Rosalinda is a vegan Mexican restaurant by some of Toronto's most notable restaurateurs. It's a collaboration between Grant van Gameren, Max Rimaldi and Jamie Cook.
The result of conjoining two business spaces that used to be in this spot, Rosalinda feels like a collection of pockets, with a mix of fake and live plants, a greenhouse-like structure and vintage touches like a chandelier from Smash.
A roasted cauliflower tostada ($7) is part of a small selection of items on grilled tortillas made with Oaxacan corn.
Charred cauliflower provides caramelized earthiness and roughly chopped toasted almonds add crunch, a coriander-based salsa verde and pepita-based sikil pak tying everything together.
The Rosaburger ($18) sandwiches a patty with a black bean, beet and rice base in a soft Wonderbread bun with shredded iceberg, chipotle mayo, pasilla-based BBQ sauce, avocado salsa, smoked eggplant chips in imitation of bacon and the same gooey vegan mozzarella you’ll find at Libretto.
Though you’ll have to spend $20 total for the experience, Rosalinda has been successful in crafting this into a veggie burger that’s somehow simultaneously a spot-on imitation of fast food and in a category all its own — soft, spongy, and saucy yet crispy and crunchy from the lettuce and eggplant chips.
Roasted Japanese eggplant ($16) is intended to embrace the mentality of a steak while still honouring the vegetable. It is sliced into pieces just big enough to be a mouthful and served with sikil pak, salsa macha, a light cashew crema and bright pomegranate seeds.
Mixed squash ($13) is typically sourced from Ontario and changes up seasonally, a more economical and hearty option with lots of comforting roasty flavour plated beautifully on a Pipián verde sauce, that’s also pepita-based, with delicious puffed wild grain chips in imitation of chicharrón.
Churros ($8) are apparently spiced but mostly just taste typically cinnamon-y, and are served with a scrumptious banana chocolate caramel.
A Punta Rosa ($15) is billed as “Refreshing and Bubbly,” basically a delicate, elevated take on a Paloma with tequila, a spiced grapefruit sherbet and a lovely stripe of grapefruit lavender salt on the side.
The Up & Up ($9) with Seedlip Garden 108 (herbaceous, gin-like) and tangy verjus is one of several mocktails catering to the lunchtime office crowd.