Restaurant review: The Parlour

With historic touches like a deconstructed piano chandelier, this stylish King West lounge serves casual fare and tantalizing tipples.

What’s the vibe

If you like a side of sexy with your pizza, the Parlour has just the aesthetic for you. In true King West fashion, it starts out as an average eatery (if you arrive early enough in the evening), before ramping things up to party vibes.

While you might not realize it from the stylish interior, the building used to house the Mason & Risch piano factory. But the original exposed brick wall and a chandelier made of a deconstructed piano pay homage to the spot’s historic heritage.

In the “courtyard” area of the bar, the exposed brick is paired with a glass ceiling to give the impression of being outdoors. (Upon first arriving we were quite confused about whether we were outside or in.) It’s the best of patio lounging but available all year round. Bonus: the roof is fully retractable for days with better weather.

What to drink

The quirky cocktails, some of which are even on tap, are definitely the way to go at the Parlour. The name might be slightly presumptuous, but the “Best F$*king Banana Daiquiri” was, well, just what it implies. The blackberry smash, made with Hennessy, and the “Give Me Ten”, a concoction of gin, lemon, grapefruit, strawberry and Prosecco also won our hearts. If you have three friends and are looking to make the night memorable (or forgettable, depending on how you look at it) go for one of the punch bowls.

Local beer and an extensive wine list are also available to whet your whistle. And in keeping with the King West vibe, they do offer bottle service (surprise, surprise).

What to eat

We have two words for you: truffle pizza. And it is loaded with truffle. Aptly called the “Goldmember”, the pie is topped with caramelized onions, duxelles, thinly sliced Yukon gold potatoes, gruyère, mozzarella and, of course, truffle oil. Pizzas at the Parlour are oval-shaped and fluffy – think the sophistication of a flatbread combined with the extravagance of a pizza.

Keeping a flatbread in mind might also help you wrap your head around some of the more unusual options. Among them, our favourite was the “Yaletown”, a cheese-less pizza that sees ahi tuna, avocado, onions and jalapeno covered in a spicy aioli. It gives a whole new meaning to the idea of sushi pizza.

We also chowed down on fresh, citrusy ahi tuna lettuce wraps, juicy Korean-style short ribs and creamy burrata with apricot jam.

For dessert, the salted caramel sundae is a heaping glass of ice cream and whipped cream, topped with caramel popcorn. That’s right, popcorn. The flavour combination of sweet and salty was unreal. Another well-balanced option is the lemon mousse in a white chocolate shell.

Dinner and drinks for two: about $100.

642 King St W, Toronto, (416) 583-2642,