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Parc, French Brasserie on S. 18th Street at Rittenhouse Square

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Me too. I know nothing of Philly fine dining. Would Oyster House, Tinto, Estia, and Parc be a four-bagger?

I don't think I'd consider Parc essential - especially given the proliferation of brasseries in DC. They do what they do very well, but if you're staying off Rittenhouse it's really better suited as an option for breakfast, lunch or (even better) a spontaneous glass of bubbles in the afternoon.

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Parc "“ Part of the Starr Restaurant Group, we stopped in for a late-afternoon drink.  Classic brasserie feel over looking Rittenhouse Square, handsome bar, mediocre beers-on-tap list, and a look at the dinner menu revealed it to be expensive ($13 beet salad, $27 hanger steak frites).  But after a day out at the museums, a couple beers and a cone of frites ($6.50) at the bar"¦life could have been worse.      

The Chef de Cuisine at Parc is now Anthony Goodwin, who came from the steakhouse Butcher & Singer (same owners). I mention this since it's possible the steaks might be the thing to order now at Parc.

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[These paragraphs were copied from The Mother Thread as part of larger posts.

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Parc: We plan to visit Le Diplomate some time. Saturday night we sampled its older sibling. Lively doesn't begin to describe this place. The host stand was manned by 4 people and every one of them was needed. Folks were constantly arriving and it was obvious the hosts had fallen behind in seating people.  We were on time and waited at least 15 minutes for our table. The bar was packed, so we just hung around the entry-way until we were seated -- at which point we were graciously thanked for our patience. Our table was also near the entrance and we were well entertained watching the parade of humanity arriving and departing. We noted a significant number of parties consisted of 3 or more young, fashionably dressed ladies (Oh the shoes!) -- alert to you eligible bachelors. As for the food, it was what you would expect -- very solid.  We enjoyed a sampler of 1/2 dozen oysters on the half shell (Washington State, Massachusetts, Long Island) which had a nice range of brininess, salad Lyonnaise (good, nothing remarkable), salade verte (same), scallops (excellent quality, cooked perfectly with a nice sear on the outside, still slightly pink in the middle), and duck confit (the meat was moist and falling off the bone, the sherry vinegar jus induced another dip into the wonderful bread basket). To drink, I had a glass of  "˜Brut' Marquis de la Tour with the oysters, which was just OK.  With the duck I had the Cote-du-Rhone Vidal Fleury, which complemented the food nicely. Over all, it was a fun evening and certainly satisfied my craving for classic bistro fare.

Lunch at Parc was nice.  It was JAMMED at 1:00 PM on Friday and it is a big space, so they must be printing money there.  Wine by the glass list was uninspiring, but I had several good cocktails.  Lamb sandwich with fries tasted great and was a good value.  As is the case with many restaurants trying to replicate the Parisian bistro experience, it was loud as hell and the tables were packed in there.  Since most of our lunch was eaten outside of the crazy time, it was OK, but the first few minutes were tough to have a real conversation in the chaos.

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I'm sure that this has been discussed elsewhere, but Parc was the prototype for DC's Le Diplomate and the two restaurants are essentially twins. It remains one of my go-to brunch spots when I'm in Philly. I've never heard a complaint from anyone I've taken there, including those people who do nothing but complain. The croque madam pictured was perfect, as usual, and a somewhat lighter version than other's I've had.

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I ended up eating here twice during my two week stay in Philadelphia. While it's definitely not my favorite spot I've been to in the city, I'm not upset about that fact. They do what they do very well. 

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2 minutes ago, Mark Dedrick said:

I ended up eating here twice during my two week stay in Philadelphia. While it's definitely not my favorite spot I've been to in the city, I'm not upset about that fact. They do what they do very well. 

How much does it remind you of Le Diplomate (which was originally going to be called Parc)?

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How much does it remind you of Le Diplomate (which was originally going to be called Parc)?

It's the pre-evolutionary Le Dip. It's very obvious that they took Parc and then tweaked it around the edges to make Le Dip. 

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27 minutes ago, mr food said:

any recent visits? We're going to the Kimmel Center and it looks close.

No recent visit, but I'm pretty sure that if you like Le Diplomate, you'll like Parc - they're essentially mirror images. Absent any specific knowledge to the contrary - during any given month, I'd choose Parc, just because it's closer to Starr Restaurants' home base.

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4 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

No recent visit, but I'm pretty sure that if you like Le Diplomate, you'll like Parc - they're essentially mirror images. Absent any specific knowledge to the contrary - during any given month, I'd choose Parc, just because it's closer to Starr Restaurants' home base.

Thanks Don, any other recs in the Kimmel Center area? BYOB or corkage a plus.

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9 minutes ago, mr food said:

Thanks Don, any other recs in the Kimmel Center area? BYOB or corkage a plus.

No BYOB, but I *highly* recommend Vernick - I was just there a few weeks ago, and dinner was wonderful. As good as Parc can be (and it can be as good as Le Diplomate on its very best day), Vernick is going to deliver something more special. 

Screenshot 2018-10-27 at 15.27.59.png

NB - I had my first-ever off meal at Zahav on the same trip: It simply isn't quite as special as it was when it first opened, and the flaws were at a more fundamental level than can be blamed on an "off-night." It's still very good, but it was a long way from the transcendent experience it used to be.

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Depending on your schedule and the show length, you could try booking a late dinner (Vernick, FriSatSun late seatings are around 10:30pm) and pre-game closer to the theatre.

If BYOB is a priority, Russet is very close. I thought it was pleasant enough; Steve R visited more recently and wrote about it somewhere here, maybe in the Help Needed section. Res Ipsa is BYOB too, but it might be a bit far and too much of a time suck for pre-show (if you do the tasting) and what do you do with the leftovers?

Vedge: you'd likely need a booking or go there early for bar seating

Abe Fisher: Jewish-American riffs, might get too heavy for pre-show

Double Knot: would not be my first choice, but it's very popular and more knowledgeable people seem to like it; need to book downstairs main room, or do happy hour upstairs or at Sampan next door

The Safran+Turney group (Barbuzzo, Jamonera, Little Nonna, etc) is not bad for a less "event-" more neighborhood-type meal. 

Possibly dicier options:

I've never been but am curious about Volver inside Kimmel Center - it might be less ambitious now that Garces isn't his own boss.

Oloroso: single visit was somewhat disappointing; too many dishes felt the same and the paella was odd (finished in oven so the crusty part was on top); chef also owns Townsend and A Mano and looks like a cross between Patton Oswalt and Jeremy Renner

Spice Finch: Jen Carroll's newish place inside the same hotel as the Prime Rib; my one meal there was uneven and had a bit of the sameness problem but it hadn't been open very long; desserts were meh, maybe get the kataifi and skip the rest

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On 10/28/2018 at 1:50 PM, guanabana said:

Depending on your schedule and the show length, you could try booking a late dinner (Vernick, FriSatSun late seatings are around 10:30pm) and pre-game closer to the theatre.

Not to be a Debbie Downer, but I was  pleased, but not blown away by my meal at Vernick. In your opinion, @guanabana where would you recommend is the best in the city? A meal that is distinctly Philadelphia, or is under the radar that is superb. 

I suppose all of the raves of Vernick lead me to have high expectations, but I was left a little flat. The dish I was looking forward to the most was the uni & scrambled eggs and in my opinion it was just meh, nothing extraordinary. The salinity and unctuous that I find most appealing about UNI was lost in the yogurt foam. The flavor of the eggs seems flat too. I dare say it was rather bland.   It has been sometime since I have enjoyed a meal with wine pairings so I thought perhaps my palate was out of tune. I I found what the bartender recommended to be entirely too dry to my liking. It was a less than stellar wine match for sure, in my opinion. Perhaps I chose dishes that didn't really capture the magic of Vernick. I am not sure. I want to spend more time dining in Philly, but navigating the city can be a bit overwhelming not being familiar with the landscape. 

A funny thing I learned though while striking up a conversation at dinner. I sat next to a couple that used to reside in the District. They fondly remember the bounty of choices that the District offered. I proceeded to ask where the good pizza was served in  their city of brotherly love. They went on to say, "This is not a pizza city," and recalled how much they miss 2 Amy's.  This surprised me considering Andrew Knowlton of Bon Appetite crowned Pizza Beddia the best in America. I guess everyone's opinion varies, but this reminds me that I need to make visit to  2 Amy's on my next visit to DC. 

Any suggestion on where to visit next is greatly appreciated!

Lost in Philly,

kat

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