Wednesday 20 August 2014

The recipe comes first here, of course. The Rocío (meaning 'dew') was the cocktail that welcomed us to the media launch at Rostizado. Me being me, of course, had to be a snoopy McSnoop, and I convinced the lovely bartender to hand over his recipe for this delicious aperol-tequila-camomile-vanilla-prosecco cocktail. A quick please-please-please-pretty-please to Dani, one of the owners of Rostizado, and I had permission to publish the recipe. As Dani reckons, all their restaurants are about sharing, anyway. So thanks to the team at Rostizado, for this lovely recipe and an excellent evening. Keep reading for some mouthwatering photographs. 

(Printable Recipe)
Recipe courtesy of the team at Rostizado
Makes 1 cocktail

Simple Syrup

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

Camomile and Vanilla Syrup 

1/4 cup simple syrup
1/2 cup steeped and cooled camomile tea
A few drops of pure vanilla extract


10 ml aperol
10 ml tequila
5 ml camomile vanilla syrup
5 oz prosecco


Make a simple syrup. Place the sugar and water in a saucepan over a low heat, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Simmer for a couple of minutes, then take off the heat and let cool.

Make the camomile vanilla syrup. Whisk together the simple syrup and camomile tea. Drop by drop, add the vanilla extract until you can just taste a hint of vanilla in the syrup. Chill until ready to use.

To build each Rocío, shake the aperol, tequila and camomile vanilla syrup until combined, then pour into a tall champagne glass. Top with chilled prosecco, stir and serve.

Note: You can combine the aperol, tequila and camomile vanilla syrup in advance. Just remember to shake well before serving, as the syrup can separate otherwise.

Rostizado is a beautiful space, formerly occupied by Roast Coffee House, and retains it's open, gorgeous, rustic chic decor. I loved the old fashioned Edison light fixtures, and the chandeliers were seriously covetable.

But I almost never go to a restaurant for it's decor, so let's get on with the food, shall we?

We had a lot of Mexican style tapas dishes to share. Rostizado is primarily a meat based restaurant, and if you are a die hard carnivore, you will be extremely happy with the offerings here. Rotisserie chickens turn slowly, hypnotically in their oven, and one of my favourite dishes of the evening was the Rosti-Pollo, with pulled rotisserie chicken, frijoles refritos (refried beans, my favourite), salsa de arbol and my favourite, crispy chicken skin 'chicharron' (normally made with pork rinds, but so delicious.)

From above, the meatballs or albóndigas and sliced pork and hot sauce with red cabbage on tostadas.

Another one of my stand out dishes was this simple, elegant soup. Chileatole, a masa based soup with epazote, chicken and topped with fresh queso fresco, sliced serrano chiles and cilantro. The balance of flavours was lovely, and I can see this soup being perfect for our cold Edmonton winters.

There was a vegetarian option, a tostada topped with rajas, mushrooms, onions, queso de oaxaca, de arbol salsa and a fried epazote leaf. I really enjoyed the textures and flavours in it, and there was a vegan version of the same dish, minus the cheese. Unfortunately for me, a vegetarian family means that I probably won't be here as much as I'd like, but I was still glad to see that there were some veggie options.

For fish lovers, the smoked salmon sopes were tasty, with an avocado salsa, smoked salmon, onion, radish and cilantro. I don't particularly like lox, so this was probably the only dish I wasn't crazy about. But that's just me. Kay, who showed up at the end, liked it.

On the other hand, I am crazy about desserts. My sweet tooth is legendary in the house.

Particularly when it comes to flan. Flans are not necessarily well loved - they can be dense and heavy if not made well. My mom makes some superb light-as-air flans, so the standard was pretty high, and Rostizado delivered. Their flan was rich and had a light vein of queso running through it. I could have happily dunked my face in it. Mama's still edges ahead, cause its lighter - and well, it is my mama's - but this flan came pretty close to being perfect. Full marks from me.

 And churros, of course. It's a Mexican place of course, and churros are another one of those look-easy-to-make-but-can-be-a-pain desserts. I make pretty good churros myself, and the churros from Rostizado were impeccable. Sugary, crisp and lightly chewy on the inside, and served with dulce de leche, these are so good you can't resist eating more than you really wanted to. A sign of a good restaurant, for sure.

As I mentioned earlier, I really loved the interior space, even though it got pretty loud and rowdy at the end. The chill lounge is well planned, and has comfy couches and quirky little touches like that retro TV above. I also loved their display of salsa bottles and books, and those little personal touches added a lot to the comfort levels of the space.

So, while food will always be my number one reason for choosing a restaurant, I will admit to being pretty seduced by the lovely interiors of Rostizado as well. And if you love your meat, you will certainly not be disappointed by this new addition to Edmonton's dining scene.

Disclosure: I was invited to the media launch of Rostizado. All opinions and photographs are my own, and the recipe is courtesy the team at Rostizado, for which I thank them.

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