Chef-inspired seasonal small plates and homemade desserts create a whimsical dining experience
Atop a flight of stairs in a character home set back from vibrant Davie Street, Mis Trucos Mediterranean Tapas Bar conceals an intimate dining room and a secluded patio perfect for summer sipping.
The room is clean and minimal, with its bare lights and whitewashed walls, but remains cozy and informal with its original brick fireplace and wood finishes—and the geometric chairs and playful pops of tangerine reflect the “touch of whimsy” with which chef and owner Kris Barnholden approaches his menu.
Weekend dining on a sun-soaked patio
Enjoy a pitcher of Mis Trucos’ special sangria, $17, on the 30-seat patio. Also not to be missed are their craft cocktails made with fresh fruit and infusions, like the gin gin mule and the wildberry rum punch, $9 each. (Image: Mis Trucos)
Mis Trucos has recently started offering brunch and lunch on the weekends, and the sunny patio out back calls for long summer afternoons spent sharing food, drink and stories with friends.
They serve French, Spanish and Italian cuisine with a fresh, local twist and the ever-changing menu of tapas, cocas (flatbreads) and small plates reflect what’s in season.
“We use really fresh fruits and vegetables that we get from the farmers’ market every week,” Barnholden says, “and use only locally-sourced meats and sustainable fish. We just try and produce simple, fun food.”
Chef-inspired daily creations at Mis Trucos
Clockwise from top left: pintxos, six for $8; chorizo, tomato, caper and white anchovy coca, $8; 64 degree free-range egg with piperadda, serrano ham and cloud of cheese, $9; 36-hour Sezmu beef flatiron steak with artichokes, piquillo peppers, carrot puree, creamed barley and beef essence, $19. (Image: followmefoodie.com)
During a recent dinner we were treated to some seasonal creations, menu staples and Mis Trucos’ buzzed-about sangria.
The adorable pintxos (little bites) are born from the chef’s inspiration and that day we had a trio of truffle tapenade with pickled beech mushrooms, steelhead trout tartare and quail’s egg with candied garlic goat cheese.
Next we tried menu staples like the crispy chorizo coca, 64-degree free-range egg (a must-try for brunch) and the Sezmu beef flatiron steak (over which we fought for the last, delicious bite). For dessert, we were reduced to giggles as we were served that week’s sweet treat: a homemade chocolate bar with a side of homemade gummy worms.
Pomegranate molasses sangria
Mis Trucos’ homemade chocolate bar and gummy worms. The menu changes often and this week’s dessert options are equally tantalizing: chocolate mousse with dulce de leche and moon candy or vanilla bean pannacotta with vanilla apricots and praline, $7 each. (Image: followmefoodie.com)
A parade of pitchers also made their way to our happy table. What makes Mis Trucos’ sangria so darn good?
“The secret ingredient is pomegranate molasses,” says Barnholden, who is sharing the recipe so you can try making it at home.
Mis Trucos' Sangria recipe
- 1 bottle red wine (Cuvee Rouge from Domaine de Chaberton Estate Winery)
- 8 oz freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 4 oz brandy
- 4 oz Triple Sec or Grand Marnier
- 1 oz pomegranate molasses (available at most specialty shops)
grapes and orange slices to garnish
Two year anniversary for Mis Trucos
Chef and owner Kris Barnholden (pictured above) jumped on the chance to purchase the former Davie Village cafe in his beloved neighbourhood. He celebrates Mis Trucos second birthday this month. (Image: Catherine Roscoe Barr)
Prior to opening Mis Trucos, which turns two this month, Barnholden worked in a number of kitchens around the world, including stops in Vancouver, Montreal, New York, London and Spain—whose culinary scene most inspired him.
“Some of the most exciting stuff going on is in Spain,” he says, “and I really like what some of the top chefs have been doing over the past few years. The freshness of the Mediterranean diet, where they don’t use a lot of cream and butter, really reflects a vibrant lifestyle. Because I eat the food here every day I wanted to make sure it was healthy and delicious food that I enjoyed eating. That’s really what I wanted to offer here.”
Mis Trucos is open for dinner nightly from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.