On a shorter visit to Toronto this summer Parlour quickly became my favourite lounge. A great crowd, eclectic room that reminds me of Hotel Costes, always a fun DJ to stir up the room and the little dance floor, and an outdoor courtyard – and when Toronto can be a bit of a concrete jungle it’s an oasis in the heart of the city.

Parlour has been an evening go to spot for ‘those in the know’ for two years and its next evolution is to become a cozy dinner get away. I was joined by UK partner-in-socializing, Jeff Stuit (Waverton), to do a Tasting Teaser of the New Menu.

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Quinoa Canoes – Belgian endive, marinated vegetables, honey Dijon vinaigrette.

  • She: They’re just plain fun. And if you were on a date they’re easy sharing. No mess.
  • He: It was even better without the honey Dijon vinaigrette. Cleaner individual flavours that weren’t as overwhelmed by the sweetness.

Beef Tartare – Dijon mustard, truffle aioli, cornichon

  • She: The best part is that there is actual truffle in it, not just oil.
  • He: It got the thumbs up, but he was occupied by the meat balls.

Chicken Empanades – glazed chic

  • She: These were my favorite, with the tartare a close second.
  • He: Fresh, spicy, and uplifting. The chimichurri adds authentic flair.

Meatballs – beef/lamb/or vegan – pasilla pepper, infused olive oil

  • She: I was too busy polishing off the tartare. What he said.
  • He: Meatballs have a touch of sweet from the caramelized onions and make a great treat with cocktails.

And we both devoured the Cheese & Charcuterie Board. Maybe it was the house pickled grapes, or maybe the truffle honey. As for yummy cheese selections ask if they are serving the Saint-Paulin – it’s a soft cheese made by Trappist monk’s who apparently know what they’re doing. That sealed the deal that we’ll be back for more than just cocktails!
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About Chef Frank Ghanavati  
Turkish native Chef Frank Ghanavati studied at George Brown College, and after completing a prestigious apprenticeship at Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York Hotel continued his global culinary education at Alta Societa in Italy, Nega Culinary School in Thailand, CESSA Universidad in Mexico, and Sunrise Global Chef Academy in Singapore.  Frank honed his skills in high profile kitchens around the world, including the Shangri-la Hotel in Singapore, Hilton Hotels in Mexico City and Burnaby BC, and The Royal Bank of Canada Executive Dining Room in Toronto before finding a home with the Vitale brothers at Parlour.

About The Author

Shelley Mantei founded theitlists.com as part of the Glam.com network in 2006 (forever in fashion blog years!). The It Lists help busy women define their personal beauty, life and fashion style – vogue nirvana. It's a trend blog featuring the “it” bag, “it” girl, or “it” scoop! Shelley is also a public relations & social media consultant for life + style brands. She's a Vancouver import who now calls Toronto (Canada) home, but is always scooting somewhere to bring you jetsettera tales. Twitter: @shelleymantei

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5 Responses

  1. Samantha Dupar

    After reading your blog me and my friends decided to have a birthday dinner at parlour. As we arrived we felt the coziness and warmth right away. We started with some drinks and then ordered some food. Unfortunately the server forgot to put in one of our orders and one of us was left without food. The kitchen was capable of covering the error and missed order arrived shortly. The food was extraordinary indeed. All the dishes had complex flavours and well presented. Afterwards we were offered a complementary cheese board and a chocolate cake with a candle for our friend( nice touch and delicious ) but again we had to wait
    for a while to recive them which was not described to us properly. Over all.we felt we were ignored as other patrons arrived at this place.
    I strongly recommend this place for their food but the service needs improvement. Hopefully we won’t go through the same experience on our next visit.

    • shelley

      Samantha – glad you enjoyed! Just like any new kitchen I’m optimistic they’ll sort out a few kinks very quickly. 😉