Ah Segovia, the best Spanish restaurant in the great white north (well, actually the only one I have been to in Canada). However, I can’t imagine a better one. I went to Segovia on the recommendation of Elsa and Bob, two participants in the course I was facilitating in Toronto. They were a part of a dining club and had eaten there before. What convinced me to try this place out was that they both recommended it to me separately and even on different days. Thanks guys for introducing me to Segovia, my kind of place.
It is on St. Nicholas Street, which looks more like an Alley and has a brick road. As you turn onto St. Nicholas off of Wellesley you immediately see the bright yellow and orange outside walls of Segovia.
I also like the interior decoration:
You feel like you have been transported right to Spain with the colors, drawing on the wall, pewter, lights, plates on the wall and beautiful impressionist paintings in the entry way and upstairs as you head to the bathroom (a must see of any restaurantJ).
I ordered three different Tapas wanting to try out more than one dish.
I also ordered the fried squid (known as fried calamari in an Italian restaurant). Now, I am a bit picky about fried squid. My favorite in the Dallas area is at Covino’s (I need to go there soon and add it to EIHW). The squid must be lightly battered, not to oily and tender (a difficult challenge when it comes to Squid). This was just right, well done Ino!
Lastly, yes I saved the best for last, the Paella Tapa. Paella served with shrimp, chorizo, chicken and mussels. Delicious, I am already craving my return trip to enjoy the Paella for 2.
The best part of the night was having the privilege to meet Ino, the owner/chef of Segovia. Ino and I only spoke for a few minutes and yet discussed Franco (Spanish dictator), Churchill, Eisenhower, Hollywood stars, Paella, Flamenco dance, bureaucracy of dictator governments and much more. All of this while I enjoyed complimentary Sangria which was awesome (listed as the best in Toronto in their drink menu). Now you know the real reason I enjoyed our conversation so much J He invited me back on my next trip when I take my wife with me on a Friday or Saturday night so we could enjoy the Flamenco music and dance and order the Paella for II. Can’t wait!
Ino started in the restaurant business 3 months prior to turning 14, washing dishes at a restaurant. He has been classically trained in French cooking, worked as the head chef for many reputable restaurants and hotels. He bought Segovia x years ago. He talked about the struggle a chef/owner has – the polarity between the business owner and the artist chef. His artistry is fantastic, simply take another look at the three Tapas pictured above (especially the Tortilla & Paella). I look forward to learning more about Ino, Segovia, Flamenco and much more on my next trip back.
The food – delicious, hole in the wall factor – 3 holes, story – 4 page rating and proudly introducing the new Ino rating (the personality of the owner) – Ino has set the bar high and set the mark for all other owners to live up to – drum roll please – the coveted 5 Ino rating. Check out the page on the front page entitled ‘Introducing the Ino Rating’.
Segovia is most definitely my kind of place – make it yours next time your in Toronto.