Last night, the ever-loving and I joined some friends at dinner at Cabrito restaurant at 2270 Commercial. It has been open about a year and this was our first visit.
It is a small space, although that is now typical on the Drive – a standard 25′ store frontage running to the back of the building. A lot of the available area is taken up with a bar (?) along the north wall which was not used at all while we were there. That means the maximum number of patrons is about thirty (if you all breath in at once) seated mostly at communal tables. The decor is bright and Spanish; I liked the feel of it.
Most of the dishes are served as tapas. However, that wasn’t clear to any of us until the waitress explained that each of our choices might be smaller than we expected, and perhaps we should order more, which we did after more time spent with the menu. Maybe we should have known, but we didn’t.
We ordered beet salad, chicken Basquaise, a burger, a chorizo hot dog, Brussels sprouts, and the lamb. It was almost enough for the four of us. The white beet salad was tremendous and, arriving first, kept us in happy anticipation for the balance. The chorizo was also excellent, and the sprouts were good. The chicken had an interesting earthy flavour that wasn’t bad, but I got bored with it quite quickly. The burger was full sized, but came without any sides. I didn’t try it, but our friends thought it was “OK”. The lamb came as three very small chops and was overcooked, though the sauce was very pleasant.
So, the food was moderately all right. However, the various dishes arrived with great time gaps between them. The burger arrived last, perhaps 20 minutes or more after the beet salad. Tapas is sharing food, and it becomes difficult when there is only one dish at a time. The waitress was cheery, but that didn’t help the food come in any better order. And $25 a head without any drinks also takes it out of the cheap eats category.
Finally, it was very busy. The noise level was high enough when we arrived and somehow became even louder as the evening progressed.
I am afraid this place isn’t going to make it to our list of favourite and regular haunts. The Zomato rating site gives it 3 out of 5 which sounds about right.