Thursday, August 24, 2017

Churrasqueira Martins: A Neighbourhood Gem

Owned and operated by Carlos and Samantha Martins since 1992, Churrasqueira Martins Grill House is a neighbourhood gem, tucked away in a lacklustre plaza near Rogers and Old Weston Road in Toronto. Famous for its fabulous fish and succulent Barbecue Chicken, Martins imports their fish twice a week from Portugal which arrives fresh on ice, never frozen, and serves quite possibly the city's best whole grilled fish and seafood in the city. Cooked to perfection and flavoured with love, the Grilled Octopus is the best in the city. Relaxed and informal with an outstanding menu of over 60 Portuguese classics and extensive wine list including their own wine brand of house red and white, Martins sensational cuisine is only matched by their warm, friendly and gracious staff, helpful with any menu recommendations and attentive to our every whim. 

Arriving for a weekday lunch on a rainy summer afternoon, we began with complimentary plates of Presunto, a traditional dry-cured ham from Portugal, as well as heaping bowls of spiced olives, as we enjoyed a bottle of Martins house white wine, followed with an assortment of appetizers including delicious Grilled Squid topped with parsley infused olive oil, and an impressive platter of gorgeous Grilled Tiger Shrimp. Entrées are equally delicious, such as Grilled Whole Sea Bream, Grilled Salted Cod served with roasted potatoes and seasonal vegetables, Martins famous slow-roasted Charcoal-BBQ Chicken served with a pot of chili-laced Piri-Piri sauce, an iconic blend of chili, lemon and oil, and for the carnivore at our table, a grilled AAA Strip Loin Steak topped with a fried egg served with french fries and rice. It's imperative to save room for Martin's Pastéis de Nata, Portugal's famous custard tarts which are served hot from the oven, as they are freshly baked per order. Open seven days a week, there is absolutely no place outside of Lisbon to find better grilled fish and seafood than Churrasqueira Martins. We have become so addicted to their sensational seafood and warm hospitality that, with our greatest restraint, we limit ourselves to only one visit per month, but this was our fifth time since June!

Warm and welcoming, Martins always puts a smile on our face as we walk into the restaurant

Martins leather bound menu features sensational fish, seafood and classic Portuguese dishes

Complimentary plates of Presunto, a traditional dry-cured ham from Portugal, 
arrive at the table as guests peruse the menu

A bowl of cured olives for the table to share

Adega de Pias white wine from the Monte da Cappella, the Alentejo region of Portugal

With a light straw colour, Martins house white is smooth and delicious

Gambas Grelhada - Grilled Tiger Shrimp

Lula Grelhada - Grilled Squid Topped with Parsley Infused Olive Oil

Feijao a Portuguesa - Portuguese Bean and Sausage Soup

Selection of fresh Portuguese bread

Bacalhau à Lagareiro - Grilled Salted Cod served with roasted potatoes and seasonal vegetables

Slow-Roasted Charcoal-BBQ Half Chicken served with a pot of chili-laced Piri-Piri sauce, 
the iconic blend of chili, lemon and oil, and vegetables

Dorada Grelhada - Grilled Whole Sea Bream served with broccoli, carrots, broccolini and arugula

Bitoque - Grilled AAA Strip Loin Steak Topped with a Fried Egg Served with French Fries and Rice

Pastéis de Nata - Portuguese Custard Tart, hot and delicious, and freshly baked per order

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