First, there was Frank’s Kitchen in Little Italy, run by Chef Frank Parhizgar and his partner and wife, Shawn Cooper. It was a fine dining experience in a casual, dark and dingy room that lasted seven years. Frank’s cooking is memorable, having honed his craft working in a two-star Michelin restaurant in Lyon France, as well as for the master, Jean George, in New York. He was even head chef at Centro for five years – so it’s easy to say, he knows a thing or two about cooking. It was definitely a destination restaurant, and it is one now, at their newly opened FK at 770 St. Clair Avenue West. It was the previous home of the awful Prop restaurant. They have completely transformed the former place into a light, bright and airy spot. Done in whites and blues, with wooden floors, tufted banquettes, framed mirrors on the walls to open up the space, surrounded by windows and a patio. The restaurant seats about 50 people including a bar when you first walk in. There will be additional seats once the outdoor patio opens.
FK has the same concept as they did before, supporting local farmers, sourcing fresh ingredients from local markets, and having a scratch kitchen where they make their own breads, pastries, chocolates, and charcuterie. An attentive staff will guide you through your culinary journey. For now, the menu is all a la carte, but they will be adding tasting menus as they did at their old spot.
You know you are in for a good meal as soon as they deliver the homemade breads. Our assortment was focaccia, zucchini and poppyseed bread, served with a red pepper hummus. The menu changes frequently, depending on what is seasonal.
The escargot bourguignon with wagyu short rib, crispy chicken skin on a bed of puréed parsnip was outstanding. The white asparagus was a lighter choice and the cold fresh green pea soup served over crab was as beautiful as it was delicious. Our main courses of venison chop with shepherd peppers, popsicle pears and pickled radish and the herb crusted lamb chops with ramps and sunchokes in a Syrah reduction were all good, but a standout was the perfectly prepared duck breast, served medium rare, and sliced, with dried cherries and foie gras.
There are four desserts on offer. We went with the creamiest goat’s milk cheesecake with port poached rhubarb and a rhubarb jam on a bed of graham crumble.
How lucky are we to have a neighbourhood restaurant that you can envision becoming your go-to place for food that is fresh, and well prepared, with service that is gracious, welcoming and attentive to detail!
Open Tuesday to Sunday from 6pm.