Review: Mata serves good Brazilian bar snacks (and some of the best sliders in town)
1690 Queen St. W., 647-691-0234
Felipe Faccioli, Tulio Lessa and Patrick Fraser, sharing chef duties, cannily opened their South American restaurant during World Cup, projecting matches on one wall and serving bracingly strong cocktails of Brazilian liquor. Even if you’ve never loved the beautiful game, their menu, composed of elevated sports bar snacks, will win you over. The highlights: tender, smoked pork ribs in a stickily tangy guava sauce, a shepherd-style lobster pie with a sweet mashed cassava, and a contender for the best sliders in town, the pulled smoky beef smothered in a peppery aioli and a creamy Brazilian catupiry cheese. Deep-fried, ancho chili-spiced chicken hearts, the most esoteric option, taste something like a fine, peppery country sausage, but turn unappealingly rubbery as they cool. Desserts are simple but comforting, like a savoury avocado crème brulee and a jiggling guava panna cotta.