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Meet the owner

“We play loud music,” says Otta Zaptotocky, owner of Tinto Bar de Tapas. “It’s a fun place to come, have a drink, have some snacks and stay as long as you want.” After opening the restaurant in 2014, it didn’t take Otta long to establish it as a place where diners could let loose and get some of the best Spanish-inspired food in the city, with samplers arriving on wooden planks for easy eating. Instead of keeping the menu to strictly Spanish cuisine, Otta takes pride in serving up food that’s outside of the box. You can taste your way around the world with dishes like stuffed piquillo peppers, shishito peppers, house pickles, chicken liver pate and Spanish garlic soup.

But of all the dishes he serves, Otta notes that one has stood out as the diners’ favourite. “The main thing, why I opened this place, is the Plato Iberico,” he says. “The Iberian ham, called the ‘jamon Iberico.’ In my trips to Spain, I became addicted to it; it’s in the style of prosciutto.” For his restaurant, Otta chose black Iberian pigs (pata negra) that run freely in the Spanish mountains. Because of their extended mobility, the pigs snack on fallen acorns, giving them a distinct, earthy flavour and prized fat marbling. Otta’s dish, the Plato Iberico, also comes with crostini, roasted artichokes and fig jam, a tasty combination that has become one of the most sought-after dishes in the city.

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Cozy Spanish tavernas in Toronto

Cozy Spanish tavernas in Toronto

Tapas fanatics from across the city flock to this Leaside favourite, which is known for its selection of hot and cold small plates and drool-worthy meat and cheese platters. The atmosphere has that quintessentially Spanish vibe that is relaxed and casual. And with its long bar, it’s the perfect spot for solo diners keen to chat with the bartender while nibbling on plates of succulent garlic shrimp and a beet slaw that packs the perfect combo of spicy and sweet.

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