Taste of Canada: Resto Maple on Gran Colombia features fine dining, nightly specials, live weekend entertainment … with maple syrup on top
Martin Deschenes describes the cuisine of his new El Centro restaurant, Resto Maple Bar & Lounge, as mostly North American but with a Canadian accent. In fact, Martin just brought back 15 liters of North Country maple syrup from his native Ottawa / Gatineau.
“We use the syrup on a lot of dishes, including our Salmon Canadiense and pork roast’’ he says. “It also goes with our whisky ice cream dessert and some of our cocktails. I invite all expats and Cuencanos to try our own brand of maple syrup draft amber beer.”
As a reminder of its Canadian connection, Resto Maple displays a maple leaf outside its front door on Calle Gran Colombia, in the space once occupied by the iconic Cuenca restaurant Villa Rosa.
In addition to its dinner offerings, the restaurant offers a full bar with a large selection of South American and European wines and cocktails. “Our goal is to be a full-spectrum restaurant with an appeal for everyone. We welcome people who drop in for a drink at the bar as well as those who come for dinner. We also offer nightly specials every day and weekend music. We want people to know that Resto Maple is not just a great place to come for food and drink but a place to relax and enjoy yourself.”
“Our immediate efforts are to introduce the restaurant, which has been open for less than a month, to expats and Cuencanos,” Martin says. “I would like invite everyone to our Valentine’s Day special.
The Valentine’s menu offers two options. The first includes a Cesar salad, Salmon Canadiense with maple syrup sauce, followed by a dessert of crème brûlée. Option two includes a Cesar salad, Tamarind chicken and maple ice cream. Price for a couple is the very affordable $38.95 and includes a glass of wine. To make a reservation for February 14, see the contact information below.
The nightly specials at Resto Maple are: Sunday, 25% off on all menu items for customers 50 and over; Monday, All-You-Can-Eat Pasta Night; Tuesday, Salmon Canadiense, $18.50 with a free glass of wine or beer; Wednesday, Men’s Night with 2 craft beers for $5; Thursday, Ladies Night with a two-for-one wine special.
On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, Resto Maple presents live music. Some recent performers include Cuenca favorites Luis Ullauri, Carlos Cabrera and Luis Oscar Covarrubias.
“Our entertainment plan is to offer music for a broad variety of tastes and we look forward to hearing from our guests about the kind of music they like,” Martin says
Martin manages Resto Maple with his Cuencana wife, Maritza Cárdenas and her sister, Eliana, who runs the kitchen. “This is a multi-cultural enterprise, combining my Canadian background with Maritza’s and Eliana’s Ecuadorian roots.”
Beyond standard North American fare, the new restaurant features continental favorites including Italian pasta dishes and Swiss fondue and raclette. Dif
In addition to its evening food service, Resto also offers a daily lunch special, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., for $6.
A life-long Ottawa resident before his move to Cuenca, Martin is an accomplished cook in his own right, growing up around his father’s restaurant which he sometimes managed. “In my professional life, I worked in the hospitality industry with the Hilton corporation for 18 years and later I was around restaurants in the property management business.”
He adds: “I enjoy cooking and spending time in the kitchen. I love the entire restaurant business and culture, beginning in the morning with the daily mise en place b
Coming in March: the Maple Bakery Café. “It will be awsome and very flavourful,” Martin says.