I spent my first year in Toronto living in the heart of Parkdale, where King and Jameson meet. The neighbourhood was just starting to offer up culinary creations that had the city buzzing. I hadn’t been back to the “Very West End” in a long time so when my sister was celebrating her goodbye party prior to her departure for Vancouver I suggested a restaurant that had been sitting on my to do list for an age.
Amy’s friend who we would be dining with lives right in the heart of Roncevalles: a hop, skip and a jump from the BBQ lovin team working their magic at Barque Smokehouse. I felt so lucky when I hopped in the front door shortly before 6:30pm and grabbed the last available table. The restaurant is known for being constantly busy, for good reason. The dining room features high tops by the storefront windows, a long bar which stretches through the centre of the space and intimate dining at the back by the kitchen. Throughout our meal we noted that there was a consistent line waiting to pick up takeout.
At the table we started off with sudsy pints of Quebec’s finest St Ambroise and snacked on a tin of spiced popcorn. Over the course of the next hour bowls, plates and cast iron pans amazed. Leave your vegetarians at home, roll up your sleeves and prepare to dive in to a carnivorous feast. You’ll see from our menu selections that I’ll most certainly have to return to indulge in a bit of ribbing. I was amazed at the quality of Barque’s smoked wings which now sit in my mind up there with Real Sports as the best offerings in the city. Smoked Beef Cheek with mozzarella hush puppies? Don’t even get me started!
I fell head over heels at Barque, you can now spot it on my Toronto’s Top Restaurant List.
Smoked Dry Rub Wings
bbq sauce duo
Beef and Mushroom Ravioli
smoked garlic cream
Smoked Beef Cheek
mozzarella hush puppies
Sesame Crusted Pork Tacos
soy ginger reduction
Pan Seared Pacific Halibut
roasted fennel, fingerling potatoes, purple spinach, smoked corn emulsion
Chilled Asian Slaw
shiso and soy vinaigrette
cardamom crumble, mango
#448 restaurant reviewed in Ontario since moving to Toronto in 2010.