Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Grub Report: Park

I'm sure we're all fans of Groupon/Gilt City/LivingSocial, ect., yes? If you're not, then you best get familiar because you're missing out on some good stuff. Stuff like an amazing three course dinner at a new Cambridge hot spot at a very reduced price.

Image via Facebook

Park has been brought to us by the same folks behind Harvard Square's Russell House Tavern and Grafton Street. If you're familiar with those two spots, then you're right to assume that Park is awesome. The restaurant is located on ground level so it doesn't get much natural light, but the darkness makes it feel cozy and warm.

My roommate Ashley joined me and since I was late the T was late she got a beer at the bar. According to Ashley, the bartender made a perfect suggestion for her after she told him what she was in the mood for. Park's craft beer selection is extensive and exciting. Unfortunately for me I was nursing a little migraine and opted to skip a hoppy treat so it wouldn't get any worse. I went with a headache friendly (for me at least) glass of South African Sauvignon Blanc, which happens to be my favorite. 

Mmmmmm beer. Image via Facebook

We settled into a cozy little table and began scrutinizing the menu. In lieu of a bread basket Park gives you cheese and crackers. This is GENIUS. Any time free cheese is available is a good time. We each changed our minds at least three separate times because everything on their new American cuisine menu looked amazing. I settled on the crispy mussels with preserved lemon and horseradish dipping sauce and holy crap were they delicious. I had never even heard of fried mussels before let alone eaten them. The batter was a sourdough batter so it was super light and fluffy and had a sweet finish. And I would buy the horseradish dipping sauce and put it on every sandwich ever again if that were an option. Ashley got the salt and pepper shrimp, which I tried a bit of, and it was equally delicious. 

 Crispy mussels. And how cute is the box?!

I should add that before we got our starters the general manager Nicki (forgive me if I'm spelling that wrong) came over and talked with us about Ashley's nut allergy, which she obviously has to address with every restaurant she goes to because she doesn't want to die. Nicki talked us through the whole menu and their cooking practices and told Ashley what would be okay and not okay for her. I've eaten out with Ash a fair amount of times and this is the first time a manager has ever come over to the table to talk about food allergies while I've been with her. Ashley said that other restaurants have done this with her, but it left a great impression on me!

Since I was obviously going to be eating dessert I wanted something a little lighter for my main course and went with the seared scallops with corn puree, shaved asparagus and house-cured bacon vinaigrette. Anything involving scallops and bacon is a winner for me and this did not disappoint. The scallops were perfect.

I am very much a dessert person, but don't order them very often. I think I should change this. I love chocolate, but after a meal out I usually favor something fruity. Something chocolate based just seems too heavy most of the time. Park does a seasonal fruit pie as one of their dessert options and when our server informed us that the day's seasonal pie was a raspberry and peach tart with vanilla ice cream I was SOLD. The crust was perfectly toasted for me (I don't mind a well done pie crust) and it was just the right size so as not to make me feel like I needed to lay on my stomach as soon as the meal was over (usually reserved for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas). The ice cream Park uses is from Christina's Homemade Ice Cream in Inman Square and is some of the best ever. 

 I was so excited about this that I ate some before photographing it. Oops. 

Park gets two very enthusiastic thumbs up from me. The food, the drinks, and the service were stellar and I will definitely be back to sample the rest of their menu! 

What's the best new restaurant you've been too recently?   


  1. looks positively delicious. i'm probably headed to boston for a wedding next year . . . i'll have to put this on my list of go to's. lately, i've been into a locale grilled cheese shop. like you, i can't resist fine cheese.

    1. You should! Plus it's in Harvard Square so there are lots of things to do around there.

  2. scallops in bacon vinaigrette...sign me up!

  3. Beautiful! :)