Going Under at Parcae – Toronto

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While I still don’t actually know how you pronounce the name of the restaurant, Parcae (parquet, parsai?), I do know good food when I see it and in this case, taste it!

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Ex-Buca Chef Danny Hassel hits the mark with a modern menu featuring a wide spectrum of ingredients from classic to unique that will appeal to palates of varying adventure levels. The restaurant is located at the bottom of the Templar Hotel on Adelaide West. The subterranean venue is chic and definitely has architectural and artistic interest (did anyone notice the fragmented nude shots creatively arranged into their light fixture at the back of the restaurant?). These subtle and creative details translate to Chef Danny’s presentation style and approach to cuisine. Dishes are finished with an artistic nose to tail philosophy. Fish head (edible), chicken feet (also edible) and marrow are carefully placed to decorate the plate and are part of the experience.

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I just love nduja sausage and order it where ever I see it. These little pasta pillows are packed full of this savory goodness and their smoky heat is nicely balanced by a beautifully smooth and creamy sauce.

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Could not resist the giant duck ravioli either…topped with torched and smoky mascarpone cheese it is deliciously rich and the hazelnuts give an unexpected crunch to each bite.

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HK chicken (claw and all) is chicken skin stuffed with sausage – delightful and surprisingly light!

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The mixed radish salad is a great palate cleanser between dishes and unreal crunchy! dusted with fennel pollen for a surprisingly subtle licorice flavor and visually stunning!

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Finishing on a lighter note with grilled and perfectly butterflied branzino.

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And who could resist these deep fried morsels filled with house made raspberry jam…mmm…

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All in all, I LOVE what Chef Hassell and his talented team have done here. Their work is modern, artistic and you really can (if you take the time) taste the painstaking effort they have put into crafting every plate. Each dish should be appreciated as a work of art and not just sustenance to get through the day. Give Parcae a try and go with an open mind to everything from the location, funky subterranean décor, their expansive cocktail list to their presentation and choice of ingredients.

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