Showing posts with label summerlicious. Show all posts
Showing posts with label summerlicious. Show all posts

Core Restaurant (Toronto)


Some time ago, I've lost my desire to go out for Summerlicious and Winterlicious meals. Once an exciting time of pursuing menus, gathering groups of friends, and securing reservations, some later experiences were disappointing and seemed too commercial. Yet, after seeing Core show up on two "Summerlicious menus you have to try" lists and actually seeing the tasty sounding dishes the $43 dinner had to offer, I rounded up a group of girls to give Summerlicious another chance.

Walking into the restaurant, things felt different. Core is smaller, so it felt warm and intimate. Service was definitely not a problem as they even paid attention to my always there request on Open Table and tried to accommodate to the best of their ability. Everyone we encountered that evening - hostess, sommelier, and waiter – were warm, friendly, and inviting. They also didn't leave anything out of the experience, still providing diners a large slice of their very airy and crusty house made sourdough bread.

Within the appetizers, the pork belly certainly sounded enticing, and having had a taste of my friend's, did have crispy well-rendered skin and moist meat. But, it’s the B.C. Albacore tuna crudo I ultimately ordered. Interestingly, the fish was cut in thick chunks, rather than thin slices, which helped retain its flavours against the mildly tangy citrus ponzu. The tuna was tender and flavourful and when combined with the chunks of sweet baby radishes and crunchy cucumbers made for a satisfying summer starter.


The duck two ways included two delicious pieces from the fowl:

  • Roasted breast cooked to about medium with crispy skin. While it could have been done a touch less, it was nonetheless moist and easy to cut through.
  • A large chunk of braised duck leg terrine, which was a tad salty with the duck jus but oh so tender. It’s like having a cube of pulled duck confit, just as amazingly tasty as it sounds.

If you’re fond of duck, it’s definitely the dish to order. Even though the braised cherries and heirloom carrots accompanying the dish sounded like it'd be two sweet sides, the saltier duck jus kept everything savoury and the sides went well with the fowl.

Dinner ended with the espresso panna cotta served tiramisu style, a rich espresso jelly topping the creamy base so you really get a hit of the coffee flavour. I wasn’t a huge fan of the crumble used as a garnish, but it’d be nice for those who want a contrasting texture.


Thanks to Core, I have a renewed interest in the Summer/Winterlicious series. You just have to be selective and try the less known restaurants. The little guys sometimes does it best. 

Overall mark - 8 out of 10
Is Summerlicious worth it (based on my meal selection)?
Summerlicious - $43
Regular menu - $56 - tuna ($16), duck duo ($30) and panna cotta ($10)
Savings - $13 or 23%
How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 896 Queen Street East

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:



Batch (Toronto)


Located in the former Beer Academy, Batch is bright and airy, transforming the previous event venue into a casual restaurant. The new space has a Scandinavian woodsy feel to it, as if you’ve stepped away from the city and entered wine (err.. beer) country. Owned by Creemore, they continue to brew on site with a rotating selection to match their beer friendly menu. The Lombard lager ($7) was a refreshing crisp drink with a hint of lemon and went nicely with the first two courses of the Summerlicious lunch menu ($23).


The light beer was a nice contrast against the Cornish pastry, a flakey dough stuffed with shredded lamb and potatoes that’s bound together with a thick brown gravy. It’s a starter that’s reminiscent of pub food, a larger slice with salad or vegetables would be a satisfying meal.


On the other hand, the roasted chili prawns main was completely different from regular bar fare. The Thai and Vietnamese style dish was a bit unexpected at a brew pub but a great example of a brighter dish that still went well with beer - not everything has to be greasy and heavy. My first shrimp was mushy, a sign that it was past it’s prime, but the other two were much better pairing nicely with the cooling slaw topped with crunchy peanuts. There was a light heat from the nam prik (a Thai chili sauce) scattered amongst the mango and melon salad. Luckily, I still had the Lombard lager to help tone down some of the spice.


Although we visited during Summerlicious, the restaurant wasn’t too busy. Nonetheless, the succession of the meal was completely wacky. The mains arrived so quickly that a companion had to quickly finish off her starter, so they could take away the dish. But then it took FOREVER for the desserts to arrive when the longest thing to make is perhaps the glazed apple fritter.

After such a long wait it was disappointing that the fritter didn’t even seem freshly fried – although warm they weren’t hot. The batter had a nice yeasty property but needed more air, so it wouldn’t be so dense and chewy. Moreover, it could use more sugar, especially since the sour cream glaze and shortbread crumble toppings weren’t overly sweet. In the end, it didn’t taste like much since even the apples were rather muted.


Toronto and its downtown core has been graced with the opening on many gastro brewpubs and restaurants over the last two years. And while I enjoy the reservation friendly Batch, the restaurant may be best for an after-work visit. When timing doesn’t matter as you’re on beer o’clock.

Overall mark - 6 out of 10
Is Summerlicious worth it (based on my meal selection)?
Summerlicious - $23
Regular menu* - $ - Cornish pastry ($11), shrimp ($16) and dessert ($8)
Savings - $12 or 34%
* None of the items were on their regular menu the above based on sausage roll, smoked salmon, and sticky toffee pudding
How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 75 Victoria Street

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:

Batch Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Bymark (Toronto)



Take a walk through TD Centre’s concourse level and you’ll encounter Mark McEwan’s domination of the floor: the second McEwan grocery store and eatery occupies an entire corner, walk in a bit further and his long time restaurant Bymark (a creative conjunction of “by” and “Mark”) takes up the rest of the corner. It’s a restaurant known for its decadent foie gras burger with a hefty price to match. Like most of McEwan’s ventures, it’s a fine dining establishment where bill totals easily reach $100+ a person. Hence, during Summerlicious, their special $48 dinner menu always draws a crowd.

What looks like mechanically processed tuna certainly tasted that way - instead of dicing the fish by hand, the tartare arrives pulverized so you end up spreading (rather than scooping) the mixture on the crispy wonton chips. I could have looked past the fish’s mushy texture if it was seasoned better; too bad the miso-ginger vinaigrette was so light that most of the flavours were from the fish’s natural oils and the chip. Thankfully, the crisp shaved fennel salad on the side helped to wake up the dish, if only smaller pieces were combined into the tartare itself, maybe the starter would have tasted better.

While the Summerlicious website describes the cod as being from "Fogo Island", Bymark’s actual menu revises it to "Atlantic". Honestly, I don’t care that much about the origin and I’m glad the restaurant was honest about the fish’s source – having read Olmsted’s Fake Food Real Food, it’s a shame how often establishments try to pass off non-authentic ingredients to diners, I applaude Bymark for being truthful.

Arriving as a sizeable piece, the baked cod was moist and flakey. Normally, the delicate texture would be fine, but since the accompanying polenta was also silky and smooth, it'd be nice if the fish was seared with the skin-on to create a crispy layer for contrast. Unlike the starter, the main incorporated plenty of flavour from the salty olive tapenade, rapini, and unexpected kick of chili oil. All in all, it's a satisfying dish.


Too bad the same couldn’t be said with the strawberry shortcake … I’m getting so tired of deconstructed desserts! The strawberry shortcake came with the usual elements: soft vanilla shortcake, delicious macerated strawberries, and whipped cream. Additional crisp meringue pieces were a nice touch, providing an extra texture and sweetness to the cake. Dutifully, I combined all the ingredients to make my own cake, only to find the Chantilly creamy overly salty. Perhaps it was the pastry chef wanting to play up the earthiness of the basil purée, but it didn’t work for me. Strawberry shortcake doesn't work as a sweet and salty dessert.


Meanwhile the s’more’s tart was elegant and delicious. Not normally a fan of rich chocolate desserts, I was even drawn in to take a bite of the smooth dark chocolate ganache and ever so slightly salty graham cracker crust.


Having previously visited Bymark for Winterlicious and a regular dinner, this was by far the worst experience. Indeed, I understand what's served during Summerlicious may be a modified menu with less expensive ingredients, but looking back on the Winterlicious experience from about six years ago, it was executed much better and was of closer quality to a regular dinner service. This time, nothing wowed us and the dishes were passable at best.

Luckily, their service didn’t falter; they were just as friendly and attentive as ever. For example, when our waitress noticed my friend rooting through her beef cheek pasta to find the actual meat - another downfall of Summerlicious is some dishes are cooked in larger batches so plates aren’t always split evenly - she offered to get the kitchen to bring out more beef cheek for her to add to the pasta. What a thoughtful gesture that made the experience better. Maybe next time she can take my dessert and make it into a real cake… feasible right?

Overall mark - 6.5 out of 10
Is Summerlicious worth it (based on my meal selection)?
Summerlicious - $48
Regular menu - $72.50 - tuna tartare* ($19), cod ($40) and shortcake ($13.50)
Savings - $24.50 or 34%
* Based on the steak tartare and cheesecake
How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 66 Wellington Street West (in TD Centre)

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:


Bymark Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Beaumont Kitchen (Toronto)


Having been a Toronto resident for over 30 years, I rarely venture west of Avenue road. When I do, it's usually for a wedding or meeting up with friends in Port Credit, but rarely does it entail going to a mall. Beaumont Kitchen, a new entrant to the Oliver & Bonacini empire, has given me a reason to visit Sherway Gardens, which is a lot nicer than I’ve been led to believe.

Connected to Saks Fifth Avenue, like their sister restaurant Lena with the Saks downtown, Beaumont Kitchen is more down-to-earth and family friendly. During a weekend visit for their Summerlicious lunch ($23), the tables generally held three generations, all sitting together breaking bread ... it’s sort of refreshing that there wasn’t a suit or hipster in sight. Their menu is modeled like an O&B Café – no real ethnicity’s cuisine being featured, but rather popular “safe” options that diverse tables can choose from.

With so much raspberry dressing on the 100km beet salad, it was too tart. Luckily, the roasted beets’ sweetness help to cut down on the acidity, so after cutting the cubes into even smaller pieces and ensuring there was a bit of beet with each bite of overdressed spinach, the salad was decent.


Most of the table agreed the chicken piccatta was one of the better mains. Despite being a thick piece of chicken breast that was thoroughly cooked, it was still moist. The capers weren’t overpowering, adding a light saltiness to the dish and when combined with butter a great topping for the smashed potatoes, which sucked in all the juices. Even the crispy grilled broccolini were delicious, a healthier  balance to the dish.


Served really hot, you have to contain your excitement when the pudding chômeur arrives or risk burning your tongue. The rum caramel sauce is light on the rum (for those sharing with children) and isn’t too sweet so nicely balances the dense fudgy cake.


Who knows, after the lunch at Beaumont Kitchen, maybe I’ll go to Sherway Gardens more often; when the traffic is moving, it doesn’t take that much longer to drive there than Yorkdale or Fairview and parking is a whole lot easier to find. Summerlicious can be a beautiful thing, it encourages people to go out and try new restaurants. For me, it encouraged me to venture west out of my comfort zone. 

Overall mark - 7 out of 10
Is Summerlicious worth it (based on my meal selection)?
Summerlicious - $23
Regular menu - $37 - salad ($12), chicken picatta ($17) and dessert ($8)
Savings - $14 or 38%
None of Summerlicious items are part of their regular menu, estimates are based on spinach salad, chicken breast sandwich, and carrot cake
How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 25 The West Mall

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:


Beaumont Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Nami Japanese Restaurant (Toronto)

Good luck getting a day-of reservation for Summerlicious lunch at a restaurant in the Financial District. After calling two establishments, they could only do a 1:30 seating; luckily, Nami came to the rescue and allowed me to eat a decent time. 

One look around the place and I can see why they were able to accommodate us. their dining room is huge with various tables, private booths, and larger rooms situated along the sides of the restaurant. Surprisingly, for seating so many people, they’re also efficient - our meals were served quickly so lunch lasted about an hour.

The appetizer sushi contained the popular trio - tuna, salmon and shrimp – all done well with evenly cut seafood and the rice a nice consistency. Just keep in mind there’s already a fair amount of wasabi used in the sushi so go lightly with the soy sauce… my first bite was a sinus clearing experience. Two rather large pieces of spicy salmon roll were also included, with the salmon mixture made from diced pieces of fish rather than the pulverized mess mixed with tempura bits that some restaurants serve.

Nami appetizer sushi

Along with a bowl of salad covered in a creamy ginger dressing and a hot bowl of miso soup, the first course was substantial. If you’re a light eater, you can likely take the main to go.


Rather than the typical piece of thigh that's grilled than cut into strips, Nami’s chicken teriyaki are larger chunks, char-grilled with a light smoky essence, then tossed them in ample amounts of sauce. This creates a more flavourful dish and the house made teriyaki sauce nice and thick. Along with wedges of roasted potato, asparagus, boiled carrot medallions, and a bowl of sticky rice, I was thoroughly filled.

Nami chicken teriyaki

Yet, I still couldn’t turn down the matcha ice cream, the ice cold sphere of green tea dessert a refreshing ending. A blob of unappetizing looking but delicious tasting thick red bean paste also arrives, so you can swirl it into the ice cream creating another flavour profile.


After a satisfying lunch, I’m glad the other restaurants were booked. Certainly, the appetizer sushi was more fulfilling than a salad any day. If you’re looking for a day-of reservation for lunch during Summerlicious, check out Nami, they can likely accommodate your table and you’ll leave content.  

Overall mark - 8 out of 10
Is Summerlicious worth it (based on my meal selection)?
Summerlicious - $23
Regular menu - $40 - appetizer sushi* ($16), chicken teriyaki lunch ($19) and dessert* ($5)
Savings - $17 or 42%
* Based on the sashimi sampler and the dessert is a wild guess by me

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 55 Adelaide Street East

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:


Nami Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Summerlicious lunch at Azure (Toronto)


For a really good deal during Summerlicious, visit a restaurant for lunch. Most establishments offer similar options between lunch and dinner and there’s a $20 difference to merely eat at a different time. Of course, it’s not always feasible to indulge in a 3-course menu on weekdays and some places, if they offer a brunch menu, won’t honour Summerlicious on weekends. Hence, finding a weekend lunch spot can be difficult. Azure, situated in the Intercontinental Hotel downtown, is one option; their central location makes it ideal for visiting before a matinee or an afternoon Blue Jays game.

Their corn soup arrives looking like the typical smooth puréed broth. Then you have a taste and the hit of chili lime mixed with the sweet vegetable creates an interesting summery starter. In the centre, the smoked cheddar biscuit adds a soft doughy chewiness; it’s good, but something crispy or a dollop of corn, onion, and black bean salsa would be even better.


As the pan roasted rainbow trout was presented, I couldn’t take my eyes off the beautiful glistening skin; this is going to be a good piece of fish! I wasn’t disappointed, the skin was impeccably crispy and the meat flaky and moist. With a smear of the refreshing lemon basil pea purée or slightly spicy sundried tomato relish, the main was flavourful and delicious. Even the accompanying well-seared fingerling potatoes, lightly pickled radicchio, and crispy shaved fennel were spot on.


Although the grilled chicken didn’t look impressive, it’s still tender and tasty thanks to the creamy citrusy butter sauce on top. Despite the menu describing the dish as grilled, the chicken seemed poached, it's really juicy and tender. When mixed with the sauce, the bulgur salad is quite delicious, but on its own a tad bland.


Truthfully, I wasn’t a fan of the strawberry tart. For a dessert that sounds light and summery, the strawberry jam gummies and crunchy rosewater candy pieces in the centre were too fussy and sugary. Meanwhile, the lime basil curd filled shortbread tart was nice. If it were simply topped with strawberries and chantilly cream, it’d be more than enough.


My friend's white chocolate cheesecake was a better choice; the rich luscious cake paired with rose wine poached apricots and toasted walnuts. Yet, it’s the cardamom gelato that’s the most surprising, looking like vanilla bean, but adding such a lovely earthy essence against the fruit and cake.


While saving money on the meal, you can splurge on one of Azure’s hand-crafted cocktails. The raspberry cooler ($16), combining raspberry vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup, and muddled fresh raspberries, created a drink that tastes exactly like a raspberry Freezie, complete with the tangy fizz that tickles the back of your throat.

Having visited Azure previously for dinner, it felt like a completely different restaurant during the afternoon. With the dining room’s wall and ceiling glass panels, the sun shone through brightly; it was like sitting outside without the pesky bugs and traffic noise. Then, after a satisfying lunch, Toronto’s downtown attractions is but steps away, perfect for walking off those extra Summerlicious calories.  

Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10
Disclaimer: The above meal was complimentary. Rest assured, as noted in my mission statement, I will always provide an honest opinion.
Is Summerlicious worth it (based on my meal selection)?
Summerlicious - $28
Regular menu - $55 - soup ($12), rainbow trout* ($29) and strawberry tart ($14)
Savings - $27 or 49%
* Based on pickerel

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 225 Front Street West (in the Intercontinental Hotel)

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System
  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:



The Badali Bar & Cucina (Toronto)


I don’t know when it happened, but the previous Joe Badali’s has been re-branded as The Badali Bar and Cucina and with it the dining room modernized. The numerous banquettes and four top tables have been replaced with sleeker models and if you’re looking to host a large group, there’s a huge table along the wall that could easily hold twenty.

Although Badali’s prices are generally reasonable, during Summerlicious, their lunch menu is a steal at $18. Moreover, it’s one of the few that offers two vegetarian options (something I look for when planning work lunches).  The meat-free arancini is a lovely golden brown and crispy, but could benefit from being hotter inside. Pretty flavourful to begin with, I did enjoy the flecks of sun dried tomatoes mixed into the rice, but the consistency could be creamier.


The gemelli spiral pasta was cooked perfectly covered in a tasty white wine tomato sauce. The Calabrese salami was served as three small thin slices thrown into the middle - if you’re not paying attention you end up with a mouthful of salty spicy meat. Personally, I would have preferred it cut into slivers or cubes so the salami could be evenly dispersed. Overall, the pasta was good but with the musky mussels, the dish would have been better with chicken or grilled vegetables instead.


It’s a shame that the earl grey steeped panna cotta was covered in a berry compote, as the panna cotta itself was delicious. However, the mild tea flavour wiped out by the strong fruit topping; Chantilly cream topped with shortbread crumbles would surely be a better fit.


Although my last visit was over five years ago, this experience was still the same: great location and warm friendly service, but the food wouldn’t make your nonna proud.

Overall mark - 6.5 out of 10
Is Summerlicious worth it (based on my meal selection)?
Summerlicious - $18
Regular menu - $28 - arancini* ($8), pasta* ($18) and dessert* ($8)
Savings - $16 or 47%

*None of the items are part of their regular menu, so prices based on the soup, lunch pasta and dessert is a wild guess by me

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 156 Front Street West

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:


Joe Badalis Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Browne's Bistro (Toronto)


Tucked in a corner of a stone building off Avenue, you may miss the steps down to Brownes Bistro. Leading to a rather large restaurant, their décor is classic: the dining room consisting of dark wood and cream linens. If you’re a fan of old school restaurants like me, you’re in for a treat.    

Their Summerlicious menu ($28) was equally traditional, with the exception of the vegetable samosa, suitably safe for non-adventurous eaters. Of course, as a food lover, I love trying new things. But, sometimes I get tired of the shared fusion plates, doused in a variety of sauces and start yearning for timeless dishes.

If Browne’s grilled calamari weren’t so salty, the starter would have been good: the seafood was tender with a gentle smokiness. However, this was ruined by over seasoning the calamari when the aged balsamic and shallot sauce drizzled on top was also so flavourful.  


Despite being thinly sliced, the Atlantic salmon was surprisingly moist having been grilled quickly so it was just cooked through. Unlike the starter, the fish was simply topped with a citrus-herb-lime infused butter and seasoned suitably.


Although the presentation of the apple rhubarb crisp could be improved, the dessert was satisfying – plenty of apples and rhubarb baked until soft but still having bite. Not overly sweet, the dish relied on the buttery crumble topping and French vanilla ice cream to make it a dessert.


Summerlicious gets a bad reputation amongst those working in the industry – I understand, they’re often serving a lot more food to a lot more people than they’re normally used to. With the special pricing, bill totals will ring in less so their gratuities are otherwise lower. Encounter dinner guests that are especially demanding (please don’t ask for substitutions) and I can see why it’s a draining two weeks.

Yet, it’s also the perfect opportunity for restaurants to expand their clientele. If it weren’t for Summerlicious, I would have never tried Brownes Bistro, having found it by looking for dinner menus with a specific price point that’s close to home.

Luckily, Theo, our server for the evening, didn’t mind the event. He welcomed us warmly, offered to take pictures, and joked with us throughout the evening … even though we were rowdier than their normal clientele (residents of the areas).

Foodies, I challenge you to look past what’s flashy and new. Sometimes you need to step back and reconnect with the classics. After all, it’s not that often a business survives, let alone lasts over 30 years, there must be a reason.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10
Is Summerlicious worth it (based on my meal selection)?
Summerlicious - $28
Regular menu - $42 - calamari ($12), salmon ($22) and dessert* ($8)
Savings - $14 or 33%
* The dessert price is a wild guess from me

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 1251 Yonge Street

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:


Browne's Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

CLOSED: Lisa Marie (Toronto)


With the Elvis Presley motif on the wall, it’s clear where the inspiration for Lisa Marie’s name came from. As Kitchen Project notes, the King enjoyed Southern stick-to-your-rib food, exactly what the restaurant serves. But, where Elvis didn’t like strange foreign sounding ingredients, Lisa Marie uses things like kimchi or queso fresco, extremely popular ingredients in their own native lands, to jazz up the King’s favourites.

As part of the Summerlicious menu ($28 for dinner, regular prices listed in post below), kimchi was used in the Alabama tailgaters ($11) and Seoul fried chicken ($19); both meaty dishes filled with flavours. The tailgaters have nothing in common with the steak of the swamps, rather is sliced beef and aged cheddar, rolled up and wrapped in bacon. They’re salty and tender, not as heavy as I expected. Although the kimchi became lost, there was a light chili garlic sauce on the green beans, which helped to cut through the grease.


A pile of cabbage kimchi sat beside the Seoul fried chicken. If it’s too spicy, the sweet red sauce covering the dish helps calm the sting. The bone-in pieces of chicken were juicy and the breading substantial enough to withstand the thick glaze so it retained its crispiness.


Soft creamy queso fresco made its way inside the flautas ($9), combined with white cheddar cheese for the stringiness. The tortillas cylinders were crispy to contrast against the molten cheese, it was a nice starter topped with crema and a refreshing roasted tomatillo sauce.


Lisa Marie’s carne asada ($19) incorporated tons of char on the pichana steak, yet remained a moist medium inside. The smoky meat was complimented by creamy guacamole, heirloom cherry tomato salsa and of course the soft crumbled queso fresco. Of all the dishes we had that evening, it was actually the lightest, even incorporating grilled shishito peppers for a further portion of vegetables.


I can’t leave Lisa Marie without having some pad thai fries ($5) - fries tossed in a very spicy pad thai sauce with crunchy raw bean sprouts to cool the zing. They’re normally fantastic, but were lukewarm that evening so a tad less impressive.


Elvis must really have a SWEET tooth, as all the desserts were fairly sugary. After one spoonful, I couldn’t have more. The Elvis ($7) is like a Southern trifle, boozy zambaglione dotted with bananas and French toast. Of the three being offered, it was the tastiest to me.


The small skillet was really cute for the s’mores, but its heat did little to melt the milk chocolate chips on the bottom. Mixed with Nutella and topped with toasted marshmallows, I assure you it’s as sweet as it sounds. The graham crackers were closer to a hard shortbread, so all together the dish really didn’t remind me of s’mores at all.


You certainly need a cup of milk after having a bite of the homemade Oreo: a crunchy chocolate cookie filled with the sweet cream that’s synonymous with the famed cookie.


Although the desserts weren’t for me, all the savoury dishes from Lisa Marie’s Summerlicious dishes were absolutely delicious. Everything was full of flavour and certainly stick-to-your-ribs - you’re not leaving hungry… the King would approve.

Overall mark - 8 out of 10
Is Summerlicious worth it (based on my meal selection)?
Summerlicious - $28
Regular menu - $37 - Alabama tailgaters ($11), fried chicken ($19) and dessert ($7)
Savings - $9 or 24%
How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 638 Queen Street West

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!


Is That It? I Want More!

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