Spanish estate on the shoreline of Toronto
2161 Lakeshore Blvd. West
5:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday
5:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m.
3:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
By Judi McLeod
Like discovering diamonds in the grass, visitors lucky enough to happen upon Toronto's Casa Mendoza Restaurant can't believe their luck. Built by a refreshingly eccentric connoisseur, who indulged his dream of creating an authentic Spanish estate on the shoreline of Toronto, Casa Mendoza's captivating bay windows overlook breathtaking Lake Ontario & Downtown Toronto.
Casa Mendoza offers literally acres of free parking. Nestled amongst abundant foliage, there is no doubt it offers one of the most incredible views no other restaurant can match.
The leisurely lunchers work on there suntans on upper and lower patios, where wildlife including foxes is just an arm stretch away. And that's just the exquisite outside setting of Oasis On The Lake.
Inside is an absolute jewel of a restaurant, Spanish decor of which comes straight from the movies! On the night of our visit, it seemed appropriate to hear "As Time Goes By", as a first tune being played on the piano, in the fireside Lounge.
Indeed, the atmosphere of a more genteel past from the movie days of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall is not lost on Hollywood , as many Toronto films and television shows are actually shot at the Oasis!
There's an almost perceptible aura of the thirties, and one can almost smell the aroma of gardenia wrist corsages and hear the champagne corks popping. Casa Mendoza boasts private dining rooms including the beautiful Garden Room with its unique skylights, banquet facilities and dancing in the piano lounge...(hearth fireplace roars in winter!)
This is a restaurant constructed in the long-ago days when a passionate dream fueled the spending of "mucho dinero" on an establishment destined to become a landmark showpiece.
...Anyone with flair and imagination would strive for a menu every bit as delightful as the decor.
Owner Teresa cherished the "going-to-a-Spanish-estate-for-dinner" theme when she took over the restaurant in 1990. A lifetime restaurateur, Teresa makes her own sauces and lends her personal touch to many special menu items. Customers have offered to pay for the recipe of home made Cajun Mayonnaise that accompanies famous calamari.
Mendoza specials include mesquite grilled steaks & seafood, Parilla Completa (special mixed grill for two, served on your own charcoal grill.) On the night of our visit, we sample several appetizers, including famous calamari with Cajun Mayonnaise. The Mendoza Spinach Salad, with braised onions, sauteed bacon, mushrooms and warm home made raspberry vinaigrette is truly something to rave about! My companion, who had stayed at the Mendoza Inn when he first arrived to this country, dined on New York Sirloin "King of Steaks". The medley of country garden vegetables and oven- roasted rosemary potatoes were mouth-watering.
The range in prices is worthy to extra note. Here is a restaurant with a wine list that includes Dom Perignon with lunch items to suit a penny pincher.
Casa Mendoza's brochure promise... to give "each visitor a feeling they have actually arrived in another country" keeps bringing them back.
If the walls at Casa Mendoza could speak of a present that reminds us of a past worth cherishing, they would shout, "Ole"!