Thursday, November 28, 2013

Old fashioned Parlour with a New Fashioned Spin

The other night I was invited to go and check out a new Sharing Menu at the Parlour Kitchen-Bar-Lounge.  Parlour's date back to the Speak easy times of the 19th century with a room that was reminiscent of the Parlour or best rooms in one's house.  From the minute I stepped into the place it was a bit like time travelling to another time another place another kind of life.   Located on Adelaide St. West in Toronto in the Club district it's not the usual Club Style of place.  It's located in the lower level of the building but you only step down a couple of steps to get inside.  Once inside you forget what's happening outside.  The windows are draped in Velvet curtains that block out any indication of the urban environment outside.  I was welcomed by the owners and the publicist as if I was stepping into their home.   I was promptly seated and my coat taken to be hung up and out of the way.   It was a rainy/snowy evening but I totally forgot 5 minutes after being inside the space.   I asked a friend to join me who I thought would enjoy that kind of place.   His first impression was the same as mine and he fell in love with our lovely waitress Jenny who told us she usually tends bar and at the end of the evening she said we were her favourite table.   I don't know if it's true but I think she did enjoy all the compliments my friend was showering her with.  Jenny brought us an Old Fashioned Spiced Drink for my friend and a Pink Parlour drink for me.

Now back to the space.  There is a large bar a slight nod to the Cheers (where everyone knows your name) style and where we were sitting by the window were a few high tables.  On the other side of the bar/lounge was the Lounge area with some vintage looking settees and large comfortable chairs that you could sit and cosy up near the fireplace with a friend or loved one.  It really had a warm and cosy feel to the place.  Very intimate and with great background music that didn't overpower conversations like some Lounges do.  That's a big turnoff to me.  If you aren't dancing, you are likely to be chatting and trying to get to know someone or trying to catch up with someone and there's nothing worse than having to yell over the music and leaving without a voice at the end of the night.

And now to the rest of the Staff,  everyone was so welcoming, gracious and friendly and a pleasure to meet.  I think they really want to build up a regular clientele who take ownership of the vibe of the room.  

Then there is the food.   Yes the food was all Sharing types of food.   With Chef Ghanavati who is a well travelled and experienced chef in the kitchen turning out solid plates of food.  Some of my favourite dishes were the Margharita Pizza which is generally a favourite of mine but this was a light crispy crust with beautiful latte di fiore cheese perfectly melted on top.   Not a soggy mess like some places make them after they sit for a minute or 2.   The other favourite was the Beef Tartare served with a Truffle Aoli and nicely toasted baguette slices.   My friend really enjoyed the lamb and beef meatballs.  There was also a lighter dish of quinoa in a belgian endive (canoe) as they called it.  Very tasty and very light.   We ended our tasting with a Cheese board with one Quebec Cheese, Saint Paulin I think,  a Portuguese Manchego and an Italian Parmesan cheese served with the baguette toasts and a marmalade.

Really the only thing that was missing from the menu for me was either a fruit, or dessert plate but I think they have Cannoli available on their menu.  It just wasn't on the sharing menu that I had.

All in All I would totally recommend checking this place out and taking a Date, meeting up with friends during the holidays,  making it an after work destination place or girls night out when you just want to chill out and enjoy the company you are with.

For more info check their website:

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