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Parkside DOV Experiences


*Deborah*
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Well! Well, well, well.

I think I had the most best luck of all of us in DOV! Started with the fabulosity that is West; went on to good or very good meals at Wild Rice; Diva; Blue Water; HSG; Brix; and tonight, my personal restaurant of 2004, as I don't think I ate anywhere else of that calibre 6 times last year.

In spite of pantyhose issues (:shock:) which made me run a bit later than I would have liked, two of my friends and I got to Parkside maybe two minutes early, which always makes me feel good. HKDave joined us a few minutes later, and our party was complete.

The room...the room was fuller than I've ever seen it; literally every table was full. The noise level was a bit higher than I'm used to there, and there was quite a broad range of diners, including the ubiquitous DOV tap water tables. Naturally, we made up for that as best we could; Dave had a nice Plymouth Martini that was quite to his taste, my friend had a Pineapple Sorbet Cosmopolitan, her husband had a Bourbon Sour, and I was ecstatic to see the Blood Orange Sorbet Negroni back on the menu. That bartender (bless him, I still don't know his name) is the only person on the entire planet who can successfully serve me gin.

Our server (who looked a bit like Johnny Depp, which can't hurt in the tips department) took our orders as soon as we stopped talking enough to actually choose from the menu: four choices per course. We blew all chances of tasting everything by picking almost the same things: Dave, Mike and I all got the Pine mushroom risotto with game jus and truffle essence, which was....sooooo good. We all cleaned our plates. Really delicious. Stéphanie had the Salad of arugula, tomato fondue, baby artichokes and Niçoise olives, preserved lemon vinaigrette which she enjoyed also, leaving only the olives (not an olive fan! who knew?).

For mains, we also leaned in one direction: Crispy skin Cornish hen, creamed spinach, herb tagliatelle, mushroom duxelles, sauce Colbert. This was kind of funny, as Dave had just made and eaten a Cornish Hen at culinary school earlier today, and has been eating duxelles a lot lately as well. It was so so good; the hen atop the other items, the skin just delectable, the meat tender and juicy, and the sauce...mmm. The spinach was very good, and the taglietelle, and the duxelles were something else. I could not finish, only because of the richness...really delicious. Stéphanie had the Braised veal shank, basil mashed potatoes, baby winter vegetables, red wine jus and let me have a bite, which made me wonder why I am not braising veal all the damn time? It was gorgeous.

The wine we decided upon was among the "60 under $60," an Alfiero Boffa Barbera d'Asti 1999 instead of my perennial Burrowing Owl Syrah, as Stéphanie is not the biggest fan of that grape. It was nice and dry, and I characterized it as being a bit thin...but I guess you have all figured out I like my reds as big and burly as possible, much of the time. Alas, I did not win the lottery, so no Pauillacs or other beautiful Bordeaux for us.

For dessert: two sticky toffee puddings with caramel sauce and cinnamon ice cream, one cheese plate featuring a Saint-André, and one crème brûlée with rum-soaked raisins. The pudding...was good. It was not Neil's Gingerbread, which is no fault of its own or its chef. The sauce was very good, and the cinnamon ice cream!!!! now I understand!!!! Stéphanie's crème was a bit too rich for her on top of it all, but I can tell you she yummed up every bit of sugar from the top :laugh:

Dave no doubt will get into some details about his dinner.

When Sahara called earlier today to confirm, she stated we had a reservation from 8 to 10; and I laughed and said we understood. We basically had finished by then, but we stayed to talk for a little while and noone encouraged us to take off, as not so many people want their dinner at 10:00 here (although there were some!). I found service to be fine (and cute, in several instances :wink:) but perhaps that was the Negroni talking, or my hormones, or something. :biggrin:

I had a really pleasant meal, yet again, and thanks to all of you eGulleteers who have had the courage to come out with a stranger and enjoy a meal :smile: it's really made my month!

Edit: Someone said in one of the DOV threads that their server at Parkside had said they told their regulars not to come during Dine-Out as the quality of the meal suffered. Having eaten there as many times as I have, I have to say that the food was as good as ever, although maybe the items were a little different; the choices per course were fewer than usual, but (aside from the glaring lack of foie gras :raz:) they seemed to be at much the same level I am used to seeing there, and portions were large. The Cornish Hen was I think the same dish that has been on the menu for a few months, the veal dish was plated as beautifully as it possibly could be, and the risotto seemed (to me) as delicious as one could hope for. The desserts might have been a bit more elaborate/elaborately presented on a "normal" day, but that's about the only difference I could see. The ambience was quite different than I'm used to there, a bit manic and high-energy, but that's what happens when there's a bum in every seat, and I don't normally go out on Friday/Saturday, since that's when places are busiest/noisiest. Service was still good if not maybe as chatty as I'm used to there, but again that is only what I expect given the volume. We weren't waiting for anything at any point, I don't think. Perhaps I am easygoing in criticism...*shrug* or easy to please? Hmmm. Some would argue that point!!

Edited by *Deborah* (log)

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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Lorna, I have somewhere a recipe for sticky toffee pudding, made in ramekins, and it doesn't have dates in it. I don't know where it's lurking though...that is a really good recipe, and if I ever turn it up, I'll give you a copy.

That ice cream is really something! I don't think I ever had cinnamon before. I'm really enjoying all of these spicy ice creams!

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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The menu sounds great.I had a reservation for Sat but could not make it so my friends are going without me. I am envious. Anyways, I know they will report back to me. I will try this resto next month, when I have my waist back.

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Lorna, I have somewhere a recipe for sticky toffee pudding, made in ramekins, and it doesn't have dates in it. I don't know where it's lurking though...that is a really good recipe, and if I ever turn it up, I'll give you a copy.

That ice cream is really something! I don't think I ever had cinnamon before. I'm really enjoying all of these spicy ice creams!

Ahhhh, cinnamon ice cream. I've searched for cinnamon ice cream for 20 years with no success, then I move to Vancouver and suddenly it's everywhere. :smile: I'm now into my 3rd litre of the stuff......

Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

www.leecarney.com

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No need for me to go into details, Deborah has said it well. This is what a DOV meal should be. Parkside didn't cut corners - 4 solid options each for app, main and dessert on a $25 menu. No $35 menu. No extra 10-tops of water drinkers wedged into the corners. Faultless service and perfectly - perfectly - cooked food. Risotto as an app? That's not easy to do. They did it well.

The message to me was 'Our service and food are always this good, even when we're slammed and running a prix fixe menu. We can cook like this in our sleep. Why don't you come back after DOV and try our real menu? It's even better'.

That's what I though DOV was for. Some restaurants treated DOV like this, West and Parkside being the first to spring to mind. Others used DOV to get warm bodies into their seats at a slow time of year, and then stayed understaffed and cut their food costs to maintain margins. Maybe that works for them... but I won't be going back to those places.

I certainly will be back to Parkside. I wish I could cook like that.

Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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We first tried Parkside last year during DOV and were very impressed. Got to get back there!!!

I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself. - Johnny Carson
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Edit: Someone said in one of the DOV threads that their server at Parkside had said they told their regulars not to come during Dine-Out as the quality of the meal suffered.

Yes, i did say that. Because that's basically what my waiter said. Because i knew him from Blue Water Cafe, he might have felt like he could tell me these things. But i am still a guest, and i dont appreciate feeling like a second-class customer (or an "in the know" second-class customer, for that matter).

As i was disappointed with the "suckling pig terrine", which was in fact Pork rillettes molded into a terrine shape, and came rather dry and lacking in seasoning,

his answer was that most people didnt know the difference (WTF!!). So i guess it's OK. :angry:

The braised veal was very well cooked, but lacked in depth and was crying for more seasoning. The veg on the plate were very poor, over-blanched and under-salted.

Dessert: i wanted to try the creme brulee. Good, not nothing special. The classic Toffee pudding was a better choice, and the ice-cream was well done indeed.

My waiter was kind enough to remind me that it was very important to feel full at the end of the meal. But you know what, that's TOTALLY missing the point of eating... :huh:

To me, the big issue with DOV is that most places lower their standards. THAT IS A MAJOR MISTAKE. Organizing chaos is a big part of our job, and so is blowing away our guests. Our expectations, taste and experiences set our own standards, and that carries in our restaurants. Do not rely on people's lack of experience with food. Give 'em your BEST, because nothing else is good enough.

I dont think most of Vancouver, french-inspired food could make it in a more grown-up city. It's not there yet.

But i hope that i'm part of something, a change towards better food, one baby step at a time.

No chance

Eddy M., Chef & Owner

Se.ed Artisan Foods, Vancouver BC

Follow Se.ed's growth at: http://spaces.msn.com/members/fromseedtofood/

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The message to me was 'Our service and food are always this good, even when we're slammed and running a prix fixe menu.  We can cook like this in our sleep.  Why don't you come back after DOV and try our real menu?  It's even better'. 

That's what I though DOV was for.  Some restaurants treated DOV like this, West and Parkside being the first to spring to mind.  Others used DOV to get warm bodies into their seats at a slow time of year, and then stayed understaffed and cut their food costs to maintain margins.  Maybe that works for them... but I won't be going back to those places.

I agree wholeheartedly. Parkside's DOV menu was by far the best of the three DOV dinners I had last year. I couldn't believe I paid only $25 for the food I was getting!

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afternoon all

having very recently enjoyed a plate of both neil`s gingerbread pudding and a pre- DOV sample of parkside`s sticky toffee pudding. i think that these two specimens of gustatory pleasure are the best in the city. i for one would not want the task of trying to seperate them.

a nod of respect should also go to pastis for their creme caramel too.

any other stand out desserts egulleters ?

tt
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Edit: Someone said in one of the DOV threads that their server at Parkside had said they told their regulars not to come during Dine-Out as the quality of the meal suffered.

Yes, i did say that. Because that's basically what my waiter said. Because i knew him from Blue Water Cafe, he might have felt like he could tell me these things. But i am still a guest, and i dont appreciate feeling like a second-class customer (or an "in the know" second-class customer, for that matter).

As i was disappointed with the "suckling pig terrine", which was in fact Pork rillettes molded into a terrine shape, and came rather dry and lacking in seasoning,

his answer was that most people didnt know the difference (WTF!!). So i guess it's OK. :angry:

The braised veal was very well cooked, but lacked in depth and was crying for more seasoning.  The veg on the plate were very poor, over-blanched and under-salted.

Dessert: i wanted to try the creme brulee. Good, not nothing special. The classic Toffee pudding was a better choice, and the ice-cream was well done indeed.

My waiter was kind enough to remind me that it was very important to feel full at the end of the meal. But you know what, that's TOTALLY missing the point of eating... :huh: 

To me, the big issue with DOV is that most places lower their standards. THAT IS A MAJOR MISTAKE. Organizing chaos is a big part of our job, and so is blowing away our guests. Our expectations, taste and experiences set our own standards, and that carries in our restaurants. Do not rely on people's lack of experience with food. Give 'em your BEST, because nothing else is good enough.

I dont think most of Vancouver, french-inspired food could make it in a more grown-up city. It's not there yet.

But i hope that i'm part of something, a change towards better food, one baby step at a time.

No chance

Wow, Eddy! I'm glad that I ordered the items I did. I was actually leaning toward the terrine, but decided to try something different.

Perhaps I am too easily pleased (although I really did love your chocolate tart!! :wink:) or not discriminating enough...when I get something I don't like very much in a restaurant, I also tend to think, "Hmm, that's not to my taste," rather than "Oh that's not very good"--most of the time. Although I am picky about things that I know how to make, and desserts. I guess that's where a chef makes a tough critic.

I wasn't disputing what you had said, btw (and I agree that it's a bit tactless of your server to share it with you!), but the differences I noticed were minor, and didn't make me feel as though I were being gypped in some way, as some people seem to have felt about their DOVs. So even though it was not like a regular visit to Parkside for me, I will still be returning ISO Blood Orange Negronis and seared foie gras when my budget allows, and Chef Durbach remains high on my list of Vancouver favourites.

:smile:

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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afternoon all

having very recently enjoyed a plate of both neil`s gingerbread pudding and a pre- DOV sample of parkside`s sticky toffee pudding. i think that these two specimens of gustatory pleasure are the best in the city. i for one would not want the task of trying to seperate them.

a nod of respect should also go to pastis for their creme caramel too.

any other stand out desserts egulleters ?

I have had a very respectable sticky toffee pudding at Brix over the past few years. Actually, I think that was the first one I tried in the city after having fallen in love (with the pudding :hmmm:) on a trip to the UK a few years ago.

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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afternoon all

having very recently enjoyed a plate of both neil`s gingerbread pudding and a pre- DOV sample of parkside`s sticky toffee pudding. i think that these two specimens of gustatory pleasure are the best in the city. i for one would not want the task of trying to seperate them.

a nod of respect should also go to pastis for their creme caramel too.

any other stand out desserts egulleters ?

I have had a very respectable sticky toffee pudding at Brix over the past few years. Actually, I think that was the first one I tried in the city after having fallen in love (with the pudding :hmmm:) on a trip to the UK a few years ago.

I really enjoyed the Maple Creme Brulee from Mosaic Bar & Grille at last Wednesdays foray out for DOV.

Now back to Parkside..... I'm about to cancel a reso I have for 2 there tomorrow night at 6 p.m. (for, hmmmmm.... various reasons) so if anyone is jonesing to eat their DOV menu, you might want to give them a shout.

sarah

Always take a good look at what you're about to eat. It's not so important to know what it is, but it's critical to know what it was. --Unknown

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Just returned from Parkside - they are still serving DOV menu. We enjoyed our evening, the ambiance, the service, the food and the drinks.

One thing we noticed was the bartender's skill as well as the plethora of fresh/house made ingredients that went into some martini-style drinks - e.g. greyhound with fresh grapefruit juice, grapefruit sorbet or the blood orange negroni - with house made blood orange sorbet. [Deborah, anytime you want to head down there for one, let me know!] All the juices were fresh in the drinks we ordered and it stands out as a mark of a good bartender and a quality establishment. One of our party ordered a burbon sour, which was a drink none of us had tried before - yum.

Surprisingly we all had the risotto with pine mushrooms to start - it surprised me, usually I would choose something else just to try other items, but I am quite the risotto fan these days... everyone was happy with this as a starter. For mains we had two cornish hens, one braised veal and one ravioli - all the bites I tasted were delectable, there was nothing left on anyone's plate except the veal bone. Of particular note, the ravioli were devine, with toasted almonds as part of the plating - a very nice touch (made the dish in my opinion).

Coffee which was declared by one at our table as 'best restaurant coffee in Vancouver', made me decide I had to have some - and yes, like the other items that came from the bar, it was quite delicious. There is also an amazing collection of eau de vie, grappa, etc. I'm interested in these types of collections, so we checked it out.

Once cheese plate, one grapefruit sorbet with poached grapefruit sections and two sticky toffee puddings later - the sorbet and the ice cream are real standouts. The cake/pudding part of the sticky toffee pudding was admired quite a bit by our resident gingerbread fan.

Very knowledgable staff, there when you needed them, unobtrusive and with plenty of clean flatware between courses added to our evening and to the place's charm. We also like that the room is small and cosy.

All four are ready and willing to go back there soon and try their ever changing regular menu. Any readers from Parkside, our thanks to both FOH and BOH staff - we are glad that we came and tried you during DOV, and our experience beckons us to come back soon!

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Having known Andre (Durbach - the chef in question here) for many years, I can attest to the fact that he would not skimp if you held a gun to his head.

Those of you who know him from his stint at Lucy Mae Brown will remember some guilt at paying so rediculously little for such amazing meals. Some of you may even remember Etoile (where Bis Moreno is now). There too, "comprimise" was never entertained.

This was bourne out at Parkside during the recent DOV. It is truly astonishing that they served that many diners (my conservative estimate puts it over 2000 covers in three weeks) and did it as if it were any day of the year. Portions, freshness, saucing and timing were all flawless. A $40 three course menu for $25? Mind boggling...

S.O./myself had Terrine/Terrine, Salmon/Hen and Toffee/Cheese. With cocktails to start, wines by the glass and a Grandfather's tawny (for myself with the cheese) we were out of there at $100 even (pre-tip). For our American viewers just tuning in, that's about $80 for <i>two</i> people: warm, full and grinning with culinary satisfaction.

no... the other Keith

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Coffee which was declared by one at our table as 'best restaurant coffee in Vancouver', made me decide I had to have some - and yes, like the other items that came from the bar, it was quite delicious. 

I'm in total agreement. The coffee they serve is absolutely fantastic. I once asked for the name of their coffee supplier, and the waitress kindly wrote it down for me, but I lost the piece of paper. She told me, though, that she was quite sure they only dealt with restaurants.

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Coffee which was declared by one at our table as 'best restaurant coffee in Vancouver', made me decide I had to have some - and yes, like the other items that came from the bar, it was quite delicious. 

I'm in total agreement. The coffee they serve is absolutely fantastic. I once asked for the name of their coffee supplier, and the waitress kindly wrote it down for me, but I lost the piece of paper. She told me, though, that she was quite sure they only dealt with restaurants.

Ling, that is interesting - but so many other restaurants have lousy coffee. I'm determined to find out. One thing I can say though is one of my dining partners ordered coffee and got an Americano, this is a good sign, e.g. they are brewing by the cup. He kept raving, so I had to have one too :rolleyes: and it was quite delicious. I am hoping to find out the coffee, didn't ask as we were needing to leave to try and keep within DOV boundaries of our timeline. Let me just say that nobody was rushing us, and there wasn't anyone waiting for our table (yet).

Mmmn, coffee, maybe that is what I need to perk up my day :wink:

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Having known Andre (Durbach - the chef in question here) for many years, I can attest to the fact that he would not skimp if you held a gun to his head.

Those of you who know him from his stint at Lucy Mae Brown will remember some guilt at paying so rediculously little for such amazing meals. Some of you may even remember Etoile (where Bis Moreno is now). There too, "comprimise" was never entertained.

This was bourne out at Parkside during the recent DOV. It is truly astonishing that they served that many diners (my conservative estimate puts it over 2000 covers in three weeks) and did it as if it were any day of the year. Portions, freshness, saucing and timing were all flawless. A $40 three course menu for $25? Mind boggling...

S.O./myself had Terrine/Terrine, Salmon/Hen and Toffee/Cheese. With cocktails to start, wines by the glass and a Grandfather's tawny (for myself with the cheese) we were out of there at $100 even (pre-tip). For our American viewers just tuning in, that's about $80 for <i>two</i> people: warm, full and grinning with culinary satisfaction.

advertorial ?

tt
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Having known Andre (Durbach - the chef in question here) for many years, I can attest to the fact that he would not skimp if you held a gun to his head.

Those of you who know him from his stint at Lucy Mae Brown will remember some guilt at paying so rediculously little for such amazing meals. Some of you may even remember Etoile (where Bis Moreno is now). There too, "comprimise" was never entertained.

This was bourne out at Parkside during the recent DOV. It is truly astonishing that they served that many diners (my conservative estimate puts it over 2000 covers in three weeks) and did it as if it were any day of the year. Portions, freshness, saucing and timing were all flawless. A $40 three course menu for $25? Mind boggling...

S.O./myself had Terrine/Terrine, Salmon/Hen and Toffee/Cheese. With cocktails to start, wines by the glass and a Grandfather's tawny (for myself with the cheese) we were out of there at $100 even (pre-tip). For our American viewers just tuning in, that's about $80 for <i>two</i> people: warm, full and grinning with culinary satisfaction.

advertorial ?

I'd put that on the Parkside website! :wink:

I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself. - Johnny Carson
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  • 11 months later...

Let's get the DOV review party started.

Mr Cat and I just got back from a seam-busting night at Parkside. From reading the "report your bookings" thread and examining avatars, I have cleverly deduced that we were sitting next to JasmineL. Had I checked the thread earlier and known this beforehand, I would have of course shown you my decoder ring and we could have talked eGullet, but alas it was not to be.

We arrived for our 8:30 seating on the dot and the earlier seating occupying our table was still on dessert, so we settled in at the bar for some cocktails. Parkside is one of the few places around time that crafts my beloved French 75 (more cocktails ought to be named after cannons), so I started with one of those (made to perfection - oh lord, was it ever good), and Mr Cat had the Frozen Greyhound - a scoop of grapefruit sorbet melted down in vodka. Baskinsi-Robbinski. Yum.

Our table freed up and we opted to relax at the bar with our cocktails for a bit, and finally ambled over to our little corner of the room once I had drained most of my drink. As the hostess seated us, she said "You guys make a gorgeous couple. Really hot." and that was it - Parkside could have served us dog food on Wonderbread and I would still give it an A+++++ after that comment.

Still being in the budget-conscious post-new-home phase, we opted for one of the bargains on their wine menu, the Les Brottiers Cotes-du-Rhone. Along with the Louis Bernard Village, this is one the great C-d-R bargains to be had at $35 on the menu (although I give the slight edge in overall quality to the Louis Bernard.) The fact that Mr Cat was only going for one glass and I had to polish off the remainder of the bottle also contributed to our decision not to go too extravagant with the wine. I've always figured that after 3 or 4 glasses, my objective palate dismisses itself and is replaced by my "gimme more of that fermeted shtuff" alter ego, so spending the big $$$ on lots of glasses still doesn't fly with me.

Mr Cat and I had different starters - I went for the terrine of chicken, rabbit, smoked ham and foie gras, with toasted country bread and traditional garnishes, and the man had the pesto crusted salmon carpaccio, with potato and green bean salad andtapenade vinaigrette. The terrine was fantastic - from meals with our family in France I am used to layered terrines, but this one was all mixed up in a jumble of terroir goodness. I had to pick out one wee bone and one cartilaginous bit, but overall it was deliciously fantastic, and tasted almost like a perfectly traditional holiday dressing but crafted out of meat instead of bread. If all dishes translated into meat form so well, I would be a very happy and very protein-ated little creature. I had a bite of the salmon carpaccio too - it was thicker than a true carpaccio, more like small sashimi medallions, but was delicious.

We both had the braised beef short rib with spring onion mashed potato, savoy cabbage, and mustard jus for our mains (there were also a few cubes of various and sundry winter veg). This was outstanding - the beef was so tender that you'd just look at it and it would fall to pieces. A very sophisticated and expertly done version of a warm, hearty home cookin' dish.

Dessert for both of us was the sticky toffee pudding, which is a close cousin to the HSG gingerbread pudding. I never met a sticky pudding with caramel topping that I didn't like, and of course, this was no exception.

Man, I am ever glad I didn't wear pants. I'd have had to crack the button mid-meal.

I should probably clarify that by saying I wore a dress. I didn't show up totally pantless. Maybe next year.

Anyway, it was a fantatsic evening over all. We were paired with Deborah's beloved Johnny Depp Waiter, Michel (who I realized tonight was the waiter at my birthday party that Mamacat was so charmed by), who is a consommate professional and, as Deborah so rightly pointed out, is FINE!

I am going to roll around in all my over-fed glory and let my stomach marinate in its own juices.

Edited because I hit submit too early.

Edited by snacky_cat (log)

Jenn

"She's not that kind of a girl, Booger!"

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Nice review...I'm a big fan of Parkside. Looking forward to having my birthday dinner there in mid February. Did you part take in any of their amazing eau de vies?.

Stephen

"who needs a wine list when you can get pissed on dessert" Gordon Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares 2005

MY BLOG

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You guys make a gorgeous couple. Really hot." and that was it - Parkside could have served us dog food on Wonderbread and I would still give it an A+++++ after that comment.

One half of you anyways - the other ? The jury is out on that !

Heh heh heh :biggrin: Joel's drink was piiiiiiiiink and served in a martini glass. There was something oddly fetching about a scruffy musician dragging a little pink martini around. Perhaps it upped his cute factor. <prepares self for "No, I meant Joel was the cute one" retort :smile: >

Stephen- we skipped after-dinner drinks as we simply did not have room for another molecule of anything in our bellies. In fact, I just woke up and am STILL full. My god. Enjoy your birthday meal - I had my party there last year and we all had a fantastic evening (I saved the day's menu as a souvenir, and consulting it reveals that I had I prawn and scallop tortellini in a seafood bisque with green and white asparagus to start, venison tenderloin medallions in a cognac sauce, and their woooonderful dulce de leche caramel flan.)

Jenn

"She's not that kind of a girl, Booger!"

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