Parts & Labour (@partsnlabour). Just next to Cowbell in Parkdale, it’s an uncommonly large space (converted convenient store) where one can enjoy a relaxed dinner at long communal tables. Opened in 2010, they quickly expanded from dinner to brunch and even catering. Chef Matthew Matheson has a rooftop garden from which he sources some of his ingredients. The food’s well-executed and very affordable, the cocktails are supposedly stellar, and there’s live music downstairs in The Shop. How can this not be promise of a great meal?!
1566 Queen st. W
Reservations: on their site / 416 588 7750
Transit: 47 Landsdowne bus south OR 501 Queen streetcar westbound
Hours: Weds – Sat (6-11pm), Sun (11am-3pm brunch, 6-10pm dinner)
After being on my to-go restaurant list for so long, I finally made it to Parts & Labour. Having had P&L exec chef Matty Matheson’s food before at a Group of 7 Chefs event (Dairy Dinner), I knew my friends and I were sure to be in for a good meal. The real question was what to order!
Before you get all frustrated with me about this “blurry” photo, this was on purpose. I’m not too sure what I was going for, but this was more for experiment’s sake (there are 3 photos here rather than one horribly shot photo).
The excuse that I have for going out for dinner is an awesome one: an RDL reunion! A few years back, I did the explore program in Rivière-du-Loup, met some great people and by some luck, they like keeping in touch with me…? Yeah, poor them haha. P.S. The cider is great!
To avoid confusion and to end the “what do you wanna have” discussion, we all opted to order our own dishes first then go from there. Below: Beef tartare (14) - carrot ginger relish, bbq chips)
Normally, I would’ve tried to Jedi mind trick my friends (especially since we were a group of 5!) into ordering a bunch of dishes to share, but I really just wanted to catch up that evening. Also, I knew I’d be returning next week with a friend who’ll be more than happy to explore the menu with me. :D I got the P&L burger (15). I’d heard great things about it, it’s #15 on Toronto Life’s Top 25 Burgers in the City, and I had been craving some medium rare goodness for a while already.
The friend who got this loved it! Tender is the key word here. Braised Pork Tongue (14) - pickled mushrooms, sour cream.
That same friend had an unusual (although completely justified because this looked so good!) hankering for creamed corn. Although meant to be served with the whole deep fried chicken (which I wouldn’t mind stuffing my face in right now), they happily whipped some up for her as a side.
These were inhaled in mere minutes. They’re that good. And I’m making a note of the fact that they’re SWEETBREAD sliders for my next visit. ;) Southern Fried Sweetbread Sliders (3 for 13).
How do you end a great meal with friends?! Why a giant dessert of course! In this case, the large option of their beaver tail!
Here's another photo of the heartstopping dessert. It was decadent yet messy (in a great way!). Beaver tail (12/20) - P&L Beignet, chocolate mousse, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, strawberry jam, cookie crumb
Here is their current menu for perusal. It’s also available on their site along with their brunch menu (can anyone say “flatiron steak” and “full English”?!).
The dining area and the bar are quite distinct in their decor, and I think I like that. The light fixtures at the bar are playful, hinting at a restaurant that doesn't take itself too seriously. Next time, I'm hoping I get to sit in the back where you can see into the kitchen! :D
Verdict: I mostly have nothing but good things to say about P&L. The food was great. Everything came rather quickly and pretty much all together. The one issue we had were the servers that seemed to be everywhere and nowhere at the same time. It took several tries and way too long to get the bill. Fingers crossed that it was just an off day because I’m returning next week and I’d love some brunch here sometime in the future!
Check ‘em out! http://www.partsandlabour.ca/
4 out of 5 NOMs