Contributed By Kathy Flaxmann
The definition of gastropub sounds like the perfect place to enjoy a meal or get together. Fortunately, Cabbagetown has its own, House on Parliament, where excellent meals and fine beverages have been served for more than 15 years. The owners offer friendly ambience too, as Beau Opperman lives out his life-long dream of owning a pub, alongside his wife Tania Waldock and co-owner Duncan Hammond. “If we’re in the country, we’re here,” Tania notes, “This work is like hosting a very large dinner party.”
From the freshest of fish to the heartiest of rib dishes, House on Parliament boasts a menu that is both eclectic and ever changing with a long list of daily specials that is virtually never the same. Joe Rozman of Weenen General Contracting Limited states that he has never had the same dish twice and since the restaurant is his personal neighbourhood favourite, that’s quite a claim. “The variety is amazing,” he says “and everything is excellent.”
House on Parliament is indeed a house, originally Victorian, and has an English ambience, with a prominent portrait of Queen Elizabeth II over a fireplace façade. Throughout, Victoriana blends seamlessly with high tech industrial décor such as repurposed tin ceiling tiles close to the necessary restaurant ductwork. The premises were renovated by Weenen General Contracting Limited, chosen for their expertise and outstanding reputation with Cabbagetown Victorian homes. “We were in another location next door,” Tania recalls, “This move was a real learning curve for us, and the knowledge and the attention to detail that Weenen General Contracting brought to the job was invaluable. And the commitment. When a fire broke out next door, they brought their entire crew from every job here to soak our roof and protect our building.”
Nothing was burnt; instead, a steak might be seared at House on Parliament, and all dishes are cooked to perfection. A seasonal squash and apple puree soup has a tempting dollop of cwrème fraiche on top. Artic char is fresh from the actual artic and complemented by sides that sing with flavour. At lunch the local businesses fill up the 150 seats quickly and in the evenings the neighbourhood, including families, comes to dine and enjoy good cheer.