227 S. 18th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Rating: 5/5.If I could, I would give it more.
Ideal for: Family Gathering, Celebration.
I have been coming to Philadelphia since I was 8 years old. That means that, since I was 8 years old, I have seen this city’s iconic restaurants become what they are today. Sadly, my parents wouldn’t take me to these places because I was not going to eat more than fries -I was a picky eater, remember?-, so we would go to restaurants which menu features things that the once upon a time picky eater I was would eat. Parc was not one of those places.
I’ve been meaning to go to Parc, though, since my first day of college. I saw that they have macaroni au gratin (oven-baked mac and cheese) and I was beyond excited to try it. After four years of living in Philadelphia, I, Orly, ate that delicious and fancy mac and cheese. But let’s talk about Parc’s bread basket first, shall we?
Parc’s bread basket comes with three different types of bread: sourdough, baguette and a multi-grain bread that has chunks of nuts and cranberry in it. The best part of the bread basket? The butter. My grandmother, Trudy, and I shared our love for bread and butter, so we are experts on this topic. The butter was extremely creamy and salty, just how I like it. It was thick, it was easy to spread, and it complemented the freshly baked bread we got that morning.
I especially enjoyed the baguette with a thick layer of butter and was extremely happy when I sipped my caffe au lait (cafe latte). This one was one of the best coffees I’ve had in my life. It was strong without being bitter, and the almond milk was heated to perfection: not too hot, not too cold. I later found out that Parc serves La Colombe coffee, which I was not particularly a fan of. The hot chocolate my friend order was homemade at Parc, so imagine my face when I realized that my beloved coffee was not some sort of French blend.
Besides the amazing bread basket, we shared a bowl of fresh berries and the famous macaroni au gratin. The bowl came with blueberries, strawberries and raspberries and all of them were extremely fresh. They were cold, making them very refreshing to my mouth. The macaroni au gratin was one of the best ones I have had the pleasure of eating — I swear I have eaten more mac and cheese than any other human being has! To my surprise, the sauce was very creamy without being overwhelmingly cheese and yet I loved it. The pasta was cooked al dente, and the breadcrumbs on top had butter with some herbs that mix so well with the cheese cream. Definitely worth eating this plate if you go to Parc.
For entree, I ate my favorite brunch plate: eggs Benedict. I asked them to be Norwegian, so I can enjoy some Nova Salmon with my meal. The salmon, although it was too salty for my taste, was quite delicious. It felt very fresh and very soft. The muffins were toasted, buttery and melted in my mouth as soon as I bit into them, and the egg’s yolk was so runny that I didn’t even have the chance to take a video of it. I asked for the plate to come with fries, but you can choose any other side like pommes puree (mashed potatoes), haricots vests (green beans) or sautéed spinach.
The atmosphere of Parc is what makes the whole experience even better. If you are lucky and the weather allows it, you can sit outside with a view of Rittenhouse Square. If you sit inside the restaurant, the wooden tables and the laps make you feel like you are in Paris, even if I can’t imagine a restaurant this big in an European country.
Jewtina Tips: Make a reservation ahead of time, especially on the weekends!