The divas have never met a raw meal they didn’t like (or try to like) and Lustucru did not disappoint, especially when ordering the entire raw menu is a possibility!Located on Park Ave, just after the Rialto theatre and Milos, Lustucru is a long, narrow restaurant with a small terrace that juts onto the street. And though you can’t make a reservation for the terrace seating, you definitely feel like you’re outside if you’re lucky enough to get a table near the front where the entire wall is open and facing the street. The wine cellar-like room in the mezzanine is surrounded by glass, near the open concept kitchen.
Our night started with Diva #1 indulging in a favourite, oysters. A plate of 6 was only $13 and they tasted very fresh and delicious. And at the request of Zeus, we ordered the Calamari and Chorizo appetizer. It’s worth ordering. The corn sauce was creamy and it went well with the grilled calamari that was not chewy as grilled calamari often gets. And the chorizo didn’t overtake the other flavours.
While the main dishes listed on the chalkboard menu looked good enough to warrant another trip, we opted for an ultimate indulgence (and one of our favourite foods) and took the Tartare Tasting menu at $110, which included every tartare on their menu (10 to be exact). If you’re not so inclined, you can definitely order individual portions of the tartares.
Our favourite of all the tartares was the smoked Albacore tuna, It was served with strawberries and basil and was simply an amazing combination and a definite winner. Zeus tried to order a few pounds of it to bring home to his wife, Hera.
“Carpaccio de thon Albacore fumé aux fraises et au basilic” 13$
The salmon tartare was made with coriander with pureed avocado and wasabi , and served with shrimp chips. This was great and even though the majority of salmon tartares come with avocado, this one was fresh and the shrimp chips were a unique addition.
“Tartare de saumon à la coriandre et à la salicorne, purée d’avocat au wasabi, gelée de soya et chips de crevettes” 10$
Beef tartare is another French classic but this one didn’t impress us, especially with the sundried tomato mayo.
“Tartare de bœuf, mayo aux tomates séchées, pomme paille et câpron” 9$
The lamb tartare was original and flavourful, the lentil and mint salad was dominant so if you’re not a lentil fan you may want to skip this.
“Tartare d’agneau aux poivrons rôtis, cornichons et aneth, salade de lentilles à la menthe et au cari” 10$
The horse tartare was done in a tataki style, slightly seared on the outside and blood red in the middle. The pieces were large and the mangoes complimented the meat well. We would definitely order this again!
“Tataki de filet de cheval aux épices, rémoulade et salsa de mangues, réduction de vinaigre balsamique” 10$
The duck was surprisingly paired with roasted hazelnuts which added a new flavour than what we are used to eating, making it almost sweet and the figs were a nice extra.
“Tartare de magret de canard aux noisettes rôties, figue et moutarde aux raisins de Corinthes, salade de pdt rattes” 12$
One of our favourites was the beef carpaccio which was paired with mushrooms which added a lot of flavour and a bit of a crunch.
“Carpaccio de filet de boeuf, mayo aux morilles, échalotes frites, salade de champignons boutons marinés, pesto et copeaux de parmesan” 12$
The veal was served with a fried tempura which made it hard to taste anything beyond the “fried” taste. The cucumber salad on the side was light and refreshing and the best part about the tartare.
“Vitello Tonato, filet de veau en croute d’épices, pavé de thon frit au panko, sauce à l’aneth, câpres frits et salade de concombres” 15$
Like the veal, the trout gravlax was overshadowed by the fennel salad that accompanied it. And while there was a nice smokey taste to it, It tasted more like smoked salmon and no other ingredients stood out.
“Gravlax de truite à l’huile de sésame rôti, salade de fenouil, coulis de mangues au gingembre et vinaigre de riz, caviar de lompe” 10$
The fluke tartare was delicious and worth ordering on its own. It was presented with a crispy risotto which served as the bed for the tartare.
“Tartare de cardeau au caviar, concombre et mayo au sambal oelek, avocat et galette de risotto frite” 14$
And there’s always room for dessert in the Food Divas’ world, first up was the goat cheese cheesecake served with beet sorbet. Not something you see on a menu every day so we had to have it. It was served in a martini glass and the goat cheese really came through unlike other cheesecakes made with goat cheese where you can hardly tell the difference. And the sorbet was unique and tasty.
Dessert number 2 was a chocolate cake with caramel ice cream. Nothing stood out aside from the fact that it wasn’t too heavy but it’s similar to other French restaurants in the city.
And there is never 2 without three so our last dessert was the very best, a maple-based cake with flambéed strawberries, black pepper and vanilla ice cream. This dessert was amazing and just melted in your mouth. A must!!
All in all, the divas were thoroughly satisfied and while another trip is already in the works, it’s important to note that their menu varies according to the season which is written in a disclaimer on the website *sigh* we are hungry just writing about this.
Our Rating: Splendid