(Photos by Sandy Zimmerman)
I was invited to a VIP Tequila and Mexico City Soul Food Pairing party at the charming Canonita Mexican Restaurant, inside the Venetian Resort. The Canonita Restaurant announced their new face lift and gave tours for their guests.
Sitting directly on the Venetian Resort’s Grand Canal, the gondoliers used their poles to propel the ornate gondolas slowly moving in front of the Canonita Restaurant.
Mexico City Soul Food is a new twist on traditional Mexican fare.
They served colorful appetizers, zesty tacos and unbelievable entrees to set the mood for their exciting new menu created by the new Executive Chef Donna Willey.
What delightful combinations, such intriguing flavors; this is NOT a regular Mexican restaurant!
Every bite brought a surprise of flavors as the chef used several different chilies and cheeses inside and outside the Spicy Pork Empanada.
Chef Donna explained, “The Pork Empanadas was prepared with pork, green onions, Habaneros Chilies, cilantro, and Serrano Chiles puréed all together, cooked with Wahaca cheese and a little bit of Casa Fresco Cheese on the inside while I added Habaneros Chilies and avocado crema on the outside.
The next appetizer, the potato ball was surrounded with our house-made chorizo made from pork, all kinds of spices and a little garlic. This is kinda’ like a mini-croquet actually. I coated it in Pico bread crumbs serving it with sun dried tomato Aioli with a little crema.
And for the third appetizer, the Ahi Tuna Cervice was formed into a raw tuna ball then filled with red onions, cilantro, and avocado with Habanero Chile prickly pear sauce on a fried plantain chip. The tuna was marinated in fresh squeezed lime juice.”
AnnaLiza McKinney, the General Manager, commented, “We have fun, fun, fun with our food and drinks! The tacos are served three or five on a platter. Guests choose three or five of the same style of Tacos or try all different ones. This is the fun way to eat tacos. All of our portions are big because the visitors come in hungry.”
Imagine eating the very, very tender, moist, slow- roasted pork Carnitas Tacos with Spicy Slaw and Salsa Picante!
Chef Donna described her recipes. “The Citrus Chicken Tacos was soaked in a citrus marinade with herbs and green onions, and then grilled. This included guacamole made with tomatoes and Serrano Chilies. The bright red onions on top have been pickled with beets.”
Geoff Gljiva, the Regional Manager, was involved in the entrees and drinks presentation. “This is seared Ahi Tuna with a roasted beet sauce, corn, prickly pear and fennel Nopale cactus salad.”
It looked so beautiful, like dessert!
Geoff added, “The colors are just amazing. The chef amazingly creates her dishes with the bright vibrant colors representing the cultures of Mexico.”
The unique Brazilian entree, the Seafood Mocequa (stew) made with coconut milk, Ahi Amarillo puree (Peruvian Chile), shrimp, Prince Edward Mussels in their shells, potatoes, carrots, brown sugar, onions, chayote squash in a coconut Aji sauce.
For information, please call (702)-414-3773. The Canonita Mexican Restaurant is located along the Grand Canal, in the Venetian Resort, on 3377 Las Vegas Boulevard South.