I was invited to a media-tasting event at Lisa Marie, organized by Jojoinstameets, and it was one of the best events I’ve been to yet! It was plate after plate of deliciousness. Do you like bold dishes that pack a big flavour punch? A diversity of flavour profiles coming together harmoniously to create an unforgettable dining experience? Then Lisa Marie is the place for you! Their new Spring Menu is sure to be a hit with Toronto foodies.
Lisa Marie is the new Fidel Gastro restaurant that brings an elevated street food experience to a brick and mortar space. Their menu is constantly evolving and from what I tasted, everything that makes it on there is worth trying!
Whipped Feta Greek Salad: Peasant style Greek Salad with smoked and grilled red potatoes, whipped feta, heirloom tomatoes, shaved cucumber, radicchio, fried Kalamata olives and parsley oil.
A twist on the Greek salad I grew up with, the whipped feta Greek Salad was a crowd-pleaser for good reason. It was light, fresh, and the combination of whipped feta and fried Kalamata olives gave it a nice salty richness.
Garlic Butter Donuts: Fluffy and fried donuts tossed in lemon butter, garlic, and thyme, topped with parmigiano.
The smell alone on these garlic butter donuts makes them worth ordering! They’re indeed light and fluffy in texture, but the good quality parmigiano and rich garlic and lemon butter sauce make them a savoury and decadent snack.
Hawaiian Tuna Nachos: Pineapple cured tuna, grilled pineapple salsa, edamame, avocado, wasabi crema on a bed of lettuce and corn tortilla chips.
My favourite dish of the night, the Hawaiian tuna nachos are unforgettable. I would go back just for this dish! The pineapple cured tuna was fresh with just the right amount of acidity. I loved the grilled pineapple salsa-I’m a big fan of fruit with my raw fish-and the crunch the fresh edamame brought to the dish. The avocado and wasabi crema added a delicate richness to the dish without overpowering the other ingredients. The corn tortilla chips were also a stand-out! Thick and crispy, they held their own topped with a tower of deliciousness.
The Big Cheese: Flat top grilled white cheddar cheese topped with salsa verde, pickled jalapeños, shaved red onions, crema, and queso fresco.
Despite its interesting toppings, as far as a cheese dish goes, this dish fell short for me. I would take a thick-cut Greek style saganaki every time. The Big Cheese was a very thin crispy cheese topped with pickled jalapeños, that were too spicy for me and I felt overpowered the other toppings.
Moroccan Lamb Panzo: Moroccan spiced lamb tagine, Israeli couscous in a fried paratina panzerotto with garlic yogurt and apricot chutney.
Another delicious dish, the Moroccan lamb panzo had a homestyle crust and a depth of flavour. I enjoyed the apricot chutney, it was a nice compliment to the savoury filling.
Pad Thai Fries: Our famous spicy, saucy fries topped with bean sprouts and cilantro.
The famous Pad Thai fries did not disappoint. They were spicier than I expected, but in a good way. They packed a strong saucy punch reminiscent of red curry! The sauciness of the dish did result in softer fries, similar to sweet potato fries baked in the oven in texture, but I tend to love all things saucy so I didn’t mind the texture one bit.
Nona’s Rigatoni: Spicy tomato sauce, homemade fennel sausage, roasted peppers and parmigiano.
A hearty dish with a traditional spicy tomato sauce. The pasta itself was fantastic, al dente, and a nice thick rigatoni.
June’s Pappardelle: Hot smoked trout and mascarpone sweet pea pesto.
This dish was an unexpected standout for me! I’ve never enjoyed tuna salad but hot smoked trout is a far-cry from canned tuna. The trout didn’t taste too fishy, it was a rich and balanced plate with the tasty mascarpone sweet pea pesto. The noodles were thick and perfectly cooked. I highly recommend this dish.
Night Market Rice: Kimchi Fried Rice with sunny side up fried egg and Korean garnishes.
I must confess my experience with Korean cuisine is limited. This is due to the fact that I wrongly assumed I wouldn’t enjoy it, but I’m happy to report this is not the case! Look out for some future Korean foodie adventures. Anyway, I didn’t expect to like this dish as much as I did but it was fantastic! A flavourful manageable spiciness with the perfect amount of richness from the egg. The pickled toppings were also fantastic. A flavour adventure I didn’t want to end!
Tandoori Hot Chicken: Fried Chicken in a Tandoori lemon butter with cumin toast, cucumber and garlic yogurt.
This was by far the most difficult dish to photograph without sneaking a taste. It smelled too incredible to ignore. Even still, it exceeded my expectations. A bold, crispy coating encased a juicy chicken. The garlic yogurt was heavy on the fresh dill, which I loved! Such a great dish, as I’m writing this I’m craving it all over again.
Steak Adobo: Smoked and Grilled AA Picana steak with Adobo sauce, crispy leeks and a sunny side up egg on maple blistered peppers.
Imagine a perfectly cooked steak topped with the most delightful sauce and served with an added layer of decadence, a sunny side up egg! This dish is on my top 3 list from Lisa Marie; despite not being as inventive as some of the other dishes, the steak adobo makes up for it with its outstanding flavour.
Build Your Own Belly Wraps: Honey and soy glazed pork belly, green cabbage, iceberg lettuce, caramelized kimchi, Korean pickles, and crispy pork crackling.
I’ve only had pork belly a handful of times, but this dish makes me think pork-belly will definitely be a part of my future. Pork belly tastes sort of like a bacon fusion, the thickness of pea-meal bacon with the flavour of American style bacon strips. Served with delicious Korean pickles and all you need to build your own wraps. Another must-try!
Cheesecake Chimichanga: Cheesecake in a fried tortilla with mojito lime curd, strawberry coulis, and graham cracker crumbs.
A well-balanced dessert with a unique mojito lime curd, the perfect pairing to the strawberry coulis. A nice portion as well, even when you think you’re full there’s room for this one!
Mud Pie in a Jar: Chocolate brownie, dark chocolate mousse, cookie crumble dirt and dried pineapple flower.
As I tried the mud pie in a jar, I couldn’t help but think Elowyn would love it! A child-friendly dessert, that was a little too sweet for me, reminiscent of chocolate pudding with the addition of brownie chunks.
The Top 3
In third place: The Steak Adobo
In second place: Tandoori Hot Chicken
And in first place… Hawaiian Tuna Nachos
Lisa Marie would be a fantastic spot for Happy Hour, for a date night, and I would even bring Elowyn here during the day (though I didn’t notice a booster chair). One way or another, I’ll be back. Their brunch menu sounds incredible! With an ever-changing menu, and so many delicious options, it’ll be a spot you’ll always be excited to re-visit.
Which dish do you want to try?
Review By: Sofia Martimianakis