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The Parlour

I cannot believe that I have never been to The Parlour before today. It is such a fun spot, and if you visit on a Friday night, you get the rowdy energy of a club night including bouncer/doorman, but with the quality eats and comfort of a well-run restaurant. But be warned, all the people within look like they are dressed to impress: patrons and staff alike. And here we were in our work out gear, post sweat session. But I digress, it is all about the food and fun.

The restaurant is fairly dark for that lounge vibe. There were plenty of decorations on the wall and decor elements to take in, but it was a little difficult to make note of given the dim lighting. I barely spotted the vintage Play Boy magazines that acted as wallpaper behind the bar. Though the shadows created the perfect setting for a couple of drinks, so we started with those.

The Hey Migos! Was the most potent of the 3 we tried. Smokey with Casamigos Blanco, Sombra Mezcal, mint, ginger, lavender, grapefruit, and lime.

The Blackberry Smash was fruity like punch, and would be the ideal for anyone looking for a sweet and easy to down drink. Remy Martin V.S.O.P, Cognac, St. Remy Brandy, fresh lemon juice, fresh black berries, and a honey ginger lavender syrup.

And the New Normal was made one-of-a-kind with its distinct fragrance and flavour of chai tea. Bacardi Reserva 8-year-old rum, martini bitters, lime, pineapple, and chai tea syrup.

When looking through the menu, the staff were great at and excited to share their favourite dishes, one such is “Those Balls & Caviar”. What started off as a staff snac:, pizza dough baked into balls for dipping, quickly evolved into one of the restaurant’s most bougie dishes, thanks to the addition of Northern Divine Fraser Valley sturgeon caviar, creme fraiche, and chives.

You simply take a baked fresh pretzel ball and top it with the tangy cream, fragrant chives and as much salty fish roe as you would like. Naturally the $139 price tag is reflective of the cost of the tin of caviar. With this, I enjoyed the juxtaposition of the simple dough topped with something so lavish, fully enjoying it in such a rambunctious setting.

And how do you follow caviar? Their Premium Oysters are a great tangent. You choose how many open-faced oysters you want and dress it with lemon wedges, Tabasco sauce, chives, horseradish, a tangy vinaigrette, a nostril flaring wasabi mixture, and/or some spicy hot sauce. You choose your own flavour adventure and slurp down each buttery oyster with gusto thanks to it.

Keeping with our seafood theme they also have Mini lobster rolls, which are new to the menu. A toasted butter brioche sandwiching lobster, old bay aioli, celery, onion, and lemon. It is best eaten as soon as it comes to the table, so the bread is still toasty and warm, and the filling still chilled with cream. They are generous with the amount of lobster in each roll. The fresh celery and chives contrast the crustacean’s natural sweetness well bringing some freshness into the mix.

Even with their great selection of starters and dressy seafood options, if you are visiting The Parlour, you cannot miss out on trying a few of their pizzas. Especially with Canada’s National Pizza Day fast approaching on February 9th, 2023.

Their signature pie is called “Yaletown”. It is their best seller topped with Albacore Tuna, Red Onion, Green Onion, Avocado, jalapeño, Cilantro, and Spicy Aioli. An homage to the area and its many popular sushi restaurants around, when The Parlour first opened. I liked the idea of this poke pizza, but rather the raw fish and aburi-esque dressing it on a base of crispy rice instead of fluffy dough. The ingredients felt too light for the density of the dough. The toppings should be more sumptuous like what we ordered below. Also, worth nothing is how delicious their pizza crust is. I did not want to waste any of it and wished we had ordered a dip for dunking, to be able to fully enjoy the pizza and further elevate the meal.

When you can’t commit to a whole pizza, you can get any two as two halves to one. We would have The Rogi and Goldmember share one crust. The latter ate like an entree with Caramelize Onion, Mushroom Duxelle, Yukon Gold Potato, Truffle Oil, Gruyère, and Mozza. And even more so when we added on the short rib option, for extra. This was a more filling pizza than the one above. The chewy crust carried the weight of the tender slices of thin-cut potato, earthy mushroom, and succulent pulled short rib meat well. I just wanted something tangy to pull the toppings together. Perhaps some dill dressing, a garlic aioli, or just a few sprinkles of the Tabasco from above.

Hands down, the group’s favourite pizza was The Rogi, the brainchild of The Parlour’s head chef, modelled after what a perogy would be like if you deconstructed it and laid it across pizza dough. Roasted Garlic, Cream, Yukon Gold Potato, Bacon, Andouille Sausage, Charred Leeks, & Sour Cream. Every piece was generously topped with sour cream and that is what made it so fun and fresh. It brightened up the buttery potato and salty meat. I was so impressed by how much I liked this from the very first bite.

Although we wanted to explore more of the menu and even considered dessert, we were too full and will just have to find time to return for a revisit. After all, there was a pizza with blue cheese and pear that caught my eye. And a full brunch menu worth exploring that includes a breakfast pizza with an easy egg, breakfast skills and the perfect egg sandwich to cure any hangover. This is bougie comfort dining that is guaranteed to but a smile on your lips and a purr in your belly. Be sure to look to The Parlour when you are planning on celebrating National Pizza Day!

The Parlour
1011 Hamilton St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5T4, Canada
+1 604-568-3322

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