Sunday, July 3, 2022 7:35 PM
Before discovering La Condesa in 2019, I had never been a huge fan of Mexican food - it always seemed so heavy and overrated to me. Through experiences at restaurants in Toronto and a resort in Cancun, the appeal of it was lost on me (maybe the resort was catering to American tastes by serving more Tex-Mex style – who knows).
Enter La Condesa. In 2019, this lovely restaurant opened here in Wellington and I finally understood. Chef Samantha Valdivia (in the centre of my illustration!) lived in Mexico for 20 years prior to moving to Canada. After living in TO for 7 years – she wound up here in the County, working first at the beloved Parsons Brewing Company until she and her partner, Rizal Adam (on the right!) and their friend Matthew Gilsenan (the cocktail wizard on the left!) seized an opportunity to take over the space that was once occupied by Courage and the legendary Tall Poppy Café.
This is authentic Mexican cuisine, and this is why people rave about Mexican food. The depth of flavours are something else, and their beautifully crafted cocktails compliment the delicious food offerings. All of their ingredients are locally sourced, they make their own tortillas (you can really taste the corn that beautifully melds with the other flavours in their tacos, tostadas etc), they make their own chips (GOD they are good – I hate sharing them, ha!) and everything on the menu is outstanding.
I had the pleasure of working with Sam very briefly last year on the promotion of a series I was working on (Motel Makeover) and she was LOVELY to work with! And, while they really don’t need any PR (their place is always packed and they’ve been featured in the New York Times and more recently on Food TV’s Big Food Bucket List) I just wanted to pay my own personal tribute to her and the team. We really are SO lucky to have such lovely people serving this caliber food here in our hood! Thank you Sam, Rizal and Matthew (and your entire team) for opening my eyes, expanding my palate and just doing what you do. We certainly are lucky that you landed here.
If you plan to visit the area and haven’t tried this restaurant, this is one you don’t want to miss. They don’t take reservations and they offer limited take out. Follow them here or visit their site here for more details.
La Condesa is located at:
298 Wellington Main Street
Wellington, Prince Edward County
P.S. They also opened a bar in Wellington (across the street) called Koenji Whiskey Bar and I have yet to go! It’s on my list to hit this summer.