Mike Roulston is a self taught chef and wine connoisseur who has worked in the restaurant industry since 1989, and always had a goal of opening his own place.
That dream became a reality with Lot 66. Now, 17 years later his restaurant has become a favourite for locals and a staple of the eclectic food scene here in Thunder Bay. Lot 66 is well known for showcasing worldwide fair and local delicacies.
“We do a great dinner service, busy from 5 o’clock on." he says, “Then we have a shift as the night progresses we turn into a chic metropolitan wine and cocktail bar.”
Lot 66 boasts an extensive wine list featuring varieties of Chardonnays, Sauvignon Blanc and Red, Pinot Grigio, Rosé, Sparkling Wines, Champagnes, Merlot, Shiraz, Zinfandel and more. The warm and intimate interior lends itself perfectly to relaxing with a great glass of wine or one of their signature cocktails like the Blueberry Fizz or Apple Cinnamon Sour.
Customers are always coming back for their fresh shucked oysters as they have built a reputation for great seafood. Mike is excited for their meat and steak options that have been expanding too.
“We do rack of lamb, we’re well known for our duck breast, and we’ve recently just got into the Wagyu market," he says.
The steak offerings range from the United States A3 grade, up to prized Australian M9, which is that country's highest quality with 21 per cent intramuscular fat — or marbling. These cuts of meat are sought after for their rich flavour and tender, succulent textures.
“We’re even doing some different Japanese A5 Wagyu including, Hida, Snow, and Kobe,” he says. These cuts are considered the pinnacle of beef, there is no higher grade on earth than Japanese A5, it is the gold standard.
If steak isn’t your taste, don’t worry, Lot 66 has many dishes for a variety of palates.
“We’re well known for our chicken dishes, we do a fantastic parmesan crusted, pan seared chicken breast with lemon butter. We’re also well known for our salads, especially our Caesar salad, everything is made fresh, in house. All the steaks are cut by hand, there’s a lot of passion that goes into the day to day.”
Lot 66 engages with local farms as much as possible too. They work with My Pride Farms for their veal chop. Andrew from Big Lake Pasta designs all of their pasta. Other ingredients are sourced from Agostinos, Maltese, and Gourmet Mushroom farm. “Anything that I can do local, I try to.”
This spring Lot 66 will open their permanent patio, Far Niente. The name is inspired by the Italian noun ‘dolce far niente’ which means, ‘pleasant relaxation in carefree idleness.’ Mike is even growing his own orange, lemon and lime trees to add to the patio's ambiance. “We’ve spent a lot of time on that, I’m really looking forward to getting Far Niente up and rolling for our third patio season.”
Lot 66 has a great website where you can peruse their current menu, make a reservation and get acquainted with their extensive wine selection. They are open Tuesday to Saturday from 5 p.m. until closing. Contact them directly by phone at 807-683-7708.