I normally avoid tapa-style eateries. With fairly small plates that tend to be overpriced, tapas are a good way to burn a hole in your wallet while leaving your stomach half-empty.
With an eclectic selection of tapa-inspired dishes that change weekly, this enjoyable spot is a great place to try a variety of new and innovative dishes.
“The menu for us is always a work in progress,” says Rod Castro, who co-owns 10Fourteen with his business partner Rani Aramouni. “We are always looking for things that are new and exciting.”
Each week the menu normally offers between 6 to 8 small plates, two types of desserts, and a selection of 8 to 9 kinds of cheeses or meats that customers can choose from, explains Castro.
While there are some regular staples (e.g. a baji plate, poppers, mac-and-cheese) the real attraction is the specials, which change weekly. For instance, one week you may find a pork belly German dish, the following week scotch eggs, the week after that Korean barbeque, and then the following month a Spanish-inspired plate.
This constantly changing menu is the work of Aaron Wong, a talented chef who I first met this past summer while eating his delicious tacos.
“My (cooking) method is just off the top of my head,” says Wong, when asked to explain how he comes up with his culinary creations. “I want to give people great flavours.”
Judging by my experience when I visited, I can confirm that 10Fourteen is an excellent dining experience at an affordable price. In fact, conscious of their customers’ wallets, Castro says that they aim to charge $6 to $9 per plate (although some plates may be priced slightly higher), while never forgetting their clients’ stomachs.
“(Our customers) can make a meal out of it if they order three dishes,” says Castro. “If you order three dishes you won’t be hungry.”
For two people, you can expect to pay $70 to $80 for five to six items, with an alcoholic beverage each. Patrons are also welcomed with complimentary spiced popcorn, which is a welcome treat.
As for my sometimes grumpy, tapas-wary stomach, I was happily satisfied when I went with my spouse Meghan. The food was very tasty, the dining experience enjoyable, and our wallet did not go into tapas-induced coma, as the $70 bill was similar to what we previously paid while eating at East Side Mario’s. The difference, of course, is that the food at 10Fourteen is a million times better than what you can find at a family restaurant.