Cazador has been a well-loved fixture on Dominion Road since 1987, when it was run by the parents of current co-owner and head chef Dariush Lolaiy. Lolaiy and his wife Rebecca Smidt took over in 2013 and have maintained Cazador’s reputation as a destination restaurant you’d be more than happy to go out of your way to visit.
The word “cazador” translates to “hunter” in Spanish, expressing the restaurant’s specialty in game and wild-caught food. Coming in off the street, you’ll find yourself immediately inside the intimate dining room, lined with taxidermy animals and green velvet banquettes. There’s also a lovely courtyard out the back.
Certain dishes stay on the menu as cornerstones of the Cazador experience, such as the nan-e-bakshi, a baked Persian flatbread with soft cheese and pesto. Otherwise, it changes in line with the restaurant’s emphasis on sustainable sourcing, but there's often a slightly Persian or Middle Eastern undertone. Don’t expect chicken breast here; quail hearts, free-range pork, goat, venison and line-caught fish are often on rotation. Even if you find yourself a little out of your ingredient comfort zone, warm and capable service will help you forget any unease.
You can eat the kitchen’s famous charcuterie as a dine-in selection or pick it up from the daytime deli, along with cheese, hampers and gourmet pantry items. A selection of excellent sherries precedes the extensive wine list – you can choose a guided sherry flight and be reintroduced if it’s not your usual go-to. They pair marvellously with Cazador's terrine, coppa and parfait.
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