and Charles Khabouth, the pair who opened Weslodge this summer (Patria is located just down the alleyway). The concept: authentic Spanish food—a cuisine they point out is notably underrepresented in Toronto—with plenty of imported products and wine. While the food may be rustic, the Commute Home–designed room is anything but, with three edgy portraits of a Spanish woman at the entrance and, along a wall, a row of stamped meat cleavers that spell out “full stomach, happy heart” in Spanish. Most eye-catching of all is the giant rose-and-diamond cross-stitch art installation covering an image of a flamenco dancer, which took 485 hours and 17,109 stitches to make (all documented in this time-lapse video).
Behind the food at Patria are executive chef Stuart Cameron and chef de cuisine Claudia Gibson, who serve a menu of rustic Spanish tapas, raciones (larger sharing plates) and full-on mains. The tapas include salted marcona almonds ($6), Spanish cheese served with quince jam and sourdough ($8) and sliced-to-order jamón ibérico, the cult black-hoof Spanish ham that’s cured for 36 months ($30). For raciones, there’s ham croquettes ($7), blistered shishito peppers ($6) and heftier dishes like a cuttlefish pasta ($18), while the mains include a lamb chop in romanesco sauce ($21) and a wood fire–roasted rib-eye ($65). Naturally, there’s also a large-format paella for the table ($40–$48), cooked to order in 30 minutes.
Harji boasts that 75 per cent of the wine menu at Patria is made up of private-order Spanish wines not available at the LCBO; they’re also selling bottles of Estrella Damm Inedit, the beer designed by Ferran Adrià of El Bulli. The cocktail list was created by Elan Marks (who oversees the cocktails at Weslodge, Patria and Storys), and includes a Spanish manhattan with bourbon, sherry nectar and bitters ($17) and the Cava Nuevo, with gin, lemon, simple syrup and cava ($15). Patria is open for lunch, dinner and drinks, and also offers a Spanish brunch on the weekends.