deer lady toronto

Deer Lady

Deer Lady is a sleek, late-night event space on King West for elevated cocktails and easy-to-eat handheld bites. 

This is the latest venture by Parlour Restaurant Group which has introduced a versatile pre- or post-dinner spot that could also be rented out for private events. 

deer lady torontoThe historic building, where Parlour Restaurant occupies the first floor, was home to Mason and Risch, one of Toronto's biggest piano manufacturing firms.

deer lady torontoThe expansive second-floor loft was completely transformed. The room from the 1800s now has a central bar that has sixteen different seating areas branching 360 degrees around it. 

deer lady torontoThe open space can seat 155. There's no bad view whether you're in one of the intimate booths or sitting at the largest option that can fit about 40 guests at a time. 

deer lady torontoDiogo Snow - best known for his bright, bold, and eye-catching spray-painted designs - is behind the graffiti mural spread across the walls.

deer lady torontoAcross from the mural, between two booths, there's a compact DJ booth with a plentiful record collection stocked on the shelves behind the music set-up. 

deer lady torontoNeon purple and pink lights flood the room, making the space glow.

Above the bar, there's a mix of copper and perforated metal covering the ceiling that's meant to mimic the look of champagne bubbles. 

deer lady torontoSpeaking of champagne, Deer Lady offers bottle service to tables with spirit and bubbly options.

The beverage menu features twists of classic cocktails that have been given sassy names. 

deer lady torontoFor example, Suck My Kiss ($18) is an elevated version of a spicy margarita that mixes Patron Reposado tequila and curacao to result in a stunning turquoise drink.

deer lady torontoThe drink also contains demerara sugar, lemon and pineapple juice, and while it starts off tart, it ends with heat from the hot chili pepper. 

deer lady torontoThe Smooth Criminal ($18) is Deer Lady's take on a pina colada. Here, however, Gekkeikan sake is added to elderflower, coconut creme, pineapple, rose water and lime. 

The drink is fresh, tropical and creamy due to the coconut creme, but also has a light froth when you sip it. 

deer lady torontoThe Sure Shot ($18) is a shaken cocktail that's made with Angel's Envy Bourbon, lemon, honey and ginger. 

I like the bit of spice from the ginger which is complemented by the lemon and honey. 

deer lady torontoThe concept of Deer Lady's food menu is to allow guests to hold a drink in one hand and a snack in the other.

Parlor's executive chef Ejner Christiansen has designed the menu of handhelds and easy-to-eat nibbles.

deer lady torontoThe Mini Lobster Rolls ($24) come on super soft brioche buns that are stuffed with a mixture of chopped lobster, celery, lemon, onion and mayo. 

It's a delicious pairing of tender lobster meat pairs deliciously with creamy mayo, and fresh crunch from the celery and onion. 

deer lady torontoThe Heirloom Tomato & Burrata Pizzette ($29) is big enough to share between two. The cool creamy pools of cheese add a unique texture and flavour that's quite different than having cheese baked into the pie. 

Hot honey drizzle coats slices of fresh heirloom tomato and burrata, which added sweet and spicy flavours. 

deer lady torontoOne of the best sellers below at Parlour is the Gold Member Pizza. Unlike at the restaurant, the version at Deer Lady has been elevated with the addition of fresh black truffle.  

The Gold Digger ($29) has a gruyère and mozzarella base with thin slices of Yukon gold potato and onion. The pizza is then topped with shaved black truffle and truffle oil, which gives it a pungent umami flavour. 

The pie is finished with a sprinkle of 24K gold flakes. 

deer lady torontoThe Caviar Tower ($289) fills two iced trays with a variety of fresh seafood from snappy jumbo shrimps and lobster tails on the top tier, there are oysters and salmon tartare on the bottom. 

deer lady torontoBesides the firm and juicy shrimp, there are two split lobster tails that easily pull away from the shell. 

deer lady torontoA tin of Northern Divine sturgeon caviar is served with a bowl of baked pizza dough balls that have been tossed in garlic and butter, and are known as "those ballz."

You can also top it with sour cream and chives before adding the caviar.  

deer lady torontoFor me, it's the two seafood salads at the bottom tray that are the stars. The sockeye salmon tartare is mixed with slices of red onion, a mix of herbs and mandarin which gives it a sweet finish. 

deer lady torontoThe ahi tuna salad comes with diced avocado and tomato, and is served with lettuce cups. 

deer lady torontoThe bottom layer also has eight oysters. 

deer lady torontoA giant mural of a deer acts like a beacon to the restaurant's entrance  (it's a nod to the bar's namesake). Open Fridays and Saturdays from 8 P.M. -2 A.M., with food ending around 11 P.M.

Photos by

Fareen Karim 

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