If you’re looking for a restaurant to visit with friends or family, you’ve got to check out Sabrosa. It’s a new, locally-owned Mexican restaurant and tequila bar in Dartmouth Crossing located at 153 Hector Gate. It may become your go-to.
Although brand-new, Sabrosa is already distinguishing itself from others.
“Dartmouth Crossing isn’t just a shopping district anymore.” says Brent Hares, front-of-house manager. “It’s where you come to eat and we’re going to re-write this part of town.”
Hares comes to Sabrosa after part-owner and chef Jamie Knorr approached him to join their team. His latest position was at Planters Ridge Winery in the Annapolis Valley, but Hares no stranger to the restaurant industry or Dartmouth. He comes with almost two decades of experience at the iconic Mic Mac Bar and Grill.
Everything at Sabrosa is made and prepared in-house. Chef Jamie arrives bright and early to prepare for the day and preps everything from scratch. From pickling their own onions to using only fresh, never frozen local seafood, Chef Jamie uses local everywhere possible. He is proud to say that he also imports authentic Mexican ingredients from our southern neighbour.
Chef Jamie has a long history in the city’s culinary scene but one job in particular gave him the confidence to go into business for himself. He worked for many years as Chef for automotive giants Sean and Patrick O’Regan. Besides managing their popular in dealership restaurant, Jamie catered many high-end events for the brothers.
“I learned everything from Sean and Patrick.” said Chef Jamie. “How to interact, public speak at engagements, to be prepared and how to have confidence in a dining space. Sean was my inspiration.”
Chef Jamie graduated from the Culinary Institute of Canada with honours, was head chef at Scanway Catering and Sage.
While visiting, we started our trip through the menu with Sabrosa’s nachos. They were made with house corn tortilla chips, a house cheese blend, fresh onions, peppers, jalapenos, pickled onions and served with roasted tomato salsa and crema. They were plated well and as with great nachos, had layered toppings between levels of chips. If you’re a nacho fan, these nachos are a must try.
Sabrosa is a Mexican restaurant first but has a great craft bar. All syrups for cocktails are made in-house. They have a wide selection of tequilas at many price points and offer newly available Corona on-tap.
As we moved through the menu we sampled the spicy shrimp tacos which included guacamole, sun-dried tomato crema, jalapenos, pickled onions and cilantro. The shrimp was the exact right heat to let the other flavours shine through.
Hares explained, you can make things hotter if desired, but you can’t take away heat once added. We all agreed they were a perfect level of spicy.
The final item before dessert was the burrito bowl which can be served with pork carnitas, pulled chicken, chorizo or beef barbacoa. We went with the beef, even though the chicken is their most popular. The entrée is served in a large tortilla bowl with Mexican rice, topped with black beans, pico de gallo, pickled onions, corn salsa, avocados, scallions, house cheese blend and jalapeno ranch sauce. The serving was extremely generous with rich flavours and a true Mexican experience.
For dessert we shared Sabrosa’s churro bites and their chocolate raspberry bliss. The churros were light and crunchy with a generous coating of cinnamon sugar. The chocolate cake was velvety and rich. The raspberry perfectly complemented the deep chocolate flavours and was the perfect way to end our meal at Sabrosa.
If one thing was clear, the staff at Sabrosa from the kitchen to waitstaff and behind the bar know they are a part of something new and unique waiting to be discovered in Dartmouth.