Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Nota Bene

If someone tells you they don't want to go grab some delicious food after work, don't be their friend. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.

On a Friday, I headed to Nota Bene (@NotaBeneToronto) for some tapas after work. Thinking that it would be super busy, I was surprised when it was basically empty - even better!

Listed as #9 on Canada's Top 100 Restaurants, there is no surprise that you'd be wow'ed at the interior design of the restaurant - sleek and modern. Nota Bene was opened in 2008 by Chef David Lee. He is also the owner of The Carbon Bar, which I had a great time when visiting last year.

When you enter, you see a gorgeous long bar area, but they also have a beautiful dining area on the upper level. As we were just getting tapas and a couple drinks, we sat down at the bar area.

We came here during Estrella Damm's Tapas Journey. This was a period of 10 days, where you were able to get three tapas and a can of Estrella Damm for $20. Great deal, if you ask me!

However, I really wanted to hit two birds with one stone (not literally, sorry birdies!) and also try out Nota Bene's 4 to 7 snacks. This is relatively new, where Nota Bene offers a list of bar snacks for $4 from 4-7pm. (Can I get an amen?!)

First up was the Burrata Pugliese on a grilled miche with olive oil. These are basically toasted pieces of bread with tomatos and burrata. D and I were both skeptical about this dish, as we aren't super big fans of cheese, but this surprised us. The ingredients worked really well together, and we both really enjoyed it (especially D, as he got another order of this after lol!).

Next up was the Buttermilk Fried Chicken with smoked oyster mayo on the side. I'm not going to lie, I looked at this and was not impressed. What are these dinky little fried pieces? But...again, I was really taken back at how delicious this was. The chicken was very tender and flavourful, and it wasn't overly battered either. I would definitely order this again!

The third dish we got from the Tapas Journey was the Belly Buster Slider. Inside this baby burger was a slice of pork belly, fries, ketchup, a pickle and some horseradish. Unfortunately, I ate my burger after I had everything else so it was a little cold :( I'm sure if it was hot I would thoroughly enjoy it though. I wasn't a fan of the horseradish though (not listed on the menu!).

From the 4to7 menu, this is the Cumbrae Farms Beef Sliders with havarti cheese and maple bacon. This was absolutely delicious. The beef was really juicy and a perfect medium rare. I definitely recommend this one!

Because I was being nostalgic with Estrella Damm (hello Spain memories!!), I decided to get the Shaved Jamón Serrano, which is dry-cured Spanish ham. D was having none of this fatness so I happily ate all four pieces myself. SO GOOD.

Last but not least, we also ordered the Calamari a la Plancha with XO sauce and coriander as a garnish. As a fan of fried calamari, I do love a good grilled one but the texture for this one was a bit too rubbery for my liking. I really enjoyed the spicy hit from the XO sauce though!

Overall, we had a really good time here. Sitting in the bar/lounge area with big windows also made it really fun to people watch while enjoying our little dishes. The service was amazing, and I would definitely recommend for anyone to come visit Nota Bene for their 4to7 menu. However, I honestly don't think that any of these dishes are worth $7. So if you can't get here before 7pm, I wouldn't bother ordering the snacks.

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*This was a complimentary dinner; however, please note that all my opinions made are my own.*
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