Well, it looks like our warm days are numbered in Toronto.
As the autumn chill hits the air and the real estate market ramps up for the season, the urbaneer team is embracing the pace, though we still need our sustenance! Recently, as we strolled through one of our favourite neighbourhoods - Queen West - searching for dinner and a cocktail, we couldn’t help notice the wafting scent of delicious food rolling out the open garage doors of Lisa Marie. Lured by the sound of great music, we took a quick peek inside. And after one look into the chic, industrial space, we were sold!
Lisa Marie is restaurant/bar/market run by the folks behind the oh-so-popular and mouth-watering Fidel Gastro’s food truck. Named after the daughter of Elvis, the decor is industrial yet warm with a running theme of "The King" himself. The dining menu is divided into two categories: cichetti and larger share plates. A bold graphic above the bar provides a dictionary definition of cichetti for the uninitiated, “Cichetti (chi’ket.te) n. Kind of like tapas…but not”. The cichetti are smaller portions designed to encourage you to enjoy a few perfect bites and move on to further explore the impressive menu. The share plates are significantly larger and designed to feed you and more than a few of your near and dearest.
Don't be afraid to ask the staff if you need help negotiating the concept. Everyone we spoke with was warm and knowledgeable with great suggestions for our group. The cocktail list is just as impressive as the food menu. Slightly overwhelmed by choice (everything sounded so good!), we appreciated our server’s suggestion of starting with an Aperol Spritz. It's light crispness provided the perfect contrast for our savory dinner.
It was the shared plate of Pad Thai Fries that had us fighting for the last bite. Queen West Cool Kid Tip #1: the Pad Thai Fries are currently not featured on the posted menu. Regular customers simply know to ask for this perennial favourite. I was a bit nervous before we ordered it, for I dream about Pad Thai and saying no to French fries is against my religion (lapsed food-ist). As much as I loved the insider-ness of ordering something excluded on the menu, I was bracing myself for a bit of disappointment. But my concerns were completely unnecessary. The Pad Thai Fries take the best elements of both items and somehow makes them better. All at once they’re salty, spicy, crunchy, fresh, a bit sweet and, above all, massively addictive! Thank goodness the portion was huge, cuz if it wasn't someone in our group ran the risk of getting stabbed by my fork!
In the back of the hip space, a well curated mini-market sells your favourite menu items, homemade sauces, and artisanal meats to-go. In short, the cocktails are craft-y, the food is served share plate style, and the bulbs are Edison – making Lisa Marie is quintessential Queen West!
If you're hungry (or thirsty!) in Queen West then Lisa Marie is a must-stop!
Lisa Marie 638 Queen St W (between Palmerston and Markham).
- the urbaneer team
Like what you've read? If Toronto real estate is on your radar, here's our Neighbourhood Pages, including this one on Queen West and West Queen West with flavour video, census data, area amenities and several unique urban homes!