Since January, 2003
            
 Sliding from Before to After

After months of waiting, a simple tweet a few moments ago says that the Park Tavern restaurant at 2nd and M SE in Canal Park is open for business.
If you stop by there, give us some details in the comments.
UPDATE: I should also mention that the BID tweeted that the water feature (some might call it "fountains") at Canal Park is operational today as well, after a breather during the switchover from ice rink to warm weather retreat.
UPDATE II: Here is the menu. (If you want to see the chicken, parm cream, and dried cherries flatbread, here 'tis. And here's the taps. And the cocktail menu, blurred to give you the experience of ordering after you've had a few.) The manager told me they will just be open for dinner for a few weeks, then expand to lunch.
UPDATE III: Photos of the interior here and here. (Yeah, they were taken back in November, but nothing's changed!)
Comments (11)
   
 
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VelocityChris says: (4/8/13 6:32 PM)
Someone in my building posted this:


"...just wanted to let you know Park Tavern on 2nd Street, SE opened today! Just had a great dinner! Try the Porch Swing cocktail, it is delicious!"


JD says: (4/8/13 6:36 PM)
Am awaiting my food as we speak.


JES says: (4/8/13 9:04 PM)
JD or anyone, any intel on happy hour specials?


JD says: (4/8/13 10:48 PM)
Didn't hear anything on Happy Hour. Perhaps they're going to enjoy offering stuff at full price until the crowds thin.

After all the griping about them not opening, no one is going to weigh in? Not as much fun when things actually open? ;-)


323 says: (4/8/13 11:39 PM)
i'll give it a try. The interior space was much bigger than i anticipated. Atmosphere was great. Bar is stocked with some decent bourbons and ryes. Looks like a great spot for a cocktail. Everyone was very nice and professional.

The menu looked much more ambitious than what I was expecting.

Thought I would stick to what seemed simplest. Tried the calamari, a flatbread, and a burger.

Calamari was not good. Overcooked and bland. Seemed like an attempt at Capital Grille's calamari. Cooked properly it might have been good.

"Meat Locker" Flatbread was pretty good. They either have a problem with their wood fired oven or don't know how to properly use it, because it came out half well done and half undercooked, similar to the picture JD posted. It should have not been served looking like it did. Having said that, the half that was well done was excellent. Maybe a touch too much cheese but that is a personal preference. Sort of made it a bit too soggy, but again it may have been the oven.

The park burger was excellent. I ordered it medium, and it was served medium well, but properly cooked I would certainly order it again. The blend of short rib, brisket and chuck worked really well despite being overcooked. The fries were average, but man they piled them on. SO many fries. Not a bad thing at all. Next time I will try the lamb, beef and bacon blend.

Anyways, I thought the quality of the ingredients was very good, and I am certainly ok chalking up most of the issues with the fact it was the first night. I do wonder if the menu is too ambitious to sustain with consistency. If they are not going to go all in with the menu (in this case very disciplined, knowledgeable front of house, fully staffed kitchen with sous etc.), then it might need to be simplified a bit. Maybe they will. Hope they do. But if they dont, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a simple, consistent, quality american tavern menu.

Looking forward to hearing others opinion.


Packinblackandred says: (4/9/13 10:08 AM)
We definitely enjoyed it when we went. The food was a bit inconsistent, with the calamari being tasty (perhaps ours was better cooked than 323's?) but the fish sandwich wasn't the best. That said, all of the individual ingredients seemed good, so maybe a refinement of the cooking process would make the food consistently great.

The Pimm's Cup was wonderful--very cucumbery! Looking forward to trying the Porch Swing, too.


PJY03 says: (4/9/13 10:39 AM)
I had the Park Burger. Opening night (for me) isn't the night to try a restaurant's more ambitious offerings, or anything seafood-wise. Let them settle in.

As the poster above said, the burger was very good. Mine was cooked to a perfect medium, and was a solid amount of delicious beef. You don't need ketchup and mustard or anything -- the burger stands on its own with just the right amount of grease. I didn't try the fries, but the house salad on the side came with a really nice balsamic vin and toasted walnuts. Paired well with the burger.

The beer selection is good and they're properly served in the right glasses with the right amount of head. The atmosphere was excellent, and while the service was slow (to be expected), the demeanor of the staff was far better than at most opening weeks at a restaurant.

I'll try some of their more ambitious items once they have a chance to work out the kinks. I definitely think that this place is filling a niche that doesn't already exist in the neighborhood. They will do well with the office crowd, locals, and older baseball fans (not the red loft/bullpen crowd, and probably not families with kids).


r_rudd says: (4/9/13 3:29 PM)
I had to check it out on day one too, and I had my overall expectations low and my patience set to full. I met a few friends, and our table eventually grew to something like ten people. The server handled it well, though I did feel bad that we kept growing our group. Anyway, there were a few snags, but nothing that will keep me from coming back. After hearing Steve Rosenthal (exec chef) talk about the dark and smoky burger, I decided I should give it a try. While it was a good burger, it wasn't as smoky as I had hoped and I'm wondering if their first shipment of bacon didn't make it or if there was some other kitchen blunder that rendered my patty free of cured pork. Regardless, the food was good, even if it took a little longer than it would in a more mature restaurant. There are many other menu items I'd like to try, and it is ridiculously close to my house, so I'll be back. I was a bit disappointed by the number of wines available by the glass, and some of their bottled offerings are at an unexpected price point.

Park Tavern is definitely a welcome addition to the neighborhood, and after a few days or weeks, I'm sure they'll work through some of the hurdles of being new. Everyone just needs to get settled into their roles and more familiar with all of the details, and I'm sure things will be fine. I hope they're going to be able to handle baseball crowds okay at this point!


fakt says: (4/9/13 4:15 PM)
We also went there last night. Loved the outdoor seating and staff was friendly. I was pleasantly surprised at the size of the chicken, parm and cherry flatbread as it was larger than I expected for the price but a little bland. We brought our 2 yo and I thought the restaurant was semi-kid friendly. They had high chairs for the kiddos and brought out a side of fries (which also lacked seasoning) for my daughter which wasn't listed on the menu. A gentleman in a suit and purple shirt (manager, owner???) made a point to come over and check on us which was nice and also said they will have kid friendly items on the menu in the future like chicken fingers. I hope they consider plastic cups for the kids too so I can relax a little more and not have to be so paranoid about my daughter breaking a glass! I also agree with others that the wine selection was limited and the bottle prices were a little steep.

But overall a nice experience and looking forward to returning, even before they add the kids menu!


conngs0 says: (4/10/13 9:21 AM)
Stopped in last night after the game. I agree with the prior comments regarding the demeanor of the staff - even at the later hour, everyone I encountered was very nice and seemed genuinely excited to be there.

The outdoor area was phenomenal on such a nice night. They're really going to have to crank up the AC in the summer with all those windows and the surrounding concrete from the park though!

Overall, I'd say that this place should make anyone's shortlist of spots to grab a cold beer or cocktail inasmuch as they've created a comfortable atmosphere with a good selection of beverages that appear to be consistently well-prepared. On the subject of food, I'll reserve judgment until the restaurant has had a chance to settle in a bit more.


58Model says: (4/17/13 2:25 PM)
Near Southeast: a drinking neighborhood with a baseball problem!

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