Has anyone tried this new Mexican place at John and Mercer?
Check out the latest edition of Toronto Life. They have a commentary about the restaurant in the review section. Has anyone been? Any comments on the food?
We went on a week night - the restaurant was at maybe 25% capacity.
Service was excellent - we chatted with Sebastian the bartender who was very helpful in selecting our drinks. I was initially sceptical about the frozen Margaritas but ended up ordering the Tamarind Margarita - delicious, loaded with alcohol but a tad on the sweet side.
One of the owner/brothers manages the floor while the other oversees the kitchen.
We ordered a variety of ceviches and "botanas" tapas style (ranging from duck to sauteed huitlacoche mushrooms to tuna, a pulled pork entree served on a banana leaf as well as a house salad for closers. I didn't take notes (I ate out every night last week and the menus are blurred), but we found all the food to be excellently prepared, well-plated and delicious except for the rather pedestrian standard mesclun salad - bleccch. We were all very pleased with the masa-based tortillas served on the side
We did not order from the wine list as I protested the mark-up $54 for a Marques de Riscal red Rioja - zoinks. Not uncommon in restos I know, but we went for a pitcher of Sangria instead. We ordered a Sangria made with bourbon and peach schnapps(!). Again, it was a delightfully refreshing complement to some of the heavier foods and highly recommended as an alternative to the usual boring cabs and rosees.
I eat locally at Dos Amigos, Tacos El Asador, and El Trompo fairly regularly because of the balance of value, quality and taste and found Milagro to be a great (but obviously pricier) alternative. I am always suspicious of people complaining when they feel certain ethnic restos are not "authentic" enough(although Milagro uses Nestle Chocolate Abuelita - how authentic is that?)
You should check out Milagro less for authenticity and more for their bold spins on traditional Mexican food in a slick space - designed by the same folks who did the Drake, I believe.
I tried the pulled pork pibil which was excellent (although I would have prefered a little less pork and a little more of the amazing little sides which were simple but incredibly flavorful). I also had the house salad which entices on the menu with promises of jicama and pepitas, but there was none of the former and the latter were sunflower seeds! (Pepitas are mexican pumpkins seeds, they are very different than pumpkin seeds up here).
My girlfriend had the non-relleno vegetarian main which was also excellent.
We tried to order margaritas non-frozen on rocks and did not succeed. The frozen margaritas were very good, however.
Overall I was very impressed for the restaurant being so new, and doubly so considering Toronto is starving for high-end mexican. Its no Frontera Grill but its a start.
"bold spins on traditional Mexican food"
Yes, I think thats exactly the point. Its exactly the kind of restaurant you would find in Mexico City (as opposed to Oaxaca or rural mexico). Think of it as Mexican Fusion :-)
There was once an extraordinary Mexican place (Chile's) at Gerrard and Pape of all places. It closed during the 90's, but the owners (I believe named Escobar and Poon) said they would be reopening in a more suitable area. Does anyone know if they're around somewhere?
El Sol, though not really upscale, is by far the best Mexican food I've had in Toronto. I've tried Dos Amigos and a couple on St. Clair, but they don't even come close. Plus El Sol has the best margaritas by far!
Gotta disagree. I really tried to like El Sol but I find it average at best, the menu is just uninspired (although I'd like to try thier chile relleno, but I dont often find myself thinking 24 hours ahead of where I'm going to eat!)
And I strongly disagree about the margarita. Weak watered down mix margarita, and I think it even had regular salt (not kosher salt) on the rim!
For me, the only other usually-good Mexican is Jalepeno. Some of the menu is admittedly mediocre but some of it is really good.
Tried Milagro tonight...
The guacamole was ok- I would have liked more lime & chile but it was very fresh. My friend ordered the pulled pork that came with platanos and frijoles; I ordered the enchiladas with panela cheese and tomatillo sauce and frijoles.
The frijoles and platanos were very good. My enchiladas were ok- the tomatillo sauce was fine, but it didn't wow me.It tasted a lot like the Herdez tomatillo sauce. My friend's pulled pork was tasty.
The one dish that really impressed me was the flan.Rich, dense and creamy, with a perfect caramel sauce.
I would return just for the flan....
The service was very good. I'll be back to try some of their cocteles and ceviches...
They serve flan everywhere I've visited in Mexico. They also serve flan everywhere I've visited in Spain. Considering Mexico's history, it's not surprising that they share a few dishes with Spain. It was actually richer and denser, and less eggy than any flan I have had in Spain. I believe what I ate last night was a Mexican Flan.
I have a fabulous recipe for Mexican flan - taught to me by a woman from Mexico City. It's my standard dessert at home when I'm cooking a meal so I rarely have it when I'm out.