Tzin Wine and Tapas Bar, Edmonton
Last night I went out with fellow Edmontonian food lovers Mrs. Loquacious and Justice. We stopped in on Tzin Wine and Tapas Bar to start off the evening. First impressions on the place happened a couple days earlier when I was walking by on the street. Instead of looking in the window (the window) from the street and seeing the establishment, you see the kitchen area and nothing of the contents is revealed.
Last night when I walked into the restaurant (or is it a bar?) my first thought was “Wow, this is tiny”. Immediately inside the door is an open kitchen housing the chef and her assistant in about 100-150 square feet. The rest of the floor consists of enough seating for about 25 people, but you become quite friendly with the other 24 who are there with you. Mrs. L suggested that we go a little earlier in the evening to beat the rush, but when I arrived at 5:30 there were only 4 bar stools vacant at the back of the room and facing away from the action.
After being wary about sitting at the bar shoulder to shoulder to shoulder and not having a seating arrangement conducive to conversation, my weakness for wine took over as I was in the perfect vantage point to see the different wines on offer. I also think that the tall chairs at the bar were the most comfortable in the place. On the way out I noticed that everyone sitting in pairs at the room length banquet had to make a comfort choice….banquet or small backless ottoman. The ottoman didn’t look like the more comfortable choice.
After cosying up to the bar and turning my back on the world I started to peruse the wine selection. The list is quite large and by the bottle costs range from $30-225 with most in the $30-60 zone. If the list is too much for you to choose from, some of the wines are available in sampler sizes or you can try the “Flights”. The flights are a selection of 3 or 4 wines served in sampler sizes, on flight is to heaven (white wine) and the other is to hell (red wine). In the end we shared a bottle or Pinot Bianco that was very nice.
The food section of the menu covers a lot of different areas, but all of it is tapas in portion size. I ordered Gilligan’s Scampi which, when it arrived was delightful. The thing that is quite apparent when you get the food is that it’s not going to be traditional Spanish style tapas. Compared to other tapas I’ve had, this is over presented. There’s too much grandeur for my liking, but that said it is very impressive.
While we were there the room was constantly buzzing and the service was as attentive as needed. The decor is very modern chic, but warm and inviting at the same time. Between the music (very nice by the way) and the conversations around us, it was fairly difficult to talk amongst ourselves at times. Because seating is so limited, there were people queued up for seating when we left, and there isn’t much room to queue up. When we were leaving it was a difficult squeeze to get between all of the seats and people to find our way to the door.
Overall, I’d rate the place a 4.5 out of 5. It’s not a place for supper nor is it a place for a quiet conversation. Those two things don’t take away from the fact it is a very good establishment. No reservations are taken on Friday or Saturday nights so you’re taking your chances when you get there. The chance is worth taking though.
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