Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Park Kitchen Pleasure Principle

Sorry for the posting drought. It's not my fault. I've been out of commission for a few days digesting this awesome meal we had at Park Kitchen, chef/owner Scott Dolich's playhouse of all things insanely delicious. w and I met our friends J&K there last Saturday and as always, it was a thrill-a-bite meal. Every time I'm there I am amazed at what Dolich does with flavor combinations. Now I can hack my way through a few pretty good dinners for my friends, but what separates me from those who really have the knowledge is putting ingredients together that to my naïve and unimaginative mind would never even see each other on the same plate.

Case in point is one of his current small hot plates (the menu is divided into small hot plates, small cold plates, and large plates), a fabulous poached duck egg perched on top of a trumpet mushroom sugo, beautifully presented and sensationally delicious. Or off the small cold plates list a mouthwatering salad of asparagus, belgian endive, and whole anchovies that was so fresh, bright, and clean that each bite was like the first bite. Also not to be missed are his flank steak "salad" with blue cheese, parsley, and sherried onions and the baked oysters with spinach and pernod, the oysters maintaining their fresh, briny oceany flavor enhanced by the pernod tang.

For large plates we had an awesome SuDan farms lamb with goat cheese croquettes that was so rich and so good I was swooning. We also had their sliced duck with a Chinese turnip cake and mushrooms braised in red wine...fantastic. Again it seems everything Scott puts down works at least 90% of the time, which when you're performing this culinary high wire act and pushing boundaries like he does is a pretty good average. Finally the desserts were also more than acceptable finishing touches, although the Meyer lemon pudding could have had more of a citrus punch. Like I said, 90% of the time they absolutely nail it. In the end we all walked out more than satisfied, knowing we ate at one of this cities best restaurants....hell, any restaurants.
eat.drink.think. rating: ***1/2 (out of four)

Note: Also not to be missed is Park Kitchen's tasting menu, which is a great way to go for four+ people. You get an unforgettable tour of their menu that will hit your palate with so may pleasurable tastes your head will be swimming!

photo from singleguychef


Hatstrap said...

I was hoping for some sort of Janet Jackson reference.

bb said...

If there had been a "culinary malfunction" you would have gotten it!