I recently went out with my girlfriends to an amazing restaurant in the Distillery District here in Toronto. It has such a cool vibe and so much character. I highly recommend going there to take in the sights of the downtown core. The restaurant we went to was called ‘El Catrin’ and it’s mexican cuisine. I do have to say right off the bat that if you’re planning to go, go early and call for reservations way ahead of time. They get busy and according to our server, people end up waiting hours to get in. Luckily, we went early enough that we didn’t have to wait for very long at all.
The ambience at this restaurant is awe-inspiring. We sat in the patio and the atmosphere was very social, hip and just lots of fun to be around. As the sun set, they turned heaters on to warm up the area (thank god!) The service was good, our server was nice and knowledgable about what the restaurant was known for. I wouldn’t say it was extremely friendly and doting, but i’d definitely go back. To eat, we just had small bites and shareables, kind of like a tapas style of eating. It was very inviting and helped to keep conversation up.
Started off with just guacamole and tortilla chips. A server came by our table and mashed it in front of us, which was a cool idea to communicate to customers that the guac is fresh. It was amazing, we pretty much scraped the bowl at the end of the night! Next, we had the Ensalada Destileria which was Grilled shrimp, green papaya, mango, toasted pecans, frisée, and tajin sour vinaigrette.This dish was such a refreshing and complex. It had so many different aspects to it that blended with each other really well. Extremely flavourful! The Queso Frito (Queso Freso, Grape Tomato, Avocado and Mint) was a hit amongst everyone on the table. An absolute delite, although the green sauce on top of the cheese was spicy for some. It was amazing. The Pastelito De Cangrejo (Crab fritter, Papaya, Mirin, Crema Fresca, Mole Negro Vinaigrette0 was pretty much crab cakes doused in a heavenly goodness of flavours. (That was a flowery way of saying it was good wasn’t it?) There was a Mole Vinaigrette on the bottom of these cakes and I really do wish they were on top because the taste was amazing and I just wish we got more of it!
We actually got a few more things on the menu, a two piece Mini Burrito and Churros with Cajeta (a type of Caramel), Chocolate and Strawberry Sauce. It was divine! I would definitely like to go back and try more from their drinks menu because they seem to have very interesting mexican-inspired cocktails and more tacos. Always more tacos. It was a very fun evening with the girls and i’m looking forward to going back soon!