TORONTO — Rosalinda, a Mexican vegan spot from restaurateurs Jamie Cook (Pizzeria Libretto), Max Rimaldi (Pizzeria Libretto, Enoteca Sociale, Bar Isabel, Tennessee Tavern) and Grant van Gameren (Bar Isabel, Bar Raval, El Rey, Harry’s, PrettyUgly, Tennessee Tavern, Victor Dries Catering) will open its doors May 23 at 133 Richmond St. W. in Toronto.
The 138-seat restaurant boasts a bright, airy space filled with plants, vintage finds and hand-painted murals — creating a sophisticated, cheerful vibe that complements the food and cocktails.
The menu — created with executive chefs Kate Chomyshyn and Julio Guajardo of El Rey and Quetzal — celebrates the best of Mexico and Baja Calif., with bold flavours and seasonings to create complex dishes from simple, vegan ingredients.
“I’ve never been so excited to open a restaurant,” says Cook. “This project has evolved so far beyond what Max and I dreamed up years ago and I think people will love our approach to vegan cuisine.”
Chef de cuisine Matthew Ravenscroft and his team will execute Chomshyn and Guajuardo’s innovative menu of snacks, shared dishes, tacos, tostadas, larger plates and bowls. Highlights include the Rosaburger (black-bean patty with smoked-eggplant chips, iceberg lettuce, avocado salsa and chipotle mayo, $18), spicy roasted carrots with mole almendrado ($13), roasted Japanese eggplant with sikil pak, cashew crema and salsa macha ($16) and young coconut ceviche with apple, celery, pickled shallot and herb leche de tigre ($14).
Owen Walker’s cocktail menu features equal parts non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks, with a particular emphasis on low-octane offerings for easy day or night consumption. For example, La Punta Rosa ($15) uses whole grapefruit, extracting the oils from the skins with sugar to make a refreshing grapefruit sherbet, which is then mixed with Altos Blanco tequila, Giffard pamplemousse liqueur, canela, pink peppercorns and guajillo, shaken, and topped with grapefruit Perrier, lavender and grapefruit salt.