On the recommendation of Montreal radio personality Sarah Bartok (http://www.thebeat925.ca/an/sarah-bartok-1060.html – P.S.: I know her brother!), Akemi and I checked out one of the latest entries on the Toronto restaurant scene: Parcae.  Tucked away in the Templar Hotel, it’s a sexy, dimly lit place offering up “globally inspired, locally-sourced” cuisine.  The plates are delightfully creative.  Chefs Danny Hassell and Joseph Awad bring a mighty impressive resume to the table, with previous kitchen experience at Buca (my favorite Toronto restaurant), Cabana a Sucre Au Pied de Cochon (my favorite Montreal restaurant), and Osteria Francescana (ranked one of the world’s top restaurants and profiled, along with its head chef, Massimo Bottura in my favorite episode of Netflix’s Chef’s Table).

A few of the evening’s culinary highlights:

November 28, 2015: Dinner At Parcae!

November 28, 2015: Dinner At Parcae!

Nduja ravioli: nduja sausage, stracciatella, basil.

This one packed one nice, fiery punch.

November 28, 2015: Dinner At Parcae!

Risotto: sturgeon bone marrow.

A festival of textural contrasts.  Apparently, the sturgeon is braised for some 30 hours before plating.

November 28, 2015: Dinner At Parcae!

Lamb brains: deep fried lamb brains, cicoria, mushrooms.

Somewhat reminiscent of KFC – and I mean that in the best possible way.

November 28, 2015: Dinner At Parcae!

Clams: clams, guanciale, tomato.

Akemi’s favorite.

November 28, 2015: Dinner At Parcae!

Duck ravioli: duck, mascarpone, tomato, olive oil.

My favorite dishes on the menu – the two raviolis.

November 28, 2015: Dinner At Parcae!

Octopus and bone marrow: braised octopus, bone marrow.

Definitely a unique take on surf ‘n turf.  The toast was the perfect accompaniment to the marrow.

Some of the other menu highlights not pictured: the romanesco (with guanciale, served with mom’s sauce) and the buttermilk-fried quails.  Have yet to try the branzino (whole European seabass), porter house (20 oz veal bone on porter house served with salsa verde), or tomahawk chop (tomahawk pork chop with cipollini onions).

November 28, 2015: Dinner At Parcae!

November 28, 2015: Dinner At Parcae!

And, to finish: The pouding chomeur.   Clearly, the Au Pied de Cochon influence was at work here.  One of my very favorite desserts.

Cocktails and service were terrific.

Once we were done, I felt like my french bulldog Lulu after a satisfying meal and drink (see last entry).


348 Adelaide Street West
Inside the Templar Hotel

(416) 398-5335

M-Th 5pm–12pm
F-Sa 5pm–2am


15 thoughts on “November 28, 2015: Dinner at Parcae!

  1. …and I have a $1.39 frozen pizza in the oven. You win in a big, huge, gargantuan way. I am jealous.

  2. Glad you found a great place to eat that serves your type of food… brains, bone marrow, octopus. I have a special treat I have been slowing giving my beagle. Every time I give her a piece, I think of you. Crispy lamb’s lung.

  3. My daughter mentioned something today that really surprised me. She (she’s 24 years old) said that she’s gown up with your work – Richard Scarry through all the Stargate TV shows (my fault!) and is “patiently” awaiting season 2 of Dark Matter. lol

  4. Well, I guess that beats my can of Chef Boy-R-Dee mini-ravioli I had for dinner. Although, I would pause at the brains. They’re really thought for food. Er.. maybe that’s the other way around.

    They actually remind me some of the deep fried sweetbreads that I had at that offal dinner at Shadow Lawn a while back. The chef prepared them to taste/resemble KFC Popcorn Chicken. And, they were close. But, something about that texture…

  5. Ooooo! I like it! The octopus and bone marrow are the most appealing to me. I may have to check out Parcae the next time I’m in Toronto…thanks for the write up!

  6. By the way, I found a new soda today that I may have to send your way…Dandelion and Burdock soda. I was expecting it to taste something akin to dandelion wine, which it doesn’t…the taste is altogether different.

  7. And here’s me thinking that was Lulu I heard last night!
    Interesting and weird food…. European Seabags? Are those the Tesco or Sainsbury variety you see floating in The Bay of Biscay? … and some of that other stuff!!? At least you know you’ll survive a zombie apocalypse! 😝

  8. Ponytail: 😆

    The food looks amazing! Then I read the descriptions. It’s probably just my own hang ups about food that would keep me from trying those dishes. They look very pretty.

    I’ve been sticking to my vegetarian diet but I did try a bite of turkey out of curiosity. I used a whisky/ orange/ rosemary/pepper mixture and deep friend the turkey for the boys. It was very tasty but I still felt guilty. If only we had a free range choice of turkey around here. 🙁

    Your writing block better since the meal?

  9. I do like octopus, and the duck ravioli might have done the trick, except for the tomato, but otherwise, nope. You have at it.
    With MyLarry on the road, I had cold cereal for supper. Whoo.

  10. Hey JeffW, we carry the dandelion soda, and other unusual Fentiman’s brand sodas at World Market.

  11. Lamb’s brains? What is the poor little lamb going to do without its brain? *quivery lip* It all looks good, but… *picks up 10 foot pole and backs away* I’ll be over here with my bucket of frozen fried chicken and bag of McCain’s fries.

  12. Eating my beet and greens salad as I peruse these delicious dishes. The ravioli looks gorgeous, I will be seeking out nduja sausage at my grocers. My fave dish for Thanksgiving were the simple snickerdoodles my sis picked up at the grocers. It was one of those bland looking deserts that were riot inducing good.

  13. Wow, I just checked out their menu. Lots of stuff I’d really like to try, but I was already sold on the duck ravioli! That sounds amazazing! What really surprised me was how reasonably priced everything is. I guess with such a reputation as those chefs have and their obvious attention to detail, even with presentation, I was expecting something a bit more pricey. I guess the cost of living in California is worse than I thought. I must be that frog in the boiling water….

    -Mike A.

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