Tapagria brings upscale Spanish tapas-style dining to Markham. This spacious restaurant with high ceilings, minimalist decor, and dark wood panelings occupies the space that was previously the popular Go For Tea. There's a slight air of sophistication mixed with a convivial, warm atmosphere.
The name Tapagria is a play on the words tapas and sangria, which foregrounds the menu of predominantly small, shareable plates.
We start with the seared foie gras ($22) and bread. Garnished with paprika and served with mango jelly, it's decadent. There's a slight char that balances beautifully with the sweetness of the mango.
The patatas bravas ($5) is a nicely flavoured dish of fried potatoes seasoned with a sauce of mixed poblano peppers and tomatoes (among other things).
Likewise, the salmon pate ($5 for 2), which features a creamy and light paprika-infused flavour, is no slouch either.
Of course, what is tapas without a selection of cured Spanish ham? The jamon de Iberico ($22) is beautifully sliced and has an impressive buttery texture. The marbling is exquisite, giving each cut a decidedly smooth finish.
Over to the sangria side, I opt for jugs of the floral ($32) and lychee sangrias ($31). The floral sangria is sweet and fruity, not unlike a tropical fruit punch. The lychee version is milder, and thus very light and refreshing. Both come highly recommended, and go great with the meal.
A must-order item is the Paella de Tapagria ($45). It takes around 45 minutes to prepare so it's best ordered the moment you arrive. It is definitely a culinary marvel -- a massive skillet of seasoned rice resplendent with opulent ingredients like cornish hen and mussels. The chorizo and jamon infuse the rice with meaty, rich flavours. I highly recommend it.
I also order the chuleton asado ($78), which turns out to be a massive platter of meats and veggies, with the centrepiece being a beautiful medium rare roasted rib eye garnished with scallions. It's lightly seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic, and is a wonderful feast to share.
To close the meal, I order a "secret item" not written on the menu: the Tapagria Mega Dessert Platter ($30). Consisting of four unique desserts, the most impressive one is the Spanish Toast, which I would describe as a cross between a creme brulee and a pancake, with a side of whipped cream and dulce de leche. It's rich, indulgent, and simply magnificent.
I commend Tapagria for trying something new. Spanish cuisine, to put it mildly, isn't commonplace in Marham. However, with the quality of fare offered here, it may just be a new favourite.