Saturday, September 6, 2008

Dinner at Parc

French Bistro Food. My favorite. There are few things I like more than slowly braised, deeply flavored meats, or succulent, salty duck confit. But Stephen Starr? Could Stephen Starr, a man known for decoration and opulence, conquer the concept of casual and homey? I brought a few discerning diners with me to find out.
We took the bus into town and parqued our butts in seats with a beautiful view of the square. The restaurant is cute. Retro? yes. Homey? no. The more I think about it though, the less I believe Stephen Starr really wanted to duplicate a French Bistro. His aim was clearly to create a more Ritzy, jazzed up restaurant, reminiscent of his other restaurants, than a neighborhood bistro. But this was obvious. I'm an idiot if I expect a humble, traditional atmosphere in a Stephen Starr restaurant. The restaurant's got the big mirrors, its got the retro appeal, its even got some playboy models or whatever on the bathroom walls, but Parc is just Stephen Starr behind a mask, and that's exactly how he wants it to be.
Ok now the food! I started with a beet salad. It was composed of frisee so lightly dressed, it seemed they thought I needed to drop some pounds. I'm exaggerating. It was however, lightly dressed, and the beets at the bottom sat with no dressing at all, separating them from the rest of the salad. On the other hand, my buddy's steak tartare was quite delicious. The crunch of fleur de sel against raw beef, dressed with mustard, chives, egg yolk, and probably some other stuff, got my heart racing, the way no woman can. This friend also ordered steak frites. While the frites were typical and fine, the steak was incredibly chewy (no exaggeration). My other friend's strip steak was equally tough. A braised short rib was slightly chewy as well, but made up the slack with great, deep, flavor.

We contemplated sending over dessert to some ladies a few tables down, but realized we were out of money. We paid, and left, walking around the city a little bit before making the return trip. Parc is... I don't know. Make what you want of the review. Wouldn't say it's good, wouldn't say it's bad, of course, I couldn't really do that until I've tried their duck confit.

1 comment:

CHEF said...

I've got to tell you, I followed the link on Ruhlman's site, and found your blog. Teriffic, man. If I had the same kind of ambition for food knowledge at 15, There's no teling where I would be now. Keep up the good writing. You really have the knack for it.