Zócalo 647.342.1567 closed Tuesdays
Very subtle and almost missed on Bloor is a charming little bistro named after the main plaza in the heart of the historic centre of Mexico. The quaint interior has a rustic feel to it – very cute. And in the heat of an afternoon the patio is the best place to relax and recharge. Sangria, made to order with Humberto Canale Rio Negro, Argentina, Malbec 2011 is so fruity no actual fruit is needed in the drink.
After getting comfortable, I order the cheese special of the day, and the warm cremini and walnut pate. Chef Joel Macmillan cleverly organizes the two dishes on one mouth-watering platter.
Unpasteurized goats milk Tomme de Chevre is served with chamomile steeped prunes, spiced almonds, salad and seed crackers. The semi-soft cheese tastes delicate at first, then opens up slowly as it rolls around on the palette. The arugula salad is creamy and peppery with a grainy mustard bite. Fragrant prunes taste like flowers blooming in a summer garden.
The warm cremini and walnut pate is earthy and rich – perfect for vegetarians – served with grilled smoky (why haven’t I been here before) asparagus hash and a sweet balsamic onion marmalade that should be bottled and sold! Each ingredient works well on its own or mixed together. The whipped housemade butter is smoky. But not like a campfire, more like freshly fried bacon one wakes up to in the morning (if you’re lucky).
Having a quality wine card is another reason one should stop by. Charles Smith Wines “the velvet devil” Merlot 2010 Washington State, USA is smooth and velvety. Notes of milk chocolate melting in the mouth is so outstanding I ordered a case that day from Lifford Wines!