Tzin Wine and Tapas Bar, Edmonton

March 24, 2007 at 6:21 pm 9 comments

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.


Entry filed under: Restaurant Reviews.

Vindaloo Sankyu 2 Go, Edmonton

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Laina  |  July 5, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    I’m sorry but the wine doesn’t make up for the over-priced food or the lack of upper class ambience (usually found in a half decent wine bar). The bathrooms are better than the front of the establishment. Put a stool or two in there and I might think about going back. 1.5 out of 5.

  • 2. Allie  |  February 9, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Disgusting, they really need to clean up their act, when all you can see is the kitchen from the window it better damn well be clean. I would not eat there.

  • 3. Lindsay  |  April 4, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    I love this place. Although it’s small – it’s very quaint and unique. Hats off to the owners for having a place like it! It’s a place meant for a few hours not a whole evening.. as a designer- the atmosphere is fabulous and a great place for the downtown crowd. If it was in a different location- say south edmonton common – i honesstly dont think it would last! The location is perfect- very cafe type- and european. I love this place. And will continue to go back. And have already taken 8 other people with me and they all reccomended it to people they knew! If you’ve ever been INSIDE (and not just looking into the window from the street) of this place to see the kitchen- you would see a clean place to eat with fabulous tappas and a great selection of wine to suit all needs. The owner is very friendly and attentive. LOVE IT..

  • 4. gruel – dublin « foodie suz  |  September 4, 2009 at 8:04 am

    […] Seattle – and for you Edmonton folks – remember that little place on 104 street (where Tzin Wine Bar is now) that used to serve the best porchetta take away sandwiches?  All the bike couriers went […]

  • 5. Frances  |  September 19, 2009 at 10:59 am

    My partner and I have a major soft spot for Tapas, prior to my vacation to Edmonton from Scotland in August of this year I had been searching online for a tapas bar near my partners place on the South side, one of the only hits than came back in the whole of Edmonton was for Tzin… Upon arriving, we struggled to find the restaurant/bar due its discreet exterior; however upon arriving we were greeted by a very cheery and friendly host (owner) who turned out to be Irish/Scottish. The place was tiny, a small but superbly well stocked bar, an open kitchen, and enough seating for possibly 25 people. The host’s manner was friendly and comforting not ‘to in your face’, he suggested good wines and complimenting food, thankfully he was not pushy! I have a major love for full bodied red wines so swayed from the suggestion from the host. My partner and I ordered a sharing platter, scallops and chorizo, Albertan beef and sautéed potatoes as well as king prawns in a chilli cream. Each was full of flavour, more delicious with every mouthful. I have to admit not being a huge fan of Scallops; I absolutely adored the scallop/chorizo combo (my partner’s choice)! We stayed for a couple of hours, had a couple of glasses of wine, my partner swayed for the local beers and we ate and chatted, enjoy the whole experience. We paid around $120 for the two of us, very reasonable, we thought for the food and the service. We would highly recommend Tzin for anyone visiting or local to Edmonton! A delight and a well hidden treasure!
    Thank you 🙂

  • 6. Melanie  |  July 4, 2010 at 10:48 am

    I loved Tzin. My boyfriend took me there on Friday night for my birthday. We stayed at the Union Bank Inn and it was a short walk to Tzin. I tried two different half glasses of wine and both were fabulous. The owner served us and he was wonderful. The place is cozy and intimate. We have had tapas in Canmore and it didn’t compare to this. The food was amazing. I loved the scallops and lamb. I would recommend this place to anyone. The bill was 99.00 before tip and we were stuffed. We even got to thank the chef on our way out, since the kitchen is open to the eating area. I appreciated his talent and it was a pleasure to thank him and the owner in person. I had a wonderful birthday. Thank-you Tzin!

  • 7. Beverage Dispenser ·  |  November 12, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    bar stools that are made from stainless steel are the best because they don’t tarnish often -`-

  • 8.  |  December 18, 2013 at 2:47 pm

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