Anyway, for a lot of people, that's where it ends when it comes to Mexican cuisine. Guacamole and tacos. After all, Toronto is saturated with fast, quick, grab-and-go taquerias. Nothing wrong with that but it begs the question: Where does one go for Mexican fine dining? A place for authentic, upscale Mexican cuisine where one can dine comfortably, spend a couple of hours over good food and drinks, and make a night out of it? Enter Los Colibris (Twitter: @loscolibris220, Facebook: Los Colibris), Toronto's first upscale Mexican restaurant.
Already home to sister restaurant El Caballito, the Mexican tequila cantina that opened earlier this year, 220 King St. W. is now also the home of Los Colibris, which occupies the second floor of the same building. The 150-seat Polanco-style restaurant distinguishes itself in the city by featuring white linen service alongside authentic Mexican, fine dining cuisine.
The decor in this grand, 3,500 square foot space follows the spirit of authentic eateries in Condesa, Mexico City. The restaurant features two private dining rooms that seat 12 and 50 respectively, allowing for both intimate private dining and private event experiences.
I was privy to a dinner tasting prepared by Los Colibris' Executive chef Elia Herrera a couple of weeks ago. The evening started off with a very delicious and refreshing margarita.
After the margarita came my seven course tasting:
Shrimp, coconut, serrano, ginger
TORTITA DE MOLE CON POLLO
Cemita bread, mole poblano, pulled chicken, white onion, avocado
CAMARONES A LA DIABLA
Grilled shrimp, fresh corn puree, arbol guajillo adobo
Chicken, panela, corn, poblano, handmade flour
CERDO EN MANCHA MANTEL
Confit pork belly in adobo sauce, black bean tamal, pineapple salsa, broccoli
HUACHINANGO A LA VERACRUZANA
Red snapper, seasonal vegetables, spicy Veracruz sauce, poblano rice
MINI ICE CREAM CONE
Guava and sour sop
I don't know about you but this was definitely my first experience having Mexican food on white linen...and I like it! Mexico-trained executive chef Herrera has successfully elevated her recipes - which have been inspired by her mother, grandmother and several generations of cooking - to Los Colibris. Using authentic Mexican techniques and flavours in company with tasteful and sophisticated plating, Herrera has created a trendy, upscale menu that distinguishes Los Colibris from any other Mexican restaurant in Toronto. Highlights of the night were the ceviche blanco (I thought the addition of coconut was odd at first but it totally worked), camarones a la diabla (simple yet so tasty with the sweet corn puree), rajas poblanas (this creamy, savoury filling of poblano chiles, chicken and corn will warm your heart, trust me) and last, but not least, the cerdo en mancha mantel (phenomenal pairing of pineapple salsa and pork belly).