Hamilton’s restaurant scene is booming and expanding so quickly, I can barely keep up. Well, actually, I can’t keep up. Lake Road is one of the newest additions to the popular James Street North nieghbourhood. Owners Chef Dan Megna and Laurie Lilliman, of Twisted Lemon have graced Hamilton with their “refine dining” concept. From Twisted Lemon‘s website, “The driving force behind Twisted Lemon is that, ‘fine dining is great food and great service, and is an experience that all should enjoy’.” This is what you’ll find at Lake Road too!
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The restaurant is in the same area as Knead, Saltlick, Jack & Lois, and many awesome local stores. The facade is simple and modern with grey stucco and a large window letting natural light pour in. The interiors create an intimate and sophisticated atmosphere with industrial accents. Hardwood floors, brick walls, sectioned-spaces, high ceilings, and moody lighting create a homey atmosphere. A spectacular bar with bottles of liquor lining the wall as a backdrop greets you as you first step into the space. There are two dining areas: one occupies the front of the restaurant while the other sits in the middle accompanied by a beautiful pizza bar. That’s not all, downstairs, you’ll find their second bar. Dark walls and furniture transforms the space into a Speakeasy.
The Grand Opening Gala happened on Saturday, November 21st, 2015. The event was booming with live music and a surge of energy was flowing everywhere. Wooden boards and tables of food were set-up for everyone to snack-on while waiters went around with bite-sized portions of unique snacks. I obviously started my night with the cured meats and cheese board! The spread consisted of cheese, crackers, breads, spreads, chutneys, and slices of fatty, delicious, salty, ribbons of cured meat. We made our way to the vegetable and baked bread board, then lastly to the adorable dessert table.
The food just kept coming, endless trays of nibbles, freshly baked pizzas flying out of the oven, and the star of the night was a massive 12 foot wooden board with piles of meats, vegetables, and dips. Two smaller boards were also assembled and placed throughout the restaurant. When the time came to construct this beast, Chef Dan gathered all the foodies so we could have front-row seats of all the action! The chefs executed it precisely, quickly, and everything came together within minutes. It was all a blur as they swiftly transferred food from the pans to the board. The crowd’s “Oooos” and “Ahhhs”, the exciting chatter, the camera flashes, and shutter clicks filled the room and added to the show. This was probably the biggest adrenaline rush I’ve ever experienced in a restaurant. Each board was loaded with crab legs, shrimp, veal chops, mixtures of vegetables, AND a roasted pig’s head with an apple in its mouth.
Even after sampling from this board, more food kept coming out of the kitchen! The waiters were still walking around with little snacks and hors d’oeuvres. The event went well into the night but our tummies were too full to continue on. Overall, I was impressed and the whole experience was memorable!
Another aspect of this successful night were the staff, they were amazing. They’re your friends; down-to-earth and caring. They work as a team to bring you exceptional food, drinks, and a memorable time. Congratulations to the whole team on breaking into the Hamilton food scene with a bang. I can’t wait to come back for a proper meal and be completely spoiled. These guys know what they’re doing.
Thank you, Lake Road, for the invitation to your Grand Opening Gala.