New tapas restaurant near Highway 7 and Leslie Street, Tapagria (yes, they merged tapas with sangria), has a wonderful Buck-A-Shuck promo on Tuesdays and of course, I had to grab a few girlfriends to partake.  I wouldn’t be a friend if I didn’t, right?  We arrived at our six o’clock reservation time and were greeted warmly right away.  We looked over the vast drinks menu and couldn’t decide between two different sangrias: Passionfruit & Fig or Guava Raspberry.  Our server, Gil, was kind enough to go with our suggestion to make a passionfruit guava red wine sangria, and mmmm, it did not disappoint! (Thanks, Gil!)

With the purchase of the sangria, we each maxed out our dozen allotment of the east coast oysters, the Malpeque.  (They also have west coast Kusshi for $2.) They were delish!  I was slightly disappointed that it didn’t come with a mignonette sauce (my brain froze when I asked for vinegar so I got a thimble of balsamic which clearly isn’t the same so I stuck with the given condiments). The oysters were shucked in a little bar just behind us and came with some lemon, horseradish, and Tabasco sauce.  Let’s just say I wouldn’t be mad if they increased each customer’s max to two dozen… 🙂

We had a variety of tapas too because teachers can’t live on sangria and oysters alone (especially our group…we talk a lot and need the fuel.  We’re known to shut down most places…yes, we are THOSE people.)  Based on previous experience, I suggested the kale cauliflower salad and the fried pork belly.  One of my good friends knows her Spanish culture well so we went with her suggestion for patatas bravas (sweet smokey potatoes), jamon wrapped dates, and the smoked eggplant pintxos.  Everything came in a timely fashion.  The waitstaff kept our sangria flowing, water glasses full, and tabletops clean.  I assumed it was traditional Spanish music playing in the background (though my friend identified reggaeton, salsa, and merengue) and the seating was comfy so a couple of hours flew by quickly.  We weren’t seated too closely to any other patrons so we had a pretty fun (and loud) night.  This was the perfect break some of the ladies needed before settling down to finish their report cards (I’m so glad I’m still on leave.).

“Fue una cena maravillosa con amigas preciosas” which roughly translated means, “It was a marvellous dinner with my good friends.”  Couldn’t have said it better myself!  (To be honest, I didn’t…my friend had to translate that for me…LOL!)

Tapagria is located at 230 Commerce Valley Drive East, Markham, ON, L3T 7Y3.

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