King West just got a new pizza joint, and they’re coming in hot! The Parlour opened last month at 642 King West, just east of Bathurst on the north side. The team opened their first location in Vancouver, and is bringing the Neapolitan style to Toronto: simple, fresh and quality ingredients, but with an unexpected twist. Torontonicity was invited to their media preview on May 22, 2019 and had a chance to sample some of their delicious pizzas and cocktails!
The Parlour boasts a chic and intimate main space that’s perfect for casual conversations with friends or for a fun date night (think comfortable date though, as you eat everything with your hands…this is, after all, a pizza place), with a secondary dining area that’s well lit and beautiful. The roof in the secondary space is covered with live greenery and allows for natural light to shine through the entire area, making it a very striking space.
There are small décor details and choices of which I’m a huge fan. The main dining area has a baby grand piano suspended directly above, with the keys falling out like an architectural design feature. Lights have been installed inside, turning the entire piano into a type of chandelier – gorgeous!
We then grabbed our seats and were introduced to the Yaletown pizza: ahi tuna, red onion, green onion, avocado slices, fresh jalapeno, cilantro and spicy aioli. This isn’t like any we’ve had before and is an instant crowd favourite! The freshly-baked base has a light and airy crust, that’s been baked perfectly and retains its shape and doesn’t flop under the weight of the toppings. The toppings themselves are still crisp and vibrant and go so well together. The creaminess from the avocado balances out the sharp spice from the jalapeno slices, while the ahi tuna brings everything together to remind you of your favourite sushi roll. This pizza feels very Toronto appropriate.
If you’re into the ahi tuna flavour, but aren’t convinced to try an entire pizza, make sure to order the Ahi Tuna Lettuce Wraps: ahi tuna, avocado, citrus ginger soy, mint, spicy ponzu aioli, crispy shallots and sesame seeds. Just as vibrant and fresh, but light enough to allow you to enjoy more dishes. You might be tempted to devour these in just a couple bites but take note of the flavours. The mint brightens the flavours and brings out the slightly citrus notes in the ponzu aioli.
A round of Meatball Minis came by too: Reggiano, tomato sauce, sriracha, caramelized onion and roasted garlic aioli on a brioche bun. A plate of these to share would be perfect for a group dinner!
We looked over the cocktail menu and decided to start with the Give Me Ten: gin, sencha tea, lemon juice, grapefruit juice, Strawberry Mah Khan bitters and prosecco. This is going to be a summer favourite for anyone visiting The Parlour, as it’s an easy-drinking cocktail. This is also a great choice for anyone that goes for a spicier pizza or dinner, as the grapefruit helps cleanse the palette between bites.
If you’re looking something with stronger flavours, that’s still refreshing though, try the Blackberry Smash: Hennessy VS, honey ginger lavender syrup, lemon and blackberry. The play between the Hennessy and ginger lavender honey notes is quite lovely and made this cocktail a personal favourite.
Another pizza came around, and we were treated to the Goldmember pizza: caramelized onion, mushroom duxelle, Yukon gold potato slices, truffle oil gruyere and mozzarella. This is a decadent pizza! The flavours are all warm and earthy, so this pizza will be a vegetarian or cheese-lover’s dream. I would recommend sharing this pizza, as it is quite heavy, and that way you get to enjoy more options from the menu!
The Parlour will carry a variety of oysters, so make sure to ask what they have that day and don’t be afraid to ask if you’re not familiar with flavour profiles of the varieties – everyone there was so polite and helpful. We spent a moment with Sous Chef Edgar, who taught us about oysters and the proper technique for shucking smaller versus longer oysters!
If you’re a pizza lover, or just looking for some new and interesting flavour combinations, make sure to check out The Parlour. Their second-floor dining space is going to open before this year’s TIFF season so there will be plenty of seating for all the crowds. With all the delicious menu items though, we’ll definitely be back well before then! If you’ve already been and have a pizza recommendation, leave us a comment down below so we know what to try on our next visit!
The Parlour, 642 King Street West, Toronto, 416-583-2642