Parc is an all day restaurant designed to represent a French sidewalk café. It is a large, extremely popular place with inside dining in many rooms and more than 75 outdoor covered and uncovered spaces to dine. Restaurateur Stephan Starr brought this place to a corner lot in Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia. Inside dark wood tables are well spaced and set with red napkins to match the red booth seating along the walls. Old wood floors are juxtaposed with elegant tile ones, especially around the large bar that was currently not in use. On the table are a special set of directions about Covid and their policies – notably that you have just 90 minutes for your table, that you are not to move any of it and must wear a mask when not seated. We also found that they would not seat you until your exact reservation time. It felt stiff but the lovely server soon relaxed the vibe. The menu has a good range of things but there are even more drink options. We got a bottle of sparkler to go with our meal.
Every table received a bread basket containing an assortment of slices of bread and softened butter. Ours had sliced baguette, wheat bread and cherry walnut bread. All were quite good with crisp exteriors and soft chewy insides. I particularly liked the cherry walnut as it was a more unusual combination.
We started with the Chicken Liver Parfait which was topped with a red wine gelée and on the side was cherry-pistachio bread, pickled onions and horseradish hot mustard. The mousse was very light and smooth and blended well with the topping. It was excellent to spread on the accompanying bread or one from the basket. The onions were tart and as with the mustard, I didn’t think they enhanced the parfait. This was an easily split plate.
The Steak Frites was made from seared hanger steak topped with maître d’ butter and a generous pile of fries on the side. A cup of mayo was also on the plate. The butter was a delicious addition to the perfectly cooked beef. A little arugula also decorated the plate and was good. The fries were crisp and well salted but most likely a frozen variety. The meat was good but way better because of the addition of the butter.
A side of sautéed spinach was a good sized bowl of fresh spinach however it might have been cooked earlier in the day and re-heated. At least it was not frozen and came off okay.
Warm Shrimp Salad had 4 plump shrimp covered with lemon beurre blanc alongside sliced avocado and a pile of greens topped with some sliced cheese. Unfortunately, there was not enough dressing from the shrimp to well coat all the dry greens. When mixed with the sauce it was pretty good and the shrimp were cooked perfectly. A well cooked tomato bit added a touch of color to the plate. I would have preferred the plate to come with all dressed as it would make it easier to eat and help the blend. It was acceptable.
We passed on dessert but I got photos of the dessert options for information purposes.