A Restaurant That Doesn’t Accept Cash And Is Only Open One Day A Week?
What if I told you that there was a restaurant where you could dine one on one with the chefs, and better yet all you had to do was bring the wine? Well last night my roommate and I came home, ravenously hungry, and decided to make ourselves a gourmet italian meal. A delicious primavera pasta was the result. By the end of the meal we were both immensely satisfied and there was still enough food left over for one more portion.
The birth of Chez Lisgar.
You see, at least once a week, my roommate and I cook a gourmet meal for ourselves, but there is always an extra portion left over- so who gets it in the end?
Me: What if we invited someone new over every week for dinner? We can ask them to bring the wine and beer to cover our costs, and get to know a different person in the city each time?
Sarah: So down! Let’s post it on Facebook.
So that evening we decided to post our idea on a local Facebook trading zone. The message was simple:
“DEAR LONELY PEOPLE!
My roommate, and I like to make really delicious gourmet dinners once a week (I cook them she preps and video tapes the process). We want to extend an invitation once a week to a new fellow individual who would like to enjoy a gourmet meal but can’t afford/get a reservation at some of the trendier places in Toronto. Instead bring us some beer and wine and we will dine you fancy restaurant style in our humble abode!
**all food made by yours truly**
*let us know dietary restrictions*”
I uploaded a few photos of past creations and then published the post. Within minutes people were liking and commenting on the thread and I was getting tons of messages from excited group members.
In less than 24 hours we were fully booked until the end of April, with an extensive waiting list to boot. Is this the start of a new style of pop-up restaurant?
It’s not charity, it’s just dinner.
As we began organizing our schedule and emailing people to notify them that they were lucky enough to get one of the very exclusive time-slots, the excitement escalated!
Many people commented about how “generous” we were to accept people into our home, but we didn’t see it as an act of kindness or charity. We legitimately just thought that by inviting someone over, we would get free wine and beer to consume along with our meal. Besides getting a table at a nice restaurant in Toronto is almost impossible as it is, and some meals can cost an arm and a leg!
We wanted to create an intimate experience where conversation was encouraged, and where people could try new meals that they might not usually get an opportunity to experience.
What’s on the menu at Chez Lisgar?
For every reservation that is confirmed, the guest is emailed a specific description of the meal they will be receiving. There is one option and no substitutions are allowed. Every week there will be a different dish, and no two meals will be repeated (after all, Sarah and I don’t want to be eating the same food every weekend).
So far the following dishes have been planned to appear at Chez Lisgar, but nothing has been completely confirmed as of yet:
Portobello Mushroom Fries
Slivered portabello mushrooms, battered and fried. Served with salty cheesy dip.
A layered vegetarian lasagna with refried black beans, cheese, salsa and topped with sour cream and green onions.
Bourbon-maple pulled chicken
Slow cooked chicken breast in a bourbon-maple barbeque sauce, topped on a brioche bun.
Guacamole stuffed onion rings
Onion rings filled with guacamole, battered and fried.
Garlic cheesy pull-apart bread to start
Exactly what it sounds like.
Oven risotto with kale pesto
Parmesan, basil and kale pesto risotto, topped with a poached egg.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Apple Walnut Salad
Oven-roasted brussel sprouts in a balsamic dijon dressing tossed with gala apples, black walnuts and fresh herbs.
Shrimp, fresh herb and feta mac and cheese
A six cheese gourmet mac and cheese with crusted shrimp, fresh market herbs and topped with feta cheese. Sinfully delicious.
French Onion Soup Stuffed Mushrooms
Button mushroom cups filled with homemade onion soup, topped with cheddar and baked till perfection.
Baked Salmon with Browned Butter Sauce
Dry-rubbed pacific salmon, baked and topped with a browned butter and shallot sauce.
Watermelon, basil and feta salad with cayenne balsamic reduction to start
Layered slices of watermelon and feta, topped with fresh basil. Finished with a mango cayenne balsamic reduction.
Panko crusted turkey meatballs, stuffed with goat cheese on a bed of JD Honey tomato chutney
Slow cooked Jack Daniel’s Honey tomato chutney, topped with a turkey meatball stuffed with goat cheese- panko and parmesan crusted. Fried and baked.
1/2 Orange Bourbon Glazed Cornish Hen
A half cornish hen with a bourbon orange reduction. Cooked in butter.
Beer and cheddar potatoes with garlic and brown butter rapini
Roasted potatoes, fried in a beer and cheddar batter. Accompanied by garlic and browned butter rapini.
Pear and Fennel Salad
Market pear and fennel salad with a citrus dressing.
Guinness Braised Lamb Tacos
Slow cooked Guinness and espresso braised lamb shanks- tzatziki and cucumber cumin yogurt, in a soft taco shell.
As the dinners continue, we will be adding more specific blog posts about the food with pictures. In addition we will be recounting the experiences we have with our new friends, so stay tuned.
How can you get a slot at Chez Lisgar?
In April, we will be releasing a new set of dates for dining opportunities. At most we will invite two people to dinner at a time, due to the size of our place. All spots are filled on a first come first basis, and after that individuals get added to a waiting list.
If you want to get in on the #ChezLisgar action, you can request and invite here.