Tanto

A friend had noticed that I haven’t been out to any restaurants recently because she likes to refer to my Instagram for places to eat. That’s when I realized how very true that statement was – I blame the Canadian winter for my hiatus. I have a tendency to hibernate and choose to cook at home rather than take a step into the cold. Funny enough, I told her not to worry because I had a few plans in the coming weeks.

One of my plans included reservations at Tanto, the newest edition to the family of restaurants behind Chabrol, Atlas and Cava but this time a take on Argentinian food. It had been a while since I’ve been this excited about checking out a new restaurant. I was looking forward to this dinner for quite some time that I even braved through (what I describe as) a snow storm and reluctantly made the slow drive down during rush hour – it was well worth it because I was met with attentive service and amazing food.

Our waiter came by our table to go over the specials for the night. Half the time I can never hear what the specials are but this time, he was very excited by the fresh fish that they had received from New Zealand. You could tell that the staff here was very passionate from all the energy they brought to the table.

Because of how fresh the fish was, the chef wanted to keep the Madai Crudo special simple. The sashimi-like slices were served no fuss with jalapeños, cilantro topped with olive oil and salt for the perfect amount of flavour.

Next was the grilled octopus which was one of the favourites from the night. The combination of the burnt almond salsa, pancetta and mushrooms made the dish very flavourful, leaving you wanting more.

We decided to get the Tarekihi special and it was simply delectable. I was already salivating when the waiter explained that it’s cooked in a french style with breadcrumbs on top, served with a side of artichoke and chive cream. It was the perfect marriage of buttery soft texture and a crunchiness from the fried breadcrumbs.

Our waiter waited until the end of our meal to enlighten us with the delicate process of how the fish was caught. Apparently a Japanese technique was used where a needle is inserted into the brain of the fish, killing it instantaneous without suffering which results in a better quality fish. It just goes to show how attainable responsible fishing is.

Last but not least, we had the short ribs served with grilled lettuce and chimichurri. The sizeable short ribs were just right – it easily slid off the bone, it was slightly charred on the outside giving it a smoky flavour but just tender enough on the inside. They even made the grilled lettuce taste really good! Who knew?

At the end of our meal our waiter brought out complementary alfajores which is dulce de leche sandwiched between two soft cookies (similar to shortbread). I like to bake and appreciate all sorts of baked goods from different cultures. It was the cherry on top to our experience at the restaurant. Or should I be saying the alfajores on top?

Out of all the sister restaurants, Chabrol is still my favourite but Tanto is definitely a strong runner up, followed by Atlas and then Cava. I can definitely see this newest addition to the ever changing roster of restaurants on Ossington is here to stay.

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