What’s on the menu at Rosalinda, Toronto’s new vegan Mexican restaurant

What’s on the menu at Rosalinda, Toronto’s new vegan Mexican restaurant

Name: Rosalinda
Contact: 133 Richmond St. W., 416-907-0650, rosalindarestaurant.com, @rosalindarestaurant
Neighbourhood: Financial District
Owners: Jamie Cook (Pizzeria Libretto), Max Rimaldi (Pizzeria Libretto, Enoteca Sociale, Bar Isabel, Tennessee Tavern) and Grant van Gameren (Bar Isabel, Bar Raval, El Rey, PrettyUgly, Harry’s, Tennessee Tavern)
Chefs: Executive chefs Kate Chomyshyn and Julio Guajardo (El Rey, Quetzal) and chef de cuisine Matthew Ravenscroft (Drake Commissary)

The food

Chomyshyn and Guajardo created plant-based dishes that aren’t masquerading as meat. Sure, there’s a burger, but the coconut ceviche isn’t trying to be “halibut,” and the jackfruit pibil taco doesn’t call itself “carnitas.” It’s just veggies doing what they do best—being veggies. “I like that it’s all about showcasing vegetables without manipulating them,” says chef de cuisine Matt Ravenscroft. “Vegetables are cool even when they’re not trying to be meat—they’re just rad in and of themselves.”

This rice-based chicharron is loaded with grains from 100km Foods and served with smashed avocado. $9.

 

Spicy roasted carrots with mole almendrado and sesame. $13.

 

For this dish, one of Campechano’s tostadas (made with Oaxacan, hand-shucked, non-GMO, organic corn) is topped with sikil pak (a pumpkin seed–based dip), roasted cauliflower, almonds, pickled chilies and an herb salsa verde. $7.

 

Ceviche of young coconut, apple, celery, pickled shallots and an herb leche de tigre. $14.

 

Here it is again, just because it’s so pretty.

 

The Rosa Burger tops a black bean patty with smoked eggplant chips, shredded iceberg lettuce, avocado salsa and chipotle mayo. Served with a side of local greens. $18. (Add Libretto vegan mozzarella for $2.)

 

A crispy tofu and rice bowl with salsa macha, edamame, seaweed, avocado and a chipotle-lime vinaigrette. $17.

 

Rum-roasted pineapple with vegan coconut whipped cream, coconut shavings and lime. $8.

 

Chef Matt Ravenscroft.

 

The drinks

Beer (Burdock, Left Field, Godspeed, Negra Modelo), wine from all over the place and even some bubbly. Owen Walker (El Rey) designed the signature cocktails, including some very-boozy ones, like Shipwrecked (Lot 40 rye, El Dorado rum, Appleton’s Los Arcos, Montenegro, cacao, gentia) and some that aren’t boozy at all. The so-called “placebos” are non-alcoholic creations that taste like the real thing (but you can add a shot to each of them for an extra $4).

From left to right: Carrot Colada, made with Novo Fogo cachaça, Cocchi Americano, Giffard Banane du Brésil, lime, pineapple, carrot, blood orange and Grapefruit Perrier ($14); the Pepinon, made with Altos Blanco tequila, cucumber, ginger beer, pineapple and lime ($13); and the non-alcoholic Strawberry and Tonic, made with fresh-pressed strawberry juice from the Village Juicery, tonic and mint ($7).

 

The bar.

 

The space

The 138-seat space is very unassuming from the outside—it could just as easily be a dentist’s office. But the doors open up to a super-bright and airy space decked out in vintage finds, a greenhouse’s worth of ferns and teal velvet banquettes that contrast with polished concrete floors.