With the warmer weather finally here, it’s time to enjoy a cold brew and tapas! Estrella Damm beer, whose genesis began in the warm Mediterranean, is hosting the Estrella Damm Culinary Journey at more than 25 restaurants in Toronto from May 1-31, 2023. These restaurants have created dishes to be enjoyed with Estrella Damm beer. I was invited to sample the pairing of Estrella Damm beer with a specially custom-made dish – the Carne Apache Tostada (beef tartare with oyster aioli and green olives on a crispy tortilla) at Lena Restaurante.
Lena Restaurante, an Argentinian-themed restaurant with Spanish and Italian influences, has created the Carne Apache Tostada – a beef tartare on a crispy tostada. The tostada and beer pairing is $25. Estrella Damm beer is light and refreshing – perfect for Toronto’s hot summers – and light enough to complement the heavier beef tostada.
We also enjoyed the following regular items on Lena Restaurante’s menu:
Susana’s Gaucho Empanadas – These are the best beef empanadas I have ever had! These tasty pockets were stuffed with spicy beef, egg, olives and served with chiminasty sauce (chimichurr sauce combined with Chef Anthony Walsh’s nasty sauce). The shell was satisfyingly crispy.
Shishito Peppers – Grilled, dusted with ground chili and grana padano, these peppers slowly charmed me. I ended up enjoying them much more than I thought I would. Our server advised us that shishitos are generally a mild-tasting pepper, but you’ll run across a hot one approximately every 6 or 7 peppers you have. Well, I found the hot one and my mouth was on fire for a minute or two lol.
P.E.I. Mussels – Served with capers, Taggiascu, olives and garlic, these mussels were fresh and delicious.
Yuca fries – Actually, we substituted the Yuca fries for regular fries. These were some crispy, delicious frites!
Seafood Caldoso – Grilled shrimp with escargot, runner beans and cilantro. Juicy, plump shrimp (I counted at least six) were sauteed along with escargot in a tomato-garlic sauce and served over rice. I devoured the seafood but could not finish the rice, as tasty as it was.
Have a look at my Instagram reel of my dining experience at Lena Restaurante:
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If you’ve never been to Lena Restaurante before, you’ll be pleased by the gorgeous decor and abundance of light from the expansive windows looking on to Yonge and Richmond Streets. Turquoise leather seating, patterned linoleum floor tiles and globe-shaped light fixtures create a distinctive South American 1930s feel. As you enter, look up on your right to admire a wall of various-sized framed paintings that immediately transport you to Argentina.
You have a few more weeks to enjoy the Estrella Damm culinary experience. Let me know if you visit Lena Restaurante!
Lena Restaurante, 176 Yonge Street, Toronto, 416-507-3378
You may be interested in reading “Dasha Restaurant: Fine Pan Asian Cuisine on King West: REVIEW“.