After venturing out to Parkdale with 2 very hungry friends and being turned away from a busy taco joint, we stumbled upon Chantecler, a new bistro style restaurant on the strip.  We were pleasantly surprised when we could walk in and get a table right away.  The rustiness of the space gave it a very intimate and homey feel and was the perfect setting for our dinner party.

Pork Neck
When we sat down, I did some quick iPhone research and realized that the restaurant had just opened a couple of weeks ago with two experienced folks from great restaurants behind the concept - chef Jonathan Poon (Woodlot, Delux, Jamie Kennedy at the Gardener) and front of house -Jacob Wharton-Shukster (Origin, Buca and Jamie Kennedy at the Gardener)
Potato Gnocchi
The food was modern Asian fusion with a rustic nature including an item that i had never seen on a menu before - pork neck.  I have had it with home cooking with my family in my Chinese household but never in a restaurant.  Of course this was a main we needed to try and it is a top recommend if you come here.  It was definitely cooked well. To make this more authentically Asian - it was served on pieces of braised lettuce and poached oyster mushrooms which you see with many traditional Chinese dishes and drizzled with a house-made XO sauce (a traditional Chinese sauce made of dried seafood) that takes 5 days to make! It really brought me back to my family's cooking and the pork neck was tender and full of juicy goodness with a perfect punch from the XO!  Wow!
Beef Cheek
Another great dish with Chantecler's version of potato gnocchi - it was presented like a slab of creamy potato sauce which was melt in your mouth smooth.  You just lapped it up!  To give it the Asian flare - it was served with cured cod roe and sprinkled with pungent seaweed powder.
Finally we had to try the beef cheek as I go on record saying is the most tender part of any animal.  It was braised (perhaps a bit too long as it was tougher than I would like) in red whine and served on root and marrow mash and to make it seem more bloody - it was topped with a beet sauce.
I would definitely come back here for an intimate dinner with friends or on a date and with the more adventurous and less picky of eaters.

*** stars
320 Queen St. W. (416-628-3586)

Chantecler on Urbanspoon

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