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“To die for. Really.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bar Isabel

Bar Isabel
797 College street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Ranked #147 of 6,776 Restaurants in Toronto
Cuisines: Spanish
Dining options: Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night
Stavanger, Norway
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“To die for. Really.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2013

This isn't a fancy michelin restaurant, and will never be. But my god these guys can cook!

We started off with roasted bone marrow plus some blood sausage with foie gras, which was fantastic. For mains, I had the dry aged rib eye and my wife had the octopus. The octopus can be best described as a mouthgasm, and the rib eye...well, it is THE cure to veganism. It's the juciest, most tender and flavorful piece of meat I've ever had the pleasure of tasting.

As for staff and ambience: young, vibrant, super friendly and helpful.

All in all, this should be on your bucket list :-)

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93 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    41
    39
    7
    5
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Charlotte, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“No kidding best experience I've had in a restaurant!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2013

Just got back from Toronto vacation with the best friends ever! Saturday the 3rd of November will be one of the best memories I've ever had at a restaurant in Canada, if not ever! Bar Isabel is the most incredible restaurant, service, food, the whole package. Our server, Cassandra, was gorgeous, kind and perfect! Thank you to Alessandro Pietropaolo for the great recommendations on wine and libations. We were told that Bar Isabel was rated number 1 restaurant in Canada, and it is true. The decor, ambiance, was awesome. Blood sausage and patates (I ordered twice) octopus, duck eggs, and so much more...started weight watchers today so that I can go back again! LOL...
Reserve early.....

  • Visited November 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Toronto
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Spanish tapas with a touch of gourmet”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2013

We came to Bar Isabel only a couple of days after enRoute magazine had declared it the best restaurant in Canada, and also we were aware of the Toronto Life's power rankings making it one of the "hottest" dinner places in the city. So expectations were a bit inflated, I must admit. We had reservations for 6PM and showed up on time to be shown a table in the back of the two room dinning area. Here is the gist of my thoughts about our experience: on the plus side, service was great. We were never wanting for anything, yet we never felt rushed. We were there for a full two hours. We were able to get all answers we needed from the menu, and food came in perfect timing. The ambiance is great, I loved the mishmash of tiled floors and the funky ceiling lamps. It does give it a Dali-esque Spanish feel. Although I can't say we were disappointed with the food--everything was very delicious, we weren't necessarily wowed as much as we expected. The whole fish ceviche was definitely the winner. Everything else we tried was good, but not really that outstanding--the chorizo verde and octopus skewers, the marinated sardine crostinis, the blistered shishito peppers...even the cocktails, for all the ingredients that go in them, seemed quite standard-tasting. The desserts stood out a bit, - we tried the corn ice cream and the basque cake (my favorite of the two).

  • Visited October 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Opens @ 6pm”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

We arrived at 5:55pm so had to wait before the friendly staff let us (those waiting had grown to 7)
in precisely at 6pm. Started of with the salumi plate (2 from Spain & 2 by the house) with some sourdough bread ... liked the house cured better! The Sea Bream was very good including the deep fried parts of the fish that acted as a crispy receptacle for the lightly spiced ceviche that was mounded up on top. We thought the marinated Swiss chard with golden raisins was a bit better than the charred leeks with wild mushrooms. The Basque cake with cream & a hint of sherry finished our meal off nicely!

  • Visited October 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Edmonton
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Go for the Octopus and nice nearby evening stroll”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2013

We went as two couples and enjoyed a pretty protein packed meal. The grilled octopus is really good. It was our last dish, and a half order was more than enough. I like the ambiance and old room feel of the place; however, the acoustics do make it hard to hear. Staff is mediocre not warm as I was expecting for the price you pay. We left paying ~$375 for four people. Afterwards the walk around little Italy made for a nice way to digest the meal. It's not really that out there for 'unusual food' however the presentation and how the dishes pair make for a nice foodie evening.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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