Contact information: 97 Harbord St., 416-922-2345, @restaurantparquet
Neighbourhood: Harbord Village
Homeowners: Daniel Bernstein and Matt Cohen
Chef: Jeremy Dennis (Woodlot, Burdock Brewery, Chantecler)
Legislation faculty buds slash restaurateurs Daniel Bernstein and Matt Cohen bonded over their shared ardour for eating out and hope to encourage the identical joie de vivre in Toronto diners with their new French bistro. Parquet is a welcome addition to Harbord’s burgeoning restaurant scene—it joins the likes of Dreyfus, Yasu, Piano Piano and Rasa. The comfy but elegant house subtly hints at vibey fashionable French bistros, like New York’s Pastis, or the warmly lit, wood-filled areas one imagines taking refuge in on a wet Paris evening.
The restaurant is known as for the parquet flooring that initially appeared in French châteaux within the sixteenth century and later confirmed up within the rental residences Bernstein and Cohen lived in throughout faculty. The identify can also be a reference to the intricate elements that harmoniously mix to fill the house: the duo hopes to attract collectively a disparate assortment of individuals, expertise, flavours and recipes to thrill their visitors.
The menu options informal French-inspired dishes with flashes of Toronto’s many flavours and domestically grown produce. For instance, a wealthy and meaty cassoulet chock stuffed with white beans slow-cooked in a ramen broth made out of Linton Pasture pork, or lobster agnolotti in a traditional bisque, or broccolini sauced with salsa macha.
Cautious to not over-intellectualize the drinks, George Fellows (Bar Isabel) has designed a cocktails card that incorporates a handful of considerate creations which can be pleasantly stunning variations of the classics. The Captive of the Solar—a vivid mix of rum, Campari, Strega, lime and pineapple gomme—is Fellows’s reply to the Jungle Chicken, served “up” (chilled however with out ice within the glass) reasonably than on the rocks. The wine program, designed by sommelier and supervisor Lexi Wolkowski (Harbord Room, Bar Isabel, Brothers), consists of many wines from the dense Loire area in addition to some unsung heroes like Movia’s Turno Malval, a fruity and unfiltered white from Slovenia.
The moody room is stuffed with comfortable mild, heat wooden and soft, leather-wrapped banquettes that appear superbly pre-weathered. The center of the house is the marble bar lined with cozy leather-based stools. From right here, one can watch the thrill and bustle of the restaurant mirrored within the mirror-lined partitions. It’s the right spot for eavesdropping, oysters and possibly even a bit amour.