Lela Restaurant has rolled out new lunch and dinner menus, created by new executive chef Thomas Orbison.
Chef Orbison discovered his passion and talent for cooking following his career in the United States Air Force. “After six years in the military, I developed a passion for cooking and moved to Paris to study at Le Cordon Bleu, which is like Harvard for chefs,” said Orbison.
Now that he’s back in Minnesota for the first time since 2004, Orbison is excited to launch some new entrees in the southwest metro.
“I really want to continue the success that Lela already has, utilizing my background," said chef Orbison. “We have an amazing team at the restaurant and I’ve been lucky enough to cook side by side with them. I am so excited that my team and I launched the first menu we’ve been working on.”
Orbison and his team’s menus will stay true to Lela’s focus on steak, crudo, and pasta, expanding on Lela’s established roster of customer favorites and culinary themes.
“We are delighted to introduce chef Orbison’s new creations to our Lela guests with these new lunch and dinner menus,” notes Jim Callaghan, vice president of operations, Wischermann Partners and Lela manager. “Chef Orbison brings a wide range of experiences to Lela, and we know our guests will enjoy his talent with flavors and his knack for creating instant favorites.”
Pesto Campenelle and zucchini Romanesco pastas, a prime rib French dip sandwich, cedar plank salmon, oven roasted chicken, pan seared barramundi and a seared chicken BLT all join Lela’s new lunch lineup.
Lela’s new dinner menu features a number of the same items as the lunch menu, including the halibut sashimi crudo, the chopped salad and fire grilled shrimp salads.
Eight large plates were also added to the dinner menu, including smoked tomato mussels, rosemary mint lamb chop, herb roasted duck breast and a coriander and chili crusted pork chop.
Chef Orbison loves that every day, so far, is full of new menu ideas. “I make Omakase dinners, which promote new ideas and allow me to be creative," said Orbison.
“Working with people from all different backgrounds allows me to expand my culinary knowledge day in and out!”
Orbison brings 16 years of culinary experience and a Grand Diploma from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France, to his position as the executive chef for Lela Restaurant.
“The great thing about doing culinary work this long is that, regardless of the position you hold, you are constantly learning from your peers," reflected Orbison. “I’ve had the opportunity to work with amazing chefs in cities like Miami, Paris, and Dallas so I am super excited to bring what I’ve learned up to Minnesota.”
Lela features 206 seats in the dining room, bar, an open kitchen concept and private dining areas, with additional patio seating outdoors.