Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Parc Review

This is for a series of posts for Stephen Starr restaurants including:
Alma de Cuba, Barclay Prime, Butcher and Singer, Continental Midtown & Martini Bar, The Dandelion, El Rey, El Vez, Jones, Parc, Pizzeria Stella, Route 6 [1], Route 6 [2], & Square Burger.

The first time I tried Parc was after a NYE tasting at Twenty Manning Grill. The GF and I came for a few cocktails before heading to a NYE party with some friends. The atmosphere at this French brasserie was comfortable and cozy, decked out in a celebratory mode. 

Basilic [$10]
Smirnoff Citrus, elderflower liqueur, basil, cucumber

I opted for the basilic, which was easily quaffable, heady with basil and cucumber flavors. It's not overly saccharine and certainly refreshing. 

Kir Royale [$10]
Sparkling wine, creme de cassis 

The GF went with the Kir Royale, which had some bite and effervescence from the champagne and sweetness from the creme de cassis. Classic. 

And on a recent Sunday morning, the GF and I decided to return for some brunch fare as well. So onto some of the food!

Crab Galette [$14]
Sauce gribiche 

We started off with the crab galette. Essentially a crab cake without much filler, the accompanying gribiche brought mustard to the forefront to balance out the sweet flavor of the crab. The greens were tossed in a light vinaigrette and helped to bring some acidity to the dish.

Bread Service

Interestingly enough, bread service came after the initial appetizer. Even more jarring was the fact that the server asked if we still wanted it. I mean, bread? In a "French" brasserie? Why not. It came freshly baked and included a mini baguette, cranberry walnut, and some country bread. The pat of butter was thankfully room temp. Do get the bread if asked.

Cheeseburger [$16]
Grilled onion, raclette, pommes frites

The GF decided to go with the burger. The raclette cheese was perfectly gooey and salty. The burger was requested medium and came out at the right temp - juicy and well-seasoned. The caramelized onions helped to add extra heft to each bite. The fries were crispy and thin - not much more you could ask for in French fries. 

Steak Frites [$27.50]
Seared hangar steak, maitre d'butter

I went with the steak frites, which were nicely medium rare. The beef was well-seasoned and the garlic butter added that extra je ne sais quois. The accompanying watercress wasn't anything special, but appreciated.

Overall, I wasn't blown away, but then again - I was expecting simple French bistro fare. And if anything, Stephen Starr's Parc has that in spades. Well executed and tasty - Parc would serve you well for brunch.

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