Introducing: Valdez, the new Latin American restaurant from Top Chef Canada alum Steve Gonzalez
Neighbourhood: King West
Contact Info: 606 King Street W., www.valdezrestaurant.com, @thevaldezTO
Owners: Steve Gonzalez (Origin, Top Chef Canada)
Chef: Steve Gonzalez
The Food: Latin American street food, including fried empanadas, squid ink ceviche and a milky dessert made with dulce de leche. An adobe pork dish requires 48-hours notice and feeds eight.
The Drinks: Tequilas and mescals, as well as several kinds of pisco (a South American liqueur). Cocktails are Latino spins on bar classics, like the Estilo Viejo old-fashioned made with mescal and a mojito muddled with cilantro instead of mint. Three beers and two house wines are also available.
The Place: The corridor space is designed by Ian Rydberg, the guy behind La Carnita’s graffitied aesthetic. Chairs and elm-topped tables painted in flashy reds, yellows and blues warm up concrete floors and grey steel fixtures.
• 50-foot emerald green marble bar
• 400 imported Spanish tiles on the underside of the bar
• 4000 pounds of steel and 2000 pounds of oak used to furnish the interior
• 8 people required to haul the five-foot flattop into the open kitchen
• 5 different kinds of ceviche on the menu