Did anyone go to the first day yesterday? Any comments?
I was in the area and decided to give it a try (because even though I'm generally not a Starr fan, I like French bistros). My friend and I split the pate de campagne for an app - this was nice and moist and seemed wrapped in some sort of fat/skin thing that I knew the texture well enough (from Vietnamese head cheese) to guess at. I had a "Baguette Provencal" with, as far as I could remember, brie, saucisson sec, olives (I think nicoise), and some very lightly dressed greens & julienned carrots - this was pretty good but nothing terribly special, and the baguette was much larger, width-wise, than I anticipated (not necessarily bad, just an observation). My friend had the salade Lyonaise - she liked it, and it looked liked a perfectly poached egg from my perspective. Overall, the best part of the meal was probably the pate de campagne. (I'm a bit biased, though, since I always find the apps more exciting than the mains.)
Service is probably difficult to discuss since it was the restaurant's first day and the place was obscenely crowded. (I took lunch at 2pm, and we still had to wait for a table to be cleared for us to sit down.) Overall, things were slow. The pate came without bread, and we had to flag a runner down for a bread basket. The two mains were extremely slow in coming. It took us 1.5 hrs to finish, which is fast for dinner but not when I'm taking a luch break mid-day - honestly, I wouldn't mind this even if I weren't a little rush for time, but so much of the 1.5 hrs was spent finding the waiter for little things. However, to the waitstaff's credit, everyone was extremely nice and gracious (and thus got a 20% tip despite the slow service), and that went a long way toward us not faulting the slow service.
I sat outside, so I can't say much on atmostphere there other than it's a Rittenhouse sidewalk. My brief venture inside indicates a very pretty place, albeit a touch dark (aka sans light - not suprising since the only folks venturing to the back of the restaurant were the ones heading toward the bathroom). It slightly reminds me [uncrowded] Rx in that open, dark wood, working with instead of against the space kind of feel. Overall, it's not anywhere near the hustle, bustle, European-feeling Balthazar in NYC (as was hoped for by someone on a previous Parc thread), but I think it's on-mark as far as achieving something of a very casual, very French bistro-ish place.
Overall, it's not a terrible place for lunch but not exactly the greatest, either. I'll probably give it a while to get its act together before going back, but I wouldn't be opposed to going back. My current stance is that it's a good place if I'm in the neighbourhood but not a place I'd make a special trip for, which is what Starr was going for anyway, if I remember the concept correctly.
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