We’re not gonna lie: Our first motivation for heading to Valdez last night to check out King West’s latest restaurant was the name. Valdez? Bad*ss to say the least. Our second reason for checking it out was, of course, the chef himself. Valdez co-owner and Chef Steve Gonzales was one of our favourite contestants from season one of Top Chef Canada, and the internationally trained chef is also known for his work as the former Chef de Cuisine at Origin.
Gonzales’ first restaurant has taken over the former Cheval nightclub digs on King Street, which means it can seat up to 140 people and has a killer rooftop patio and lounge. (FYI: There will be a late-night menu available from Thursday to Saturday until midnight for the night hawks.) Of all the exciting items on the Latin-American inspired menu, you need to get into the five different ceviches, all of which are available in taste-sized portions or sharing sizes.
In keeping with the vibe of the ‘hood, the cocktail menu is quite impressive. Not only does Valdez have one of the largest selections of Pisco in the city, the resto is offering Latin-American twists on classic cocktails like the Old Fashioned and the margarita. In the competition for the hottest rooftop hangout of summer 2013, Gonzales is certainly ready to make Valdez’s case.