Aptly named for its proximity to Trinity Bellwoods, Parkette is yet another new, rustic Italian outpost, this time only a couple blocks away from Terroni, which, arguably, launched the trend in Toronto. Cheery and warm, the 30-seat space features sandy blond woods, exposed brick, a playful park bench banquette in classic picnic green and a kitschy vintage Coca-Cola sign.
The mostly Italian menu also draws on French bistro traditions as interpreted by chef Kendall Collingridge (Buca, Le Petit Castor, Forte Bistro, Cru). The unfussy fare aims for comfort and affordability—mains, such as a grilled branzino and a Cornish hen, all come in at under $20. Signature dishes include ricotta gnocchi with braised oxtail, served with oven-dried tomatoes and drizzled in olive oil ($14). “It’s not happening until it’s coming off the bone,” says Collingridge of the fan favourite he picked up at Cru. Crispy fried artichokes with garlic, lemon aioli and mint are ripe for late-night snacking ($10), while the albacore tuna crudo with green beans, tomatoes, olives and lemon aioli is a lighter option ($12).
The wine menu, by Marcel Rethoré of Marcel’s on King West, favours France and Italy, with a handful of Ontario options. Bottles range from $40 to $64, and a dozen by-the-glass offerings run $8 to $12. Parkette keeps late hours (open to 11), but the spot will also court the Bugaboo bunch with brunch slated to start March 5.
Parkette, 874 Queen St. W., 416-536-3883, parkette.ca.