The Parlor on Granby
The Parlor Restaurant On Granby
As a young gal in Kentucky, the parlor was a place where my great-grandmother displayed her fine china, lavish lamps and family photos. Every time I walked through, since it was between the front door and the kitchen, you’d hear the clink, clink, clink of the porcelain dancing on the shelves. I’d never sit on the beautiful, floral print Victorian sofa, just stroll through unless it was during the holidays.
The Parlor on Granby is like a modern-day update to my great-grandmother’s pristine entryway. In the heart of the up-and-coming Norfolk Arts District lies an exceptionally eccentric and cool café and event venue dimly lit with dangling Edison bulbs in place of fancy lamps. Instead of a family photo lineup, there’s a bustling kitchen and a lovely wooden bar. Its brick walls are home to a variety of gold, ornate mirrors interspersed with funky artwork. Beneath the mirrors and artwork sits deep-hued wingback chairs and sofas feeding my nostalgic episode. But past the bar and dining area, there’s not a kitchen, but a space that can transform to fit anywhere from disco dance parties to an intimate show with Chesapeake’s The Last Bison.
No longer are the floors of a parlor a place for tiptoeing to maintain proper conditions, but The Parlor on Granby is made for dancing and performing as well as good eats.
Sandwiches, hummus and other goodies strike my fancy, but I can’t quite shake a yearning for one of their waffles. Specifically—The Citrus. It’s Tuesday, Parlor’s ladies night, and that means champagne—well at least for myself and one other friend in our group. I'm one of those gals that has champagne, or at least desires to have it more often, until someone asks, "But...what are we celebrating?" Any and everything can be celebrated, and since I’m having breakfast-dessert for dinner, a flute of champagne rings close to a breakfast mimosa, right?
The waffles are like cakey chunks of sweet bread. Fragrant citrus and lemon zest shines through the batter, and butter drizzles over. Like most fluffy breakfast dishes like pancakes, waffles, or biscuits—the best ones—they easily teeter the faint line between its polar opposite of dessert. And yet, amid all the buttery custard, cream and butter, I’m not sugared out like how I often feel after waffles. It’s the ideal amount of waffles and drizzles, and when you need a little getaway from all of the oozing goodness, there’s the Chantilly cream—airy, just nonchalantly dolloped between the waffle lineup.
The rest of the group delves into their high-stacked sandwiches served on mini wooden cutting boards. They each contemplate on eating half of their meals, but they can’t get enough, namely The Virginian with pimento cheese, the Margherita Melt with basil and mozzarella and Poutine—or potato wedges smothered in gravy.
The Parlor on Granby might not be my great-grandmother's idea of a traditional parlor, but with two of my greatest cravings—live music and good food—together in one place, I'm welcoming The Parlor with open arms.