What’s on the menu at Quetzal, a new Mexican restaurant with an eight-metre-long open fire pit
Contact: 419 College St., 647-347-3663, quetzaltoronto.com, @quetzaltoronto
Neighbourhood: Kensington Market
Previously: Awash Café
Owners: Kate Chomyshyn and Julio Guajardo (El Rey, Montreal’s La Catrina), Owen Walker (El Rey) and Grant van Gameren (Bar Isabel, Bar Raval, Harry’s, PrettyUgly, El Rey, Tennessee Tavern, Rosalinda)
Chefs: Kate Chomyshyn and Julio Guajardo
Chomyshyn and Guajardo (partners in the kitchen and in life) prepare dishes using traditional Mexican techniques and flavours (but Ontario-grown ingredients whenever possible), cooking most everything (fish, Cornish hen, sweet potatoes, sausages) over the kitchen’s 24-foot-long open flame. Tortillas are made in-house, as are different salsas, including one made with Chicatana ants. A bar in the centre of the restaurant serves ceviche and other raw dishes using sustainable Canadian fish and seafood. The seasonal desserts are influenced by the couple’s former paleta operation in Montreal.
In addition to an extensive selection of both mescal and tequila, there are local craft and Mexican beers, as well as New World wines that are mostly consignment or private order. There are cocktails, too, including some not-so-boozy ones, from bar manager Owen Walker.
The 72-seat space was designed by PARTISANS and features thick Canadian maple beams embedded in an undulating white ceiling inspired by traditional Mexican markets.