Barque Smokehouse Restaurant on Roncesvalles

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!

The Feast:

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

Beef Brisket

Chilled Asian Slaw

shiso and soy vinaigrette

Creamy Polenta

blue cheese

Lime Cheesecake

cardamom crumble, mango

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