I’ve been meaning to try Parlor for a couple of years now and when my father asked me to pick the meeting spot for a family dinner, it was the perfect opportunity to finally try it.
On the corner of E. 90th and 3rd ave, an area that is mostly tiny asian places and pizza joints, It has quite a presence to it. It’s business/casual with an ever-so-slightly funky edge to it- a little different that most of the uber-masculine steakhouse that speckle the city. In warm weather, they round the corner with tons of outdoor seating. We had asked for a quiet spot, but once we got there realized there was really no such thing. It was totally jam-packed with a typical UES crowd on a Monday night. I’d imagine a weekend dinner requires a reservation.
They have a 3 course prix fix for $35 which was totally reasonable and had plenty of choices that sounded great. As is typical for me after a winter of running half the mileage that I do in warmer months, I’m trying to get a few lbs off that have crept on so I ordered healthy choices. I do, however, follow a strict ‘everything in moderation’ theory and budgeted my calories/fat with my entree and app so that I could save some room for the fresh baked cookies dessert. I usually don’t do things like not-ordering-steak at a steakhouse, but I did make sure to taste off the plates of those who did. My brother’s cheeseburger was especially noteworthy, as were the needle thin crispy onions that came with it.
I started with the baby greens salad with beets and radishes and thought the uncut lettuce leaves were kind of annoying. If they are truly baby greens, wouldn’t they be tiny leaves? I think this was really just butter lettuce. Adult butter lettuce. I also felt that 3 square centimeters of beet are hardly enough to get that ingredient highlighted in the description. It was fine though, just nothing noteworthy.
Next I had the garlic crusted salmon over spring peas/lentils with a horseradish sauce. I asked them to prepare it with minimal fat/butter and made a note to myself to take that into consideration when I went to write my review. I have to say, there was no compromise at all. This was a really outstanding piece of fish, cooked perfectly with a crisp topping and a slightly raw center- exactly the way I like it. The fresh vegetables underneath were cooked al dente, lightly seasoned and tasted of the season that we are supposedly in the middle of.
For dessert, a plate of fresh-out-of-the-oven cookies were totally charming, but I kind of wish I had taken them home to enjoy at midnight with a glass of cold milk.
Overall, I’d definitely recommend Parlor to others. Knowing myself, I’ll be too busy trying the zillion other awesome restaurants in this city to find time to return to this one…but ya never know. Once I’m back down the 3-5 lbs I want to lose, you might find me there chowing down on my own cheeseburger.