No 2 Quetzal

Richmond Hill Post - - Chefs Pick -

CHEF ROGER MOOKING, FOOD NET­WORK CANADA “This spot boasts beau­ti­ful de­sign and even bet­ter food. The lamb bar­ba­coa was a high­light along with myr­iad dif­fer­ent seafood and ce­viche op­tions.”

POST CITY’S TAKE: Grant van Gameren has done it again. Now able to count his restau­rants on two hands, the chef­preneur is joined by Owen Walker and chef duo Kate Chomyshyn and Julio Gua­jardo in this ode to fire-licked Mex­i­can fare. Read­ing as a vis­ual re­sponse to the un­du­lat­ing Bar Raval down the street, Quetzal feels like a nau­ti­cal cathe­dral where every­one wor­ships flame. Much of the kitchen is de­voted to the firepit, which runs down half the room and in­cludes a tra­di­tional co­mal (the grid­dle used to cook tor­tillas). Din­ers seated in front of the nightly show are given wee wa­ter spritzers with which to cool down, should the need arise. But it’s not all flames. A raw bar cen­tres the space, turn­ing out ce­viche like the verde mixto, with del­i­cate scal­lop and white­fish dressed with green ap­ple and sea as­para­gus. Much em­pha­sis is placed on the house-made sal­sas, which show­case a va­ri­ety of chilies in ad­di­tion to wal­nut and ants (a tra­di­tional Mex­i­can in­gre­di­ent). Larger plates in­clude the lamb bar­ba­coa: a meaty neck is served with pick­led veg and a duet of pi­quant sal­sas to wrap up in fresh tor­tillas. The ul­tra-ten­der lamb ren­ders the ac­com­pa­ny­ing Laguiole steak knife al­most use­less. Desserts like the or­ange granita with car­damom meringue re­fresh the palate beau­ti­fully. 419 Col­lege St.

From top: Lit­tle Italy gets flame-grilled Mex­i­can, molle­jas (sweet­breads)

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