Bread: Homemade cracker bread was served with 2 kinds of house cheese infused with thyme. This wasn’t your typical bread basket, which I liked. The thin and crispy cracker bread isn’t as filling as standard rolls or slices, which I was happy about as we had 2 apps and our meal coming!
Menu: Starters, consisting of salads, appetizers, chowder, seafood etc; Tasting of Toast; Bacon 3-Way; Entrees, including burgers, fish, chicken, different types of meats, and a pasta option; Sides, ranging from potatoes to greens to farro.
Food / Presentation:
Tasting of Toast (from top to bottom):
- Fig, ricotta, honey & pine nuts
- Salmon rilletes & pickled mustard
- Duck pastrami, stone ground mustard, arugula
For $10 you’re served 2 each of the above crostini, not bad considering some restaurants will give you 1 slice for $6+. My favorite was definitely the fig spread dolloped with a soft, fluffy mound of ricotta. The duck pastrami was good, and the salmon wasn’t bad but I think the mustard left a somewhat odd taste in my mouth.
Lobster & Crab Dip served with seasoned pita chips
A small cast iron pot came piping hot filled with cheesy lobster & crab dip. The pita chips were extra crunchy which I loved. I noticed a few small chunks of seafood, but not many. This didn’t really bother me though, as the flavor was there and the gooey & stringy cheese paired great with the crunchy pita.
Chickpea-Lentil Burger: celery root-apple slaw & Harissa served with mixed greens
The chickpea-lentil burger was topped with thinly sliced slaw, and the toasted bun was smeared with Harissa (similar to chipotle mayo). The burger was soft in consistency which I credit to the chickpeas, and was scattered with whole lentils. It was actually perfect to cut up and eat with the lightly dressed greens, which I did. And while I didn’t eat the whole bun I was psyched that it was perfectly toasted!
Restroom: Terrible photo, but the wooden stalls were painted a dark green, and the walls were lined with white brick tiles. 3 stalls, 2 sinks.
Service: Our server was attentive and did his job well. The glass bottle of water left at our table was immediately replaced as soon as he noticed it was empty, each course came out at appropriate times, and he made a point to tell us that he had “checked on the entrees and they should be out momentarily”. We were well taken care of.
Overall: I hadn’t heard much about PARK but for whatever reason it was on my list, and the online menu looked great so we made a reservation. I’m really glad we did because I would definitely go back in a heartbeat. It may not be the best summer spot as it’s located underground and has somewhat of a speakeasy feel with its vintage decor. There are 4 different sections of the restaurant: The Dining Room, The Classroom, The Den, and The Back Room. I’m assuming we were sitting in The Den, which consisted of a bar and a few low tables with plush old-school leather chairs, which may just be the most comfortable restaurant chairs ever. The food was great and the menu is diverse enough that I could take basically anyone to PARK (parents, friends on a budget, vegetarians) and they wouldn’t be disappointed. The prices are reasonable which is another plus; the veggie burger was $11 and the Lobster & Crab Dip was $12. Most cocktails are $10 while my Lavender Moon (gin, st. germain, lavender rose honey syrup, lemon juice) was $11, typical cocktail prices. It’s a unique spot, as you don’t really feel like you’re in a restaurant, at least not where we were sitting. The atmosphere is relaxed and casual. I think a must try in Harvard Square!
The Perfect Bite: Toss up between the chickpea-lentil burger with mixed greens and Harissa, and the fig/ricotta/honey/pine nut crostini!