Cafetería, Dave Sidhu’s diner-inspired Mexican restaurant, opens today in Dufferin Grove

Cafetería, Dave Sidhu’s diner-inspired Mexican restaurant, opens today in Dufferin Grove

(Image: Gabby Frank) (Image: Gabby Frank)
 

Dave Sidhu’s seventh restaurant, inspired by Latin America’s diner-style luncherias, sends out dishes like octopus ceviche, huitlacoche quesadillas, venison tostadas. To drink, there’s Mexican beer (Corona, Tecate, Negra Modelo and Negra Especial) as well as mezcal- and tequila-laced cocktails, like the Oaxacan Old Fashioned, made with Tromba añejo, Marca Negra espadin mezcal, agave, angostura bitters and orange oils.

The place—separated into a no-reservations bar area and reservations-only dining room—is decked out in salvage shop finds (like bicycles and suitcases from the Junction’s Smash) and distressed subway tiles. And it was designed with Instagram in mind. “We realized when people Instagram food under neon lighting, it makes everything pink,” says Sidhu, so unlike his other restaurants, Cafetería has just the one neon sign. It’s now open for dinner, and will start serving lunch the first week of February.

(Image: Gabby Frank) (Image: Gabby Frank)
 

Crab salad pastor: soft shell crab, pastor vinaigrette, cured and fresh pineapple. $14.

(Image: Gabby Frank) (Image: Gabby Frank)
 

Pulpo ceviche: wine-braised octopus with veracruzano (a savoury chipotle). $16.

(Image: Gabby Frank) (Image: Gabby Frank)
 

Steak tampiquena: skirt steak served with rajas (braised poblano, onion and spinach in a light cream sauce) and yuca chips. $18.

(Image: Gabby Frank) (Image: Gabby Frank)
 

Chef Lucas Perez making corn flour for tortillas.

(Image: Gabby Frank) (Image: Gabby Frank)
 

Sidhu behind the bar.

The metal gates were imported from Argentina.

(Images: Gabby Frank) (Images: Gabby Frank)
 

974 College St., playacabana.ca