Moira Rose (no relation, hehe) of Schitt’s Creek says her favourite season is “Awards Season”, but my favourite season is “Restaurant Opening Season”. Now, with the pandemic, as a blogging acquaintance recently pointed out, restaurants have unfortunately been closing and new ones have been opening continually over the past two years so it’s been an extended season to say the least. I was delighted to be invited to the latest culinary culmination from The Food Dudes’ Executive Chef Adrian Niman: Roses Cocina at Hotel X Toronto. This casual yet chic restaurant boasts a panoramic view of Lake Ontario, as well as a captivating menu to suit many palates.
I brought my A Cuppa Grace and Lori podcasting partner Grace with me for the media dinner and we were seated with seasoned food critic Stephanie Dickison. My initial impression of the restaurant was the luxurious spaciousness of the place and the contemporary design mostly due to the blond-wood floors and server stations, concrete pillars, spotlights and open kitchen. The floor-to-ceiling windows make the most of the scintillating lake view.
Stephanie and Grace started with the artistically-presented Margarita. Grace felt the drink could have been better and admitted that she prefers a “fruity” Margarita. She also did not like the salty mixture covering the side of the glass.
The first appetizer was Tuna Aguachile with hibiscus, poblano crema, citrus, and cerrano served on crispy rice. Bland tuna came alive with this spicy and acidic accompaniment. This dish was popular at our table!
I’m not usually a big fan of sausage rolls, but the delectable, crispy pastry was too tempting for me to resist. One bite in converted me quickly! There was the right amount of heat from the coriander mustard and tomatillo salsa. I ended up having two!
The Roses Chopped was a winning spin on your standard romaine and cheese salad. The Latin cuisine influences included avocado cotija in a Chipotle Ranch dressing and topped with tortila crumble. We happily finished this salad!
Being allergic to lobster (I know…I drew the short end of the genetic stick here!), I passed on the Mini Lobster Clubs. Grace had one, but when I asked how the sandwich was, she said they were “just okay”. The sammys are made from brown butter aioli, bacon, iceberg lettuce and brioche with, of course, lobster!
The media preview dinner of Roses Cocina @hotelxtoronto . The cuisine is delicious upscale comfort food! ♬ Rhythm Of The Night – DeBarge
The next dish, Blackened Beets, wowed us all. These charred root vegetables were dressed in poblano crema with Tajin (a chili lime spice), lime and pecan. If you are not a fan of beets, you really must know that roasting or blackening beets makes their texture more appealing while giving them a smoky flavour. We devoured these deep red veggies!
Now, it was time for the main attractions: 1) Halibut and 2) Wagyu Fajitas. The halibut arrived in a tasty sauce of coconut, Aji Amarillo, Chayotte relish with crispy potato and chili threads on a banana leaf bed. The mildly-sweet sauce really enhanced the flavour of the fish while the thinly cut potato provided some needed crunch. I enjoyed this dish very much.
How fitting that the Wagyu Fajitas were the last dish to be served up as they were the unanimously-agreed-upon star of the night! Served with peppers and onions, the Picanha beef was so tender and cooked to a perfect medium.
I enjoyed Rosa Cocina’s upscale take on comfort food and left feeling satisfied. If you love checking out new restaurants in Toronto, you’ll want to get yourself down to Roses Cocina asap!
Roses Cocina at Hotel X Toronto, Princes’ Boulevard
You might be interested in reading “Casa Madera: A New Mexican Mediterranean Restaurant Opens in Toronto“.