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Posted by Liora Ipsum / Listed on July 13, 2012 / review policy

quinta torontoQuinta opened in early July on a stretch of Dundas Street West, and brings a new take on Portuguese cuisine to an old Portuguese neighbourhood.

quinta torontoInside the cream-coloured dining room, the decor is understated and elegant. The tables are not packed in too tight, so there's the luxury of spaciousness that's all too rare in many downtown establishments. Many of the materials are reclaimed; wood table tops, powder-coated metal cafe chairs, large scale vintage movie posters--despite this, the atmosphere is relaxed and unintimidating. I would bring family here and know that they would be just as comfortable as my trendy, urbanite friends.

quinta torontoQuinta is helmed by chef Leor Zimerman and front-of-house manager Nik Halkias, who met during a recent stint at Brassaii Restaurant and Lounge. Zimerman tells me that this is the dream--cooking the food that he wants to cook and applying classical French training and 12+ years professional experience to a style of cooking that tends to value simplicity.

The menu features no more than a dozen items plus daily specials. There are no descriptions, just a focused list of dishes and a welcoming staff ready to describe each one to you personally. The lack of formality is welcome, and sharing a plate or eating with your hands is encouraged.

quinta torontoIn the dining room, I overhear Zimerman taking requests from diners; he is not above serving people what they want, and in fact relishes it. Though the menu is small, he tells me that he likes to introduce new flavours by occasionally slipping patrons an unexpected sample or amuse bouche. Before I've even ordered, I am surprised by a generous bowl of addictive and salty fried pork skins.

quinta torontoTo start, I select the Little Fish ($7), deep-fried, battered smelts served alongside lightly-dressed greens and briney olives--a perfectly balanced dish.

quinta torontoThe Pork and Clams ($18) arrives steaming hot and smells absolutely wonderful. Thick chunks of braised pork belly sit atop steamed clams in a stew-like bowl of potatoes, fava beans and broth. The accompanying bread is torn from a baguette (not sliced), and is intended to sop up the sauce.

quinta torontoFor dessert, I try the Almond Tart ($7) filled with apricot jam and baked into a buttery crust (which isn't too sweet). The accompanying strawberry mint labneh mousse offers a subtle take on Mediterranean flavours.

quinta torontoAlso of note is the bar menu, which offers an ample selection of wines, beers and cocktails, as well as more unusual offerings such as housemade ginger beer and "shrubs"--a drinking vinegar made from an apple cider vinegar base and sweetened with sugar and seasonal fruits--courtesy of bartender William Jordan.

quinta torontoThe comfortable setting is perfect for a relaxed date but is also appropriate for a large group or family dinner. Quinta satisfies with well-prepared food and a generous spirit.

Photos by Jesse Milns



Andrea / July 13, 2012 at 11:34 am
Went here last week--really enjoyed our meal. Servers were friendly, and the food was delicious. Great to have it in the neighbourhood, looking forward to going back.
Paul / July 13, 2012 at 11:49 am
That food looks amazing. And it's not far from home... will have to check it out soon!
alex / July 13, 2012 at 11:50 am
looks delicious... i will have to check it out
kook / July 13, 2012 at 12:12 pm
beautiful photography!
euk / July 13, 2012 at 12:53 pm
any vegitarian main dish options?
noni / July 13, 2012 at 01:13 pm
Was there the same night, had the vegetarian option- quinoa with grilled port mushroom and lots of veggies- fantastic combination of flavours. The apt. Salad is great- a generous portion with a delicate dressing and lots of diff.veggies. Going back tomorrow night!
kv replying to a comment from euk / July 13, 2012 at 02:34 pm
There's a great vegetarian Quinoa! comes with asparagus and grilled portobello with a beautiful romesco sauce!
Miguel Portuguese / July 13, 2012 at 04:59 pm
Throw out the smelt and BBQ some real sardines please. Welcome to the neighborhood!
Ergon / July 13, 2012 at 10:59 pm
Pork and Claims is so yummy!!!! And the shrub drink is very unusually refreshing... I didn't expect it to taste the way it did, but I really enjoyed it.
emma rakovitch / July 14, 2012 at 11:16 am
loved it.
emma rakovitch replying to a comment from emma rakovitch / July 14, 2012 at 11:19 am
dinner last night great
Silvia / July 16, 2012 at 12:05 pm
Had dinner there on Saturday night and enjoyed it tremendously. Thought the small menu was gonna limit us, but it turns out to be an excellent idea because you can't go wrong since everything on the menu is delicious. You can really taste the effort put into every dish. The prix fix was a great deal and gave us the opportunity to try a lot of the different dishes.

The food was awesome, the service was fast and friendly, the atmosphere was cool and relaxed and our drinks were yummy! I highly recommend it and am looking forward to going again.
catering software tools / July 21, 2012 at 08:52 am
Awesome recipe and food items..Looks delicious and yummy!..Thanks for the list of pictures and information based on restaurant recipes..Great work..
noni / July 25, 2012 at 05:53 pm
venturing out there again tonight - with a promise of an authentic portuguese seafood cataplana? not sure exactly what it is but i have a s trong feeling you can't go wrong! preparing to try new cocktails tonight! will report tomorrow!!
CB / July 27, 2012 at 09:28 pm
So AMAZING!!! Best little fish I have ever had!!! Service was friendly, food was beyond delicious, Quinta is my new favorite place. Had the pork and clams as a main and the cookies and cream for dessert, and a blueberry shrub. I would highly reccomend trying this place:)
noni / August 7, 2012 at 04:27 pm
the Cataplana was really good, served in a copper covered dish, really good flavours--sauce was so good I had to eat it all with a soup spoon!!! also - had again the little fish - some smelts fried so that they taste like fantastic chips, hubby had the charcutetie platter - this time another exotic mostarda showed up - he loved it. also had Bison steak - rave reviews on the flavour. our friends had the piri piri cornish hen which they loved. going back next week!!!
Cryse / January 7, 2013 at 08:11 am
This place hands down has the very best brunch in the city!!! I had my birthday party here and the staff was amazing!!! It was a large group, with some children who were picky eaters and the kitchen went above and beyond to make sure everyone was able to get what they wanted.
I had the eggs Benny with pork belly but instead of the traditonal English muffin, I substituted a potato Rosti, it was soooo delicious!!! I will never be able to eat a boring old eggs Benidict again!!!
I will definetly booking my next party here as well.
Jo / January 9, 2013 at 11:10 pm
Cute little secret! My fiance and I went here tonight for my bday dinner. It was a quiet Wednesday night, which we didn't mind at all. The wait staff was chill and down-to-earth. We had a nice little chat after dinner about a private party we are trying to plan and they were awesome about answering questions. They're not stuck by any rules and love to hear what people like. I felt they were passionate about what they do. Food was great. I had the caplanta and the seafood was fresh and hot at our table. We never felt rushed through our meal. Really appreciated this place and we'd definitely be back to try their brunch next time! Thank you guys!
Kay / January 19, 2013 at 09:27 am
Hey BlogTo staff,

I just wanted to give you a heads up that the website link for Quinta is missing a ":" and doesn't work.

J Money / September 14, 2013 at 11:18 pm
Sooo glad i went to this gem of a restaurant!!
Originally found it looking for brunch spots in the hood and if dinner is any indication of how good this place is, i am def gonna try the brunch. Started with portugeuse fries and beet tartre (red & golden beets done 2 ways), followed by sea bream with mediterranean couscous and charred red peppers finished with the puff daddy (cinnamon sugar deep fried pastry).
Food, wine, ambience and service were all top-notch!
Don't even hesitate to try this place.

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