Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cuda's Tap & Grill

My family and I had a great long weekend.  Good old Family Day weekend.  On top of that it is my birthday today, so we celebrated all weekend long.  No cooking for me, thank you very much.  We did visit a few fantastic restaurants though, which of course I will tell you all about.

Cuda's Tap & Grill is located at 1107 Lorne Park Road in Mississauga. It's quite the hidden gem!

Legend has it, that there was a posh little restaurant down the street from this place called Barracuda's.  Two of the chefs left and opened Cuda's.  Barracuda's closed down, and Cuda's got busier.  Clearly, these chefs were the reason that the original Barracuda's had any business at all.  After trying the food, you'll agree, I'm sure.

When you first walk in to Cuda's, your taken back a little.  It's a tiny (I mean tiny) little sports bar-looking place.  It has 6 sit down tables, 2 bar stool tables, and a few chairs around the old wooden bar.  There are 5 big screen tv's at every angle, so it's a great place to watch some sports, although the volume isn't loud so it isn't overbearing at all. 

This place is so small, and so old looking, that it's hard not to pass judgment.  But wait.  Don't judge.  Because if you can get past the initial reaction, you will be greeted by a lovely young woman who is eager to please. 

A couple of things are clear from the get-go.  The people working there are probably family; and they definitely take pride in their food and service.  You are made to feel welcome from the moment you arrive.  They are also very professional, and act as if you are at a 5 star restaurant rather than a bar.  I can understand why after eating there - you are getting 5 star food, I promise you.

We sat down at one of the tables, and the same young lady who greeted us came over to tell us about their specials.  We're talking swordfish, black tiger shrimp, lamb tenderloin...a large list of mouthwatering meals that I couldn't wait to try.  She also mentioned their selection of fresh seafood that we could swap with pretty much anything.  She was very accommodating and wanted to make sure that we would be ordering something we enjoyed.

I started with a goat cheese salad.  This thing was fantastic.  It had cucumber, roasted red peppers, red onions, grilled zucchini, asparagus, and a variety of other wonderful vegetables on a bed of lettuce, and topped off with a large brick of warm, fresh goat cheese, and balsamic dressing.  Check out the picture below.


Cuda's Goat Cheese Salad
I was so utterly impressed with this salad that I couldn't wait to try the entrees.  For my dinner, I had ordered their smoked chicken and black tiger shrimp pasta special.  It was a bow tie pasta with sun dried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, a creamy sauce, huge shrimp and large chunks of smoked chicken.  It was amazing.  The picture is below.


Cuda's Smoked Chicken Pasta
My boyfriend ordered the curried lamb tenderloin special.  This came with basmati rice, grilled vegetables, scalloped potatoes (the most divine scalloped potatoes I have ever tasted) and tender lamb in a curry sauce like no other.  They are well known for their curry, and I now understand why.  Again, the picture is below.


Cuda's Lamb Tenderloin Special
The kids played it safe and ordered chicken ceaser wraps with fresh cut fries.  There was so much chicken in these babies, and the fries were incredible. They are definitely good on their word, these were clearly fresh cut and made.  Absolutely delicious.


Cuda's Chicken Ceaser Wrap
I saw a lot of mussels leaving the kitchen, these seemed to be popular, and they also had a large selection of pastas, pizzas, beef and lamb dishes, as well as upscale fresh seafood.

I have a feeling that the people of Lorne Park are used to 'upscale dining', and because of the interior look of this place, they haven't given it a chance, although it was quite busy while we were there, so they definitely have their regulars (who by the way were greeted by their first names, very family-like and welcoming). 

This restaurant is a true hidden gem, and I will be writing to the television show "You Got To Eat Here" to let them know about these guys.  I am truly blown away by the quality and taste of their food, and the incredible service we got.  I can't wait to go back again and again, and try everything on the menu.  I should also add that they were so reasonably priced, it was shocking.  Cuda's is a place to bring your whole family to, without breaking the bank.

Definitely take the time to check this place out, you won't be disappointed!!