Meet the owner

Matt Basile’s love for food started in the kitchen of his Italian grandparents helping them jar tomatoes and make pasta from scratch. And while the foodie in him was well established at a young age, he chose to follow in his father’s footsteps and work in advertising. But it didn’t take long for him to realize where his real desires lay.

“I wasn’t inspired by my work,” he says. “I sat down and looked at my long-term goals and being my own boss was at the top of those goals,” says the founder of the food company Fidel Gastro's and co-owner of the restaurant Lisa Marie. “I also wanted to add an element of food to my career.”

Matt worked diligently for a year developing a business plan for Fidel Gastro's that was “very in depth,” he says. But the universe had other ideas — financing was a problem. “I have the world’s record for the fastest bank loan rejection,” he laughs. “I had no assets, no collateral, no experience; that was tough. They were purely looking at numbers. It was hard to hear, but it was a blessing. I changed my approach — it was my ‘Ah-Ha!’ moment.”

Read the story of Lisa Marie

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Appears in 8 Smart Lists

Editor’s Pick
Top 10 tried and true Winterlicious restaurants in Toronto

Top 10 tried and true Winterlicious restaurants in Toronto

Lisa Marie is known for its attention to a variety of flavours, whether you’re a fan of the burgers or the smoked Montreal sandwiches, this prix-fixe menu is always diverse and delicious! Lisa Marie has always delivered, offering fab eats for an amazing price during Winterlicious.

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Winterlicious 2017: $28 dinners

Winterlicious 2017: $28 dinners

Lisa Marie is the brick and mortar restaurant for the Fidel Gastro’s food truck located in the heart of the Fashion District. With a vibrant energy and a constantly evolving menu, this restaurant fully embodies its West Queen West roots and its street food heart and soul. On the menu are Alabama tailgaters (bacon-wrapped shaved beef tenderloin stuffed with cheddar and kimchi); house smoked ribs with vinegar slaw and cornbread; and handheld apple pie with bourbon caramel sauce.

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