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Parkdale's Cowbell enters the deadpool

The first time I ate at Cowbell was something of a watershed moment--newly emerged from a stint of my intermittent vegetarianism, I feasted on charcuterie and gave nose to tail dining a shot, and found it delicious enough to keep me chowing down on bone marrow for a good long while. So, it's with a heavy heart that I bid farewell to Mark Cutrara's Parkdale restaurant, which closed down this past Saturday.

After six years of carnivore-appropriate dishes marked by locally-sourced ingredients and expert butchery, Cutrara posted the following message on the restaurant's door:

To my valued customers, neighbours and friends,

Over the past six years, it has been a great honour to be part of the Parkdale community. I'm proud to have served you the best of what Ontario has to offer, helping to introduce locally sourced, quality produce, and nose-to-tail dining to the city's tables. However, it is with great sadness that I must announce Cowbell has closed as of February 2.

I would like to give my sincerest thanks to all Cowbell staff past and present. It is because of them that we have earned the loyalty and appreciation of so many wonderful customers. I cherish the legacy that Cowbell leaves behind, and look forward to what they will bring to the food community of this fine city.

Cheers, and eat well,
Mark Cutrara

According to an interview with the Grid, Cowbell has apparently fallen on some hard financial times in recent months, above and beyond Toronto's tendency to forgo dinners out during the deep chill of winter. Cutrara isn't bowing out of the chef game entirely, though, saying he plans to continue his work with The Group of Seven Chefs, although he's no longer involved with the highly-anticipated Samuel J. Moore inside the Great Hall. The Grid says that Cutrara is currently reviewing new tenant applications for the space, so here's hoping he'll continue Cowbell's legacy with another hot dining spot. It's a tough playing field, guys.

Photo courtesy of Cowbell

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