I have a particularly bad habit of neglecting to review restaurants that I regularly frequent. Which is silly, of course—if I’m eating there all the time, then there must be a reason why I keep coming back.
Parlour, by Century Hospitality Group, is one such restaurant and hopefully they’ll forgive me this oversight.
I’ve been regularly dining at Parlour for a year and a half, partly because they’re the best lunch option within walking distance of my office, and partly because their pizza always keeps me coming back for more.
Situated in the midst of downtown between MacEwan University and construction-riddled Norquest College, Parlour offers a modern take on classic Italian cuisine. As they say on their website, “The Parlour is where modern meets tradition, where Italian dining meets Century Hospitality.” The restaurant interior is stylish and comfortable, with two levels for diners to choose between: a brightly lit, window-heavy downstairs portion that revolves around the central bar, or the more intimate, quiet atmosphere of upstairs.
I’ve tried their regular pizzas, which are made in the Neapolitan style from Organic 00 pizza flour that’s shipped over from Italy—they’re delicious. And I’ve tried their gluten-free pizzas, which had a bit of a rocky (i.e. salty) start when the restaurant first opened but which have since blossomed into a great and tasty alternative to wheat-based dough.
The crust is important, as purists will tell you, but I’m very much a toppings kind of gal. Parlour uses high quality ingredients for each of their pizzas, including prosciutto, braised beef short rib, and shaved truffles. The Sonny Boy is a lunchtime favourite, with soppressata salami, fior di latte, mushrooms, tomato sauce, and fresh thyme, as is the Hawaii 5-0, with farm fresh Canadian back bacon, fresh pineapple, tomato sauce, and provolone.
If you’re going for the pizza (which I strongly recommend you do), you have to try one of their Dippers. My favourites are the truffle dip and the black garlic aioli. They’re stunningly rich but go perfectly with a piece of dry pizza crust.
If you’re just in the mood for cocktails and appetizers, you can’t go wrong with the antipasto board. The smaller size is enough for up to four people and is great when paired with one of their wines on tap.
I’m very impressed by the way Parlour is willing to accommodate alternative diets, such as gluten intolerance. During my last visit, Chef Tony Le, Executive Chef for Century Hospitality Group, brought us complimentary plates of the flourless chocolate torta dessert, which was served with berry coulis, blueberries, and a raspberry sorbet. I was full…but I still made room for this delicious treat.
Overall, I’m a huge fan of Parlour and I’ve no doubt that I’ll be back. Next week, probably. And again next month. Man, I love working downtown.
The Parlour Italian Kitchen & Bar
10334 Capital Boulevard
Edmonton, AB T5J 1L9