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Restaurants & Bars

Rosalinda review - some hits and some work needed

Dr. John | Oct 11, 201801:06 PM    

We decided to try this place as it is very convenient before seeing something at the Four Seasons Centre. It's a Mexican-influenced vegan restaurant from Grant van Gameren and the Libretto folks.

Atmosphere is casual, not deafening, although the surfaces are mainly hard so it might get louder if it gets packed.

Cocktails took forever to come (there was no one at the bar even making cocktails for 15 minutes after we ordered them. When they did come, they were delicious: New Ruins - sombre mezcal, manzanilla sherry, Luxardo bitter bianco, ‎pear, salted pernod, orange - very smoky and bitter. La Punta Rosa - tequila (we subbed in mezcal), Giffard pamplemousse, cocchi Rosa, spiced grapefruit sherbet, lime, soda - citrusy and lots of fun.

Some dishes were great. Young coconut ceviche (apple, celery, pickled shallot, herb Leche de Tigre) was really tangy and refreshing. A definite have-again. Jackfruit pibil tacos had a great mix of textures (crunchy, soft) and rich flavour. The chorizo verde taco (poblano tomatillo salsa and cucumber Pico de gallo)‎ was pleasant, with the "chorizo" comprised of a mix of tofu, tempeh, and lentils. The tortillas themselves were great, made with a Mexican heirloom corn grown and processed in Ontario.

Rosa burger (black bean patty, smoked eggplant chips, iceberg, avocado salsa and chipotle mayo) was fine for flavour, with vague hints of Big Mac. The texture was a bit uniform, with little distinguishing the patty from the bun. It cam with fries Supreme (cashew crema, poblano salsa, pea tenders, scallions) - the fries were great and the additions were decent. There was also accompanying ketchup (presumably in-house) that was excellent. We also tried the posole special, which included lettuce, watermelon radish, king mushrooms, hominy, garlicky and roasted chile broth. It was kind of undersalted, but the flavours were otherwise good.

For dessert we had the spiced churros (cinnamon sugar and chocolate banana caramel dipping sauce) - very crisp on the outside though a little dense on the inside and the rhum roasted pineapple (covered in toasted coconut, with coconut and lime‎ whipped cream) - the whipped cream was a highlight.

The service and kitchen timing could use some work. Our server was very informed and provided detailed answers about the dishes and the ingredients when we asked. As noted above, they were slow to get going on our cocktails. We also had a half-hour gap between the first two dishes and the rest. Our server never came by to update us or apologize for the delay. When another server asked us how we were liking our dishes, we mentioned the undersalting of the posole. She seemed surprised by our response and essentially said nothing in return (and also didn't offer to bring us some salt).

Total with tax and tip was $165.

We will likely try it again because it is so convenient for the Four Seasons, but we hope they can work out some of the kinks.

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