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7/2/12, Park Restaurant In Harvard Square- A Most Satisfying Neighborhood Gem


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7/2/12, Park Restaurant In Harvard Square- A Most Satisfying Neighborhood Gem

opinionatedchef | Jul 2, 2012 08:06 PM

Just returned from a really satisfying dinner at the new Park Restaurant in Harv Sq. Devra First had given it 2 1/2 stars last wk but i never saw any CH reviews of it. We were there very early so it was quiet, but i imagine it might get very lively later in the eve. Big dark room all black/brown with red banquettes and lots of high top seating for small and large groups. "Modern Pub" decor? Our waitress was topshelf; really knew her food stuff; came from a year at Russell House Tavern (sister to Park). Bartender made a great cosmo; FINally, a cosmo that i didn't need to be squeezing extra lime into. Reds by the Glass list was v. good.

I actually think I liked everything about our meal <Notary Public! Notary Public!>
Table 'bread' is some kind of thin wafer sheet served w/ a soft cabot cheddar drizzled w/ port syrup. The beet salad was probably the best i've ever had and easily the most generous- a rainbow of baby beet wedges scattered across a swipe of tart lemon curd ,with roasted hazelnuts,grapefruit and orange segments, sea salt and baby greens. My Love had Seared Scallops over a corn puree with bacon vinaigrette and shaved asparagus. I had the same set-up with a Scottish salmon fillet that was perfectly grilled rare.Tomato risotto was creamy and perfectly cooked; roasted mushrooms side was good (but paled next to the buttery garlicky Ben's Mushroom side at Strip T's.) Portions, esp for the price, were average for the entrees and sides and generous for the apps.

Park is what Open Table would categorize as a "Neighborhood Gem." The chef has obviously put in his time (Mistral included) and i really enjoyed the way he tweaks so many of his dishes to make them unusual and his own. The things that surprised me about the menu (Park's very first menu)is that it seems to have a number of cold weather dishes- cassoulet beans, duck leg with lentils, pot pies, clam chowder; and unusual whole grain starches are absent.(Bring on the freekeh, bulghur,farro, rye berries and red quinoa!) First found desserts lacking and we were too full to try them anyway.

In the near future, I hope Park's desserts will improve and that the chef will focus more on the summer as it progresses . But it's certainly a very big menu , with many appealing items, and after our delicious dinner tonight, we are really looking forward to exploring it further.

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