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Aug 26, 2014 10:59 PM

Tinto Bar De Tapas on Bayview

Any reports?

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  1. Haven't gone yet, but hoping it is good...

    1. We went two Fridays ago. The place was packed, people were lined up outside. They looked slammed and in the weeds. The manager who appeared to also be waiting tables was frantic, running through the restaurant, ignoring guests and being generally surly. After we finally flagged him down he said the wait would be an hour and we could leave our number and they'd call us when the table was ready. We left our number and walked around Bayview.

      Half an hour later we swung back to see where we were on the list, only to be reprimanded and told they had tried to call us and we had lost our table and would have to wait another hour. I held up my phone, which had been in my hand the entire time and of course there was no sign of an incoming call. No apology was offered either. By this point we were starving so we agreed to wait but hung out right inside the door, where we then heard two other couples told the the same story, that they had been phoned and had now lost their tables. We asked if we could get a glass of wine while we waited as there is a stand up bar in the front window and were told gruffly, "No! We're at capacity." Why we didn't simply leave is beyond me. But we waited.

      Now here's the turnaround...we finally were seated and attended to by a most fantastic server. I think her name was Anna and I also think she may have been connected to the owner. She was FANTASTIC!!! We chose our wines and then let her choose and match our tapas. And she chose perfectly. The selections came immediately, were fresh and flavourful, interesting and delicious. We loved everything we ate. Portions, as expected for tapas, were mostly miniscule and left us wanting more. But oh, so wonderful: seafood stew, garlic shrimp, grilled, crunchy, salted shishito peppers, tomato bread, cheeses, meats,mmmmmmmm. We LOVED it all!

      The room is tiny and very noisy; so loud in fact at times we couldn't hear each other, but that may have been due to a table of four women at the back who basically screamed and cackled incessantly. And the grill hood is woefully inadequate, so be prepared for your clothes and hair to smell like food when you leave.

      Would we return? Absolutely. I'm hopeful as they settle into a groove and learn to manage the demand, they will iron out the surliness at the door, fix the exhaust hood and treat their patrons like guests. I think they have a bright future if they can actually be nice to people.

      I'd love to hear others' experiences.

      2 Replies
      1. re: GRobin

        I went early (6:00pm) and there were both tables and bar seating available - but it did fill up by about 7:30pm.
        I was a bit disappointed by the extent (lack of) their wine selections (e.g. not a single sherry - totally inconsistent with being called a tapas bar!). However the selection of wines they do have were reasonably priced.

        The food itself was generally good, but lacked 'bright' spicing (which, to be fair, is probably appropriate for that location).
        I found the service friendly and very anxious to please. I was asked how I had enjoyed my meal and commented on the lack of defined spicing. They then brought me a taste of an octopus dish (comped) that 'defied my comments' - it had layers of flavour and distinctive spicing. So maybe my problem was in ordering the 'wrong' dishes.

        Overall, well worth a try - but go early!

        Edited to add] I even commented that they seemed overstaffed (6 people for maybe a dozen patrons) for the business they were doing (after being asked by 3 people how I was enjoying my dishes). But was told that it got much busier later so they were staffed for that volume. So maybe they've already reacted to opening jitters.

        1. re: GRobin

          An excellent range of dishes. Would make a great buffet. Then no issues re: service or portion size and would would be cheaper so that would be able to go more often. But there are no good buffets in TO , So I suppose you just gotta put up with the tude dude.

        2. The original comment has been removed