Grant van Gameren's new wood-fired Mexican restaurant opens this week
Quetzal features authentic cuisine with a local twist at College and Bathurst
Quetzal's ceviche (IMAGE: Alexa Fernando)
After months of buzz and anticipation, an opening date has been announced for the new project by chef and restaurateur Grant van Gameren. Quetzal, the long-awaited wood-fired Mexican restaurant, will open Aug. 8 in the College and Bathurst area. The new establishment is a collaboration between van Gameren (Bar Isabel and Bar Raval), chefs Kate Chomyshyn and Julio Guajardo (El Rey) and Owen Walker (behind the bar). The menu will feature traditional Mexican cuisine with local Canadian ingredients.
Mollejas (IMAGE: Alexa Fernando)
The new kitchen has a 26-foot-long open flame area behind the counter with custom grills for cooking vegetables, meat, and seafood. It ends with a traditional comal (a flat, round griddle) to cook tortillas and toast chillies and seeds.
Sausages roasting on the fire (IMAGE: Alexa Fernando)
Those seated at the chef’s table can watch their food grilled in fiery glory, while sipping custom cocktails directly across from the open flames.
Carrot ceviche (IMAGE: Alexa Fernando)
A variety of traditional raw dishes from Mexico will be available at the restaurant’s ceviche bar.
Cornish hen (IMAGE: Alexa Fernando)
The venue, designed by PARTISANS (the firm who brought us Bar Raval), is described as a “deceptively simple, breezy dining space” according to a press release. The design concept mirrors the menu’s mix of Mexican and Canadian ingredients, by using materials distinctive of both countries. Large Canadian maple beams punctuate the white undulating ceilings inspired by traditional Mexican markets, with a dash of colour (you guessed it, turquoise) found here and there.
A sneak peek of Quetzal's interior (IMAGE: Alexa Fernando)
“It’s impossible to showcase the entirety of Mexican culinary culture in just one restaurant, but we can’t wait to share some of our favourite techniques, ingredients and flavour,” said Guajardo. “We also feel it’s important to do our part to help preserve and pass along the traditions of Mexican cuisine to our guests and continue to tell the story of Mexicon beyond tacos and margaritas."
Micheladas (IMAGE: Alexa Fernando)
The restaurant can accommodate up to 72 guests, and will open for dinner at 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Limited reservations will be available by phone throughout the four-week opening period.
Quetzal's grilled mushrooms (IMAGE: Alexa Fernando)
Quetzal (419 College St., 647-347-3663)