The best Spanish restaurant in Mississauga celebrates new patio launch
Published June 3, 2022 at 11:11 am
Temperatures are rising and patio season is here, which is why Bar Catalina in Mississauga is ready with a newly redesigned patio, seasonal cocktail menu, and weekly menu features to celebrate the summer.
This absolute must-try foodie destination located in picturesque Port Credit is one of the only restaurants in Mississauga that specializes in authentic Spanish cuisine by celebrity Chef Humberto Sanchez who is both the owner and operator of Bar Catalina.
With 20 years of experience under his belt, his culinary portfolio includes a 3 Michelin-star restaurant in Madrid, restaurants across the globe, to Toronto, and now Mississauga. Humberto has appeared on several Food Network TV series, such as Chopped Canada and Fire Masters.
Born in Venezuela and having lived and worked in Spain before moving to Mississauga, Humberto decided to take his extensive culinary experience and introduce a vibrant and authentic Spanish restaurant which led to him opening his Mississauga based restaurant – Bar Catalina.
Bar Catalina is best known for their specialty in paella, arroz (rice dishes), tapas (small Spanish, savoury dishes), and a wine and cocktail selection unique to Spain that include sherry based Sangria and cocktails, Spanish Vermouth, Cava and Rose, and wines from various regions of Spain.
According to Humberto (and die-hard purists), true Spanish paella comes from Valencia, better known as Paella Valenciana on Bar Catalina’s menu. This classic paella is Spain’s famous dish that includes Bomba rice (also known as Valencia Rice) rabbit, chicken, haricots plats, lima beans & rosemary. This beautifully prepared dish is traditionally presented in a large flat frying pan (also called paella) and it contains layers upon layers of rich, smoky, flavour profiles made with ingredients imported from Spain.
“There was a time in an area of Spain where people didn’t have many ingredients and there weren’t a lot of resources available,” Humberto told Insauga in his celebrity chef Q&A.
“They created a dish with rice, chicken, rabbit, and some vegetables, and turned it into something so magnificent, now known as paella. I love Spanish cuisine and I want to represent it well.”
While various Spanish rice dishes (arroz) can be made in the same type of pan and look very similar to paella Valenciana, Humberto says “all other rice dishes are not paella, but arroz” which are equally delicious Spanish rice dishes that incorporates ingredients such as seafood, seasonal vegetables, or a combination of seafood, meat and vegetables and prepared using a different method of cooking and different ingredient base.
Paella Valenciana is akin to calling all sparkling wines champagne – if it doesn’t originate from the Champagne Wine Region of France and is made with specific grape varieties, it’s not… you guessed it, champagne.
Other must-try dishes on the menu include Pescado y Mariscos that includes shrimp, monkfish, clams, squid, bomba rice, and saffron. This seafood rice dish, also presented in the same pan used for paella, is a must for seafood aficionados.
The Arroz Negro Con Chipirones is a mouthwatering dish made with arroz (rice), rossejat (pasta), cuttlefish, and fine herbs. The intense umami flavour can be attributed to a distinctive ingredient of squid ink which also gives the dish its rich chocolate hue.
In addition to paella, and arroz, Bar Catalina is also known for their tapas – the Croquetas de Jamon Iberico are these perfectly shaped bechamel croquettes that envelop a tasty morsel of Iberico ham (premium Spanish ham). It’s a small dish packed with abundant flavour.
You will also find Pimientos de Padron which are blistered Shishito peppers with olive oil and salt. The simple but tasty dish is a combination of sweet and smoky flavours, however you may be surprised with a mildly spicy pepper. Fun fact: one in ten shishito peppers are hot.
The Pulpo y Romesco is a whole (or quarter) grilled octopus, made with pimiento oil, romesco sauce, fingerling potatoes, parsley and greens. This beautiful dish is probably the best grilled octopus you will find in the GTA.
The menu also features grilled meat, grilled fish, Spanish charcuterie and cheeses, salads, and authentic desserts including Basque style cheesecake, Churros, and Catalan crème brulee.
For the seafood lovers out there, you can order imported Spanish Conservas (canned seafood delicacies that are an integral part of Spanish tapas and dining in Spain) from Bar Catalina’s website, where you will find razor clams in brine to squid in ink.
Amazing food, cocktails and sunshine is the perfect recipe for patio dining and Bar Catalina has recently redesigned their patio. The restaurant’s patio is already a great spot to enjoy some fine cuisine, and with the recent addition of an awning, it’s perfect for dining even while the sun is beating down or during some light rain.
In addition to the fantastic and varied menu, Humberto created a stylish Spanish designed interior that lets you “get carried away by the uplifting rhythms of Spanish music with family and friends and enjoy the same atmosphere that you can find in your favourite bar in Spain.”
With a brand new patio experience and seasonal changes to their menu and drink selection, it’s always a good time to stop by Bar Catalina and treat yourself to authentic Spanish cuisine done right. The restaurant is located at 231 Lakeshore Rd East in the heart of Port Credit.insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies