La Bella Managua – 872 Bloor Street W – (416) 913-4227

The past year of eating has been fantastic. This blog, originally conceived as a resolution on New Year’s Day 2011, has made eating that much more fun. It seems fitting then to close out my first year of blogging by documenting one of my favourite dining experiences of 2011. Thanks to Lora, Joe and Ford for joining me and the Missus for a great Nicaraguan culinary New Year’s celebration.

Enticed by the claim of the best Ceviche in town, we had been meaning to eat at La Bella Managua for years. The Mixed Ceviche ($9.25) is a generous serving of Shrimp and White Fish, marinated in Lime Juice with Peppers,  Red Onions  and Cilantro. It’s served with Tomato and Avocado, and an absolutely outstanding sidecar of house-made Plantain Chips. We quickly ordered a second serving.

Seeing as the appetizer was such a smash hit, and seeing as it was a  Friday, it seemed appropriate to order the Catch of the Day ($15.95).  An entire Red Snapper was Escovitched and served with Rice, Green Plantain and a 5-star Avocado Salad (which might single-handedly be my favourite taste of the year).

The ladies ordered the Camarones a la Sabana ($13.95), which seemed to have also been ordered by most of the other tables in the restaurant. A half-dozen Jumbo Black Tiger Shrimps were sautéed in a White Wine & Bell Pepper Garlic Sauce, accompanied with Rice, Green Plantain, and Avocado. Ford and Joe shared the Carne Asada ($11.99)… BBQ’d Steak with Rice & Beans, Avocado, Deep-Fried Plantain and Nica Coleslaw.

The 5 of us left La Bella Managua wondering why it took us so long to go. I guess we saved the best for last. The great food, friendly service and a $15 corking fee for BYOB makes this Bloor & Ossington gem a legit destination for anyone looking for adventurous, casual dining. See you in 2012, Toronto Food Blog.

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