What’s on the menu at Patria, the second coming of the Spanish hotspot on King West
Including short rib paella and beef cheek–topped bone marrow
Contact: 478 King St. W., patriatoronto.com, @patriato
Neighbourhood: King West
Owners: Hanif Harji and Charles Khabouth
Chefs: Corporate executive chef Ted Corrado and executive chef Michali Eleftheroglou (Bar Raval, Boehmer, Pink Sky)
Accessibility: Fully Accessible
In September 2022, a decade after Patria first opened, a tiny spark in the restaurant’s charcoal grill set off a sensor that alerted the sprinkler system. The good news: there wasn’t a fire worth putting out. The bad news: the overzealous sprinklers caused so much water damage that the restaurant had to shut down indefinitely.
Over a year later, the Spanish hotspot has reopened its doors and—except for the incredible hand-woven wall covering from its previous incarnation, which was thankfully salvaged—the tapas restaurant has been completely gutted and refreshed. Though the place has been transformed, the original vibe remains. “We’ve been a staple on the King Street scene for good reason. We didn’t want to reinvent the wheel just because we were given the opportunity to do so,” says Corrado. “We had a hard look at the menu and the space, and we gave them both a little updating and refining. Everything should feel the same, but slightly elevated.”
Classic Spanish tapas composed through the respectful yet contemporary lens of Australia-born Eleftheroglou. Think bright, textural dishes like tomato- and garlic-rubbed sourdough drizzled with Rincón de la Subbética olive oil and topped with vinegar-cured anchovies and Maldon salt, crispy-bottomed paella topped with thinly sliced short rib, and all kinds of Spanish ham and cheese.
A lengthy list of mostly Spanish wines is complemented by bar manager Candice Tracy’s quirky yet sensibly Spanish take on classic cocktails—like a negroni made with herbaceous Casa Mariol vermut or a spicy margarita with a smoked-paprika rim. The card’s standout is a Spanish sherry–based cocktail called the Pink Sherry, a balanced sweet-and-sour drink composed of guava juice, Tio Pepe sherry, vodka and Aperol. It’s chilled, strained and topped with house-made limoncello foam. And of course there is sangria.
Old-world Spanish influences were left in the past for gently modern elegance in this sprawling two-floor room that permits guests to sit comfortably and in style. Luxurious elements like velvet and marble are grounded by exposed-beam ceilings and unconventional art installations, like a woven-fabric feature wall and a tongue-in-cheek banquette backdrop made of meat cleavers.