Friday, 28 March 2014

Lisa Marie

I've been meaning to try Lisa Marie after I tried Fidel Gastro's tacos 
Lisa Marie

Mmm bar snacks...
Lisa Marie Menu

Eggplant Meatballs
Eggplant Meatballs
The meatballs were actually really well done. I loved the crunchy texture of the deep fried eggplant and goat cheese balls with the viscous jalapeno mint jelly.

Pad Thai fries
Pad Thai Fries
I didn't really get the Pad Thai feel from the plate of crispy fries (except maybe the lime and a little seasoning).

Creole Poutine
Creole Poutine: Tempura fried sweet potatoes with Louisiana Trinity Sauce topped with whole prawns, parmigiano cheese and brown butter.
Definitely a different take on poutine: it had the basic requirements of potato, cheese and sauce (?) - but it wasn't fries, cheese curds or gravy. I can't say I particularly enjoyed it, but the fried sweet potatoes were interesting and the tomato paste was nice.

Philly Cheesesteak Tostada
This tostada with the grilled sirloin, onions and cheese was amazing! So delicious! It was a little hard to share, but we managed...the crispy tostada shell + the piled on toppings were great!

Bulgolgi Ravioli
Bulgolgi Ravioli
The fried ravioli with the bulgoli beef inside was kind of interesting, but it wasn't really a favourite around the table.

Snow crab pogo
Snow Crab Corn Dogs
Really different and cool! The chili ketchup was pretty neat too!

Turkey Wings
Two Turkey Wings
Honey garlic wing on the top and pretzel covered mustard wing on the bottom. An curious combination of flavours that actually worked out okay. They were massive turkey wings - I didn't anticipate this! (obviously I forgot how big turkeys can get.)

Moroccan Short rib
Moroccan Short Rib
Tender fall-off-the-bone meat..mmm

Korean burger
Korean Fritas
A burger in a fried bun (?) with kimchi pickles and garlic yogurt. I actually thought it was supposed to be a burger, but it was more of a doughy wrap around an oblong chunk of burger with a slight Korean flair.

Deep fried pizza
Deep Fried Pizza - Smoked Duck
It reminded me of Peking Duck on a crispy pancake rather than a pizza.

Overall: An interesting experience - a lot of fusion food and crazy combinations of cultures and flavours. I thought it was hit and miss with the plates, but it was a lot of fun trying everything! It can definitely add up to a pricey meal with the small dishes. Also, it can get pretty loud inside with the music and the food took a while to come out.

Lisa Marie on Urbanspoon

Friday, 21 March 2014

Table 17

I rarely make my way to Riverdale/Leslieville for dinner; but I've heard that there are a lot of trendy and interesting restaurants in the neighbourhood.
Table 17

Table 17 Menu  Olive oil and bread
The menu and some bread with olive oil
Oh man, that is some crazy good olive oil...YUM!
Hot balls
Hot Balls
Top down: (1) Arancino - mushroom & Fontina stuffed risotto and a mint sauce, (2) Goat cheese – with wildflower honey, (3) Arancino - spiced lamb stuffed risotto with marinara sauce
I thought these resemble the suppli we had in Rome, but they weren't. They're definitely arancini though with a crispy fried outer shell and warm risotto inside. However, I wasn't blown away by the flavours of the balls (there wasn't enough lamb, the goat cheese was way too pungent and the mushroom and fontina was a little bland), but I liked the pairings with the sauces.

Thai Braised Pork Belly
Thai Braised Yorkshire Pork Belly
The pork belly was okay, maybe not as tender as I would have liked, but I definitely think the Thai aspect of the dish missed the mark. I love lemongrass, but I was disappointed that it was more of an afterthought/supplementary flavour rather than a real Thai style pork belly dish.

Pacific Cod
Pacific Cod
An interesting dish - the crispy and flaky cod was placed on top of a bed of braised white beans and kale with some chorizo thrown into the mix. The fish was nice, but the whole dish wasn't anything particularly special. I noticed that both dishes had a lot of sauce, but the main protein was almost separate from the sauce (and so it didn't really absorb the flavours). It really was like having a dish and then a side rather than an integrated plate.

Dark Chocolate and Olive Oil Tartlette
Dark Chocolate and Olive Oil Tartlette
OMG! This was amazing! If there's one thing I'll come back to Table 17 for - it's anything that they make with their olive oil! The tart was so delicious with thick rich dark chocolate inside a crumbly tart shell and the fantastic sauce on the side! Yum!
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Sticky Toffee Pudding
The pudding was mushy rather than sticky. It was okay, but definitely nowhere near as great as the tartlette.

Overall: The restaurant was nice, service was prompt and the olive oil was addictive. If you have the chance to come here - definitely order the items with olive oil! It's amazing what a quality olive oil can do.

Table 17 on Urbanspoon

The Rebel House

I was meeting up with a friend for lunch in the Rosedale area and I wanted somewhere with good food and healthy options. Luckily, I did some research and found The Rebel House.

Smoked salmon pasta
Daily pasta was a penne tossed with Atlantic Smoked Salmon, Rapini, Red Onion, Zucchini and Asparagus in a Creamy Basil Sauce $14.95
This dish was all kinds of awesome! I loved that there was so much salmon and smoked salmon. They definitely didn't skimp on the fish and everything was tossed with their delicious sauce. Yummy! 

Grilled Chicken Salad 
Daily salad was Grilled Chicken, Green Beans, Red Onion, Tomato, Cucumber and Aged Cheddar on Baby Spinach with Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette $13.95
What a huge salad and there was so much chicken! It's such a nice change from those downtown salad restaurants where they grill one chicken breast and charge you an extra $5 for it. The vinaigrette was lovely and the salad ingredients were all fresh and appetizing. It was quite a filling salad.

Overall: Great meal at the Rebel House! The service was fast, the food was good and the prices were reasonable. I like that the menu changes quite a bit, it definitely keeps things interesting.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Macaron Day in Toronto

This year was the first time I actually got to participate in Macaron Day! I think Toronto's Macaron Day started two years ago (that or I only started noticing it two years ago). Unfortunately, I was always either out of town or nowhere near any of the patisserie locations. 
So I tried to make up for it by hitting up two different places: 

Petite Thuet
Petit Thuet Chocolate Caramel and Lemon 
Right: Chocolate Caramel macaron and Lemon macaron
Petite Thuet had a sign at the front of the store indicating that the macaron proceeds were to going to the Red Door Family Shelter, which I thought was a nice way to raise awareness of the cause that Macaron Day was supporting. However, they also put a note saying that there is a $2 donation for each macaron (so instead of free macarons, you have to pay).  I guess you save 50 cents since each macaron is usually $2.50 *sarcastic yay*.

First up: Lemon macaron
The lemon macaron was really pretty covered in yellow sugar crystals and it was nice, soft and quite sizable. However, it was a little mushy inside because of the lemon curd. Still, it was a decent macaron.

Next: Chocolate caramel 
It was awful! Not only was it super hard to bite into (like rock solid day-old meringue), but the caramel was super sweet. I can't believe I paid $2 for this! I was pretty upset.
Chocolate Caramel
(please excuse the bite marks...I couldn't get a picture of how hard it was to cut/bite into this thing otherwise)

Yay! A free raspberry macaron. I'm getting into Macaron Day now...

It looks nice enough at first glance, then when I bit into it, I was a little disturbed by the neon pink inside. The top of the feet were crumbly, but it was soft inside. The buttercream was sweet, but not particularly flavourful. 

As a size comparison: 
Trust me, the angle wasn't bad. The Petite Thuet macarons were pretty big.

I guess the search for decent macarons in Toronto continues...


Friday, 14 March 2014

Dobri Jesti Food Truck

A schnitzel food truck! I love schnitzel, so when the truck was in town - I made sure to stop by:
Dobro Jesti Food Truck

Schnitzel sandwich
Schnitzel Dilla with arugula, lettuce and garlic dill aioli sandwiched between two big slices of Bavarian rye bread $10
Schnitzel sandwich
A little more up close and personal with my schnitzel sandwich...
Schnitzel sandwich
I really loved the garlic dill aioli sauce! The schnitzel was a little dry without the aioli and it made the sandwich much tastier. The lettuce and arugula were fresh, but I don't think they added anything interesting to the sandwich. I did love the bread though - it was so good! 

Overall: A good food truck and the portions are quite big (you get one gigantic piece of schnitzel cut into two for the sandwich). However, I still prefer Schnitzel Queen.