Fidel Gastro’s Lisa Marie Restaurant in Toronto

Fidel Gastro’s is entering a new chapter and it seems to me as though their book is being written rather quickly. Just a year ago I met the FG team for the first time at the launch of the Culinary Adventure Company’s new 2012 programming at The Drake Hotel. I gorged on their famous sandwiches which I knew I wouldn’t soon forget. They have created quite a following, which was hard not to spot during my first visit to the Toronto Underground Market as huge lines featuring lip smacked hungry diners snaked through The Brickworks.

So, first came Elvis, the pop-up. Then Priscilla, the food truck. And now, FG open their first brick and mortar restaurant. Seems they are ready to rock and roll! I was invited to the soft opening of Lisa Marie to sample a few cocktails and their chicchetti street food centric menu. I arrived with my good friend Jonathan Nathaniel and couldn’t help but realize my old favourite The Prague had now been transformed into an ode to Elvis. 

The dinning room is spacious featuring a garage door overlooking the street, they practically have a patio! In the centre of the space a long bar stretches toward the market out back where they sell mason jars filled with homemade preserves, soups and take home treats.

Over the course of the next two hours I sampled through practically the entire menu while sipping on three of their signature cocktails. Die hard fans of Fidel Gastros will be delighted to see the brands classic east meets west fusion inspirations with a focus on deep fried Italian street grub. Highlights included deep fried pizza (meatball and duck were both lip smackingly good) and a duo of turkey (leg and wing) featuring hoisen and classic BBQ.

The Feast:

Aperol Spritz

aperol, prosecco, sparkling water, orange wedge, olive

Malocchio Sour

sailor jerry, egg white, limonata

Testra Dura

tromba tequila, aperol, agave water, lime juice


Deep Fried Pizza Duo

smoked duck, duck skin chicharron, hoisin sauce, enoki asparagus slaw

saucy meatball, lemon arugula, tomato braised white beans

Mozzarella and Marrow Sangweech

buffalo mozzarella, roasted bone marrow, focaccia bread, lemon

Short Rib Polenta Patty

beer braised short rib, smoked tomato and parmesan charred polenta cake, fried basil leaf

Pork Belly Cheese Thang

smoked pork belly, cilantro cherry tomato salsa, havarti cheese crisp, chili basil aioli

Deep Fried Cheese Burger

ground beef stuffed with aged cheddar, house made pickle, quail egg

Tuna Puttanesca Roll

ahi tuna, bean sprouts, red pepper, cabbage, carrot, basil, cilantro, sweet and sour mango sauce

Alabama Tailgaters

smoked bacon wrapped beef carpaccio, cilantro, aged cheddar, kimchi

Turkey Wing Duo

hoisin chili sauce, sesame seeds, green onion

buffalo style with blue cheese aioli, shaved pickled carrots and celery

Deli Style Surf n’ Turf

house smoked pastrami, cured sardine, latke, pickled veg, sour cream

Smoke Board

beef tongue, lamb neck, salmon, chicken breast, cornish hen, pickled veg

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