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What’s on the menu at Parquet, a fancy new French bistro on Harbord

By Erin Hershberg| Photography by Daniel Neuhaus
What's on the menu at Parquet, a fancy new French bistro on Harbord

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Name: Parquet Contact info: 97 Harbord St., 416-922-2345, @restaurantparquet
Neighbourhood: Harbord Village Previously: Flock Owners: Daniel Bernstein and Matt Cohen Chef: Jeremy Dennis (Woodlot, Burdock Brewery, Chantecler)

Law school buds slash restaurateurs Daniel Bernstein and Matt Cohen bonded over their shared passion for dining out and hope to inspire the same 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 cozy yet elegant space subtly hints at vibey modern French bistros, like New York’s Pastis, or the warmly lit, wood-filled spaces one imagines taking refuge in on a rainy Paris night.

What's on the menu at Parquet, a fancy new French bistro on Harbord
From left to right: co-owners Cohen and Bernstein, chef Jeremy Dennis, and sommelier-manager Lexi Wolkowski

The restaurant is named for the parquet flooring that originally appeared in French châteaux in the 16th century and later showed up in the rental apartments Bernstein and Cohen lived in during school. The name is also a reference to the intricate components that harmoniously combine to fill the space: the duo hopes to draw together a disparate collection of people, skills, flavours and recipes to delight their guests.

The food

The menu features casual French-inspired dishes with flashes of Toronto’s many flavours and locally grown produce. For example, a rich and meaty cassoulet chock full of white beans slow-cooked in a ramen broth made from Linton Pasture pork, or lobster agnolotti in a classic bisque, or broccolini sauced with salsa macha.

What's on the menu at Parquet, a fancy new French bistro on Harbord
Radicchio and grapefruit salad on crisp, buttery house brioche. $19

 

What's on the menu at Parquet, a fancy new French bistro on Harbord
Charred broccolini with fried polenta croutons, chilies and peanuts. $19

 

What's on the menu at Parquet, a fancy new French bistro on Harbord
Braised endive served on an umami-rich raclette with almonds and currants. $24

 

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What's on the menu at Parquet, a fancy new French bistro on Harbord
Glazed maitake mushrooms on black walnut and wild rice risotto made with house-ground arborio flour and porcini stock. $38

 

What's on the menu at Parquet, a fancy new French bistro on Harbord
Pan-roasted sablefish with shaved Brussels sprouts in a creamy vadouvan sauce. $38

 

What's on the menu at Parquet, a fancy new French bistro on Harbord
Classic French cassoulet with Linton Pasture pork, duck confit and white beans. $42

 

What's on the menu at Parquet, a fancy new French bistro on Harbord
Deeply caramelized tarte Tatin with toasted hazelnuts, Benedictine cream and flaked Maldon salt. $16

 

What's on the menu at Parquet, a fancy new French bistro on Harbord
Bon appetit!
The drinks

Careful not to over-intellectualize the drinks, George Fellows (Bar Isabel) has designed a cocktails card that features a handful of thoughtful creations that are pleasantly surprising versions of the classics. The Captive of the Sun—a bright blend of rum, Campari, Strega, lime and pineapple gomme—is Fellows’s answer to the Jungle Bird, served “up” (chilled but without ice in the glass) rather than on the rocks. The wine program, designed by sommelier and manager Lexi Wolkowski (Harbord Room, Bar Isabel, Brothers), includes many wines from the dense Loire region as well as some unsung heroes like Movia’s Turno Malval, a fruity and unfiltered white from Slovenia.

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What's on the menu at Parquet, a fancy new French bistro on Harbord
A selection of the wines currently on offer

 

What's on the menu at Parquet, a fancy new French bistro on Harbord
The Light Up Gold is a zero-proof cocktail made with Seedlip Spice 94, chamomile and lime. $12

 

What's on the menu at Parquet, a fancy new French bistro on Harbord
The Paris Syndrome, a blend of sake, mezcal, celery bitters and maraschino, is a well-balanced sip of bitter, vegetal and sweet notes. $16

 

What's on the menu at Parquet, a fancy new French bistro on Harbord
The Pantoufle is an oaky, autumnal blend of cognac, sherry, curaçao and Pineau des Charentes, a French fortified wine. $18
The space

The moody room is filled with soft light, warm wood and cushy, leather-wrapped banquettes that seem beautifully pre-weathered. The heart of the space is the marble bar lined with cozy leather stools. From here, one can watch the buzz and bustle of the restaurant reflected in the mirror-lined walls. It’s the perfect spot for eavesdropping, oysters and maybe even a little amour.

What's on the menu at Parquet, a fancy new French bistro on Harbord
What's on the menu at Parquet, a fancy new French bistro on Harbord
What's on the menu at Parquet, a fancy new French bistro on Harbord
What's on the menu at Parquet, a fancy new French bistro on Harbord
What's on the menu at Parquet, a fancy new French bistro on Harbord

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