Monday, August 09, 2010

Frida - Mexican Fine Dining

In general, I don't like beans - navy, lima, kidney, and definitely not refried or mushy beans found in traditional Mexican food. So generally I don't like the usual Mexican restaurants with the tacos and burritos (except for Burrito Boys, but that is a different blog entry). I got a taste of what high-end Mexican dining could be like when I went to Topolo-Bampo in Chicago. Ever since then, I've been seeking something similar in Toronto and now I've found it in the restaurant Frida, named after the painter Frida Kahlo. It was a bit disconcerting to be surrounded by photos of the bushy-browed artist, including the photo for the women's washroom (a hobby of mine is to collect photos of bathroom signs for men vs women's washrooms and this was an excellent addition).

We started the evening with the best tortilla chips and avocado dip that I've ever had. The chips were light, crispy and not oily while the avocado dip was flavourful with just enough spice to make it interesting. My main course consisted of jumbo shrimp covered in a tomato based guajillo pepper sauce, served with rice, spinach and grilled artichoke. Rich had a slow braised lamb covered in morita sauce (chiles, goat cheese) with roasted potatos and the only type of bean that I like - green beans!

We ended the meal with churros filled with caramel accompanied by a blueberry coulis. And while we were eating, we were serenaded by a guitar player and jazz singer that opened her mouth so wide while she was singing that I could not help but stare at her.

The menu was wide and varied and featured authentic Mexican ingredients and spices and dishes that were different from the "North-Americanized" versions of Mexican food. Most entrees were around $18-28. This was a very enjoyable experience that needs to be repeated soon.

999 Eglinton Avenue West

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