From the chef previously behind the helm of La Palette (Kensington), Matty Matheson, comes the very new and shiny PARTS AND LABOUR up in Parkdale. It’s hard to find. I had nearly biked to Roncesvales before I realized my error. If you’re on your first visit, really pay attention to building numbers! The building is dark, with minimal signage, and is set a step back from the street. We go in and are greeted by a very friendly hostess on what is clearly a dead night. The decor was a lot of fun, with same unique industrial lights as Oddfellows further east on Queen (and is it any surprise, coming from the same group of people?). There were also many-coloured lamps hanging down over the bar like a 60’s set. The floor was open, with exposed concrete and large wood tables- almost all empty. I felt dwarfed and a bit under dressed in a baggy shift and jeans. Our server was polite, fast, but on the strange side. Maybe he was disappointed at our small table of four? Nonetheless all our drinks and food arrived in a timely manner, and the water was never empty. I also need to add in that the washrooms are a sight to see in their own right!
We wound up splitting three plates.
Smoked trout, beet root, torn bread, mint, parsley, dill, chervil, shallots, radish, chopped egg, horseradish crème fraiche - $12
We all agreed on one thing immediately: holey moley horseradish crème! It made an otherwise good dish amazing. I found the trout to be very understated, and did not even notice the egg while nibbling on this playful plate- or should I say, salad? It was an unexpected pleasure to find that the beets had been grated like spaghetti, bring a fun factor into the meal. Stringy! The fact that I have an undying love for dill also helped my enjoyment of the dish, since the herb was in abundance on the plate. Very tasty.
Roasted pork belly, seared scallop, charred scallion, pickled cipollini, grated foie gras, white onion apple smear, star anise - $16
The was nothing very special about the roasted pork belly. It tasted good, chewy and salty, but not remarkable. That said, the scallop just about took my breath away, and had us all rolling out eyes in delight. So delicate! So moist! With just a drop of an unnamed creamy sauce on it, it stole the entire meal. The scallops edges had crisped perfectly, complimenting a tender heart. It was a very big scallop as well. I found that all the different elements were well thought out, all working together to make a lovely dish.
Butternut squash, rum raisin cake, mascarpone cardamom icing, spiced walnut - $8
This dessert was very cakey and dense – almost more like a coffee cake, actually. The flavours were spicy, with nutmeg, cinnamon and clove well pronounced. The mascarpone was a major draw when we ordered, and it did a great job cutting through the denseness of the cake itself. This is not something I would order for dessert usually, though, because of how heavy and large it was. We all wished there was a run drizzle for flavour and presentation. Even though the nuts added a nice crunch and were spread about the plate, it wasn’t very impressive.
My lovely dinner guests were Adelle, Lexie, and Eugenia.