Name: Agave y Aguacate
Neighbourhood: Baldwin Village
Contact Info: 35 Baldwin St., 647-748-6448
Owners: Mexican-born chef Francisco Alejandri and furniture designer Keyvan Foroughi
Chef: Francisco Alejandri, who trained at Scaramouche, Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar and Chiado before launching the original Agave y Aguacate food stall in Kensington Market’s El Gordo food court
The Food: Inventive Mexican dishes, some of which will be familiar to fans of Alejandri’s now-defunct food stall (which celeb chef Anthony Bourdain once called “some of the most amazing Mexican takeout north of the border—any border.”) Current options include chicken tinga tostadas, flank steak salad and lengua de res—i.e. beef tongue in mole sauce. Lunch and brunch service will begin in the New Year.
The Drinks: Classic cocktails with a Latin twist, like a Negroni that subs Campari with mescal.
The Place: Owner Keyvan Foroughi is quick to point out that there are no sombreros or cacti in the two-storey restaurant, which is housed in the old Elle M’a Dit space in Baldwin Village. The Latin theme comes across in the turquoise-and-gold colour scheme, the painted tilework and the massive mural of Our Lady of Guadalupe (the patron saint of Mexico), which spans an entire wall. Alejandri’s good luck charm—a hand-painted figurine named Diego El Matador—sits on a shelf above the bar.
• 44 seats
• 20-seat patio
• 12 spaces were viewed before settling on Baldwin Village (other possible locations included Queen West and Roncesvalles)
• 7 months to renovate the space, formerly Alsatian bistro Elle M’a Dit
• 6 dangling lights above the bar that resemble crystal decanters
• 2 floors
• 1 wall devoted to Catholic iconography