Now Open: El Jefe

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MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Full-service Mexican restaurant, El Jefe, has opened its doors in Mississauga, Ont.

At last week’s soft opening, chef Tiago Pablo of Door FiftyFive unveiled a from-scratch menu featuring Mexican cuisine influenced by his experience with African and Portuguese food. “People are hungry for something like this in Mississauga and are tired of cookie-cutter [corporate] restaurants,” says Pablo.

Signature dishes include the chicken chimichanga stuffed with seared chicken breast, spinach, roasted corn, roasted tomatillo, garlic, poblano and chipotle peppers and cheese then deep fried and covered in a mango Pico de Gallo; Mexican Roulette, comprised of lightly dusted avocado-stuffed roasted sweet peppers with El Jefe death sauce (house-made hot sauce) and topped with queso fresco and sour cream; and El Jefe’s five-pound burrito stuffed with beef, chicken, pork, vegetables and cheese and served with a side of guacamole, salsa, sour cream and house-made avocado and jalapeño aioli.

The 120-seat restaurant, one of only three Mexican restaurants in the city, is the brainchild of owners Jonathan Harvey, John Martino and James Tsougios. The interior is colourful and filled with refurbished barn board and authentic Mexican decor, such as a display of 40 sombreros on the wall, alaveras (decorative skulls used in Day of the Dead celebrations) scattered throughout the bar area and Mexican-inspired graffiti by a trio of Canada-based, international visual artists. The heated and covered patio seats 76 and is where El Jefe’s mixologist and bar manager Adam Slobodian serves up a drink menu featuring tequila, seasonal flavours and fresh ingredients. “Tequila is more than just shooters and frozen margaritas. All of our house cocktails are tequila-based with various flavours. We want to educate people on a great spirit mixed with fresh ingredients such as herbs, berries and citrus,” he says.

El Jefe, 66 Lakeshore Rd E., Mississauga, Ont.

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