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Feb 28, 2008 12:42 PM

Park 52?

Anyone have news on the grand opening of Kleiner's long-awaited HP foray?

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  1. I live in HP, so I've been eagerly awaiting the opening as well. I peak in the windows everytime I walk by. All the decorations have been up for a while, and the hostess computer has recently been installed. Looks like things are in full swing.

    I just checked opentable, and the restaurant is accepting reservations for April 10th and after.

    southside eats

    1 Reply
    1. re: southsideeats

      I thought I saw something in the RedEye that Park 52 is supposed to open next week so that would fit right with opentable taking reservations for 4/10 and beyond. The website is still "under construction."
      No menu posted yet anywhere that I can see.

    2. I've scanned the menu from the first week as a pdf file and tried to attach it to this post to no avail. Oh well!

      1. Menu is extremely veggie-unfriendly, alas.

        4 Replies
        1. re: 6rabbit

          Have you seen the menu? Is there a place where we can take a look at it?

          I would be hesitant to come to any conclusions on this basis about a restaurant before they have even opened. Almost every good restaurant is able to come up with food to satisfy a vegetarian. Sometimes specific items are listed on the menu; at many other places, they are not listed, but they are happy to provide vegetarian choices (sometimes amazing ones) on request.

          1. re: nsxtasy

            Yeah, just go to the restaurant and they'll give you one. There is one vegetarian entree on the menu (an uninspired-sounding pasta). I understand that most restaurants can "come up with something," but that's not the same as having an array to choose from.

            1. re: nsxtasy

              Just a footnote to my previous reply: those who teach or work at the University of Chicago have eagerly awaited another place in Hyde Park to take job candidates out to dinner; there's only one suitable restaurant at the moment. Since we have to go back to these places week after week, it does get a bit tiresome if one has to eat the same thing each time.

              1. re: 6rabbit

                I haven't eaten a full meal there yet. However, the crab cake one of the co-owners bought for me (full disclosure) last week was pretty good. And, yesterday, the stuffed trout appetizer I bought was excellent - it was rolled up like a make and stuffed with a potato/spinach/crab puree and had chive oil on one side of the plate and a roasted red pepper sauce on the other. I asked the chef(?) if the trout was from Rushing Waters Farms in Palmyra, WI (a place I've shopped and fished at several times) and he said he knows it and buys from there when he can. All this bodes well for when I break down and actually dine there.

          2. I'm also a Hyde Parker, but hadn't gotten to Park 52 til last night. It was a Monday night, but there was still a decent crowd, so I'm hoping it will survive.

            We had a lovely meal -- at first the menu seemed a bit limited, but the specials - a honeydew melon soup with champagne and bits of jicama and a bit of red chilis (thai perhaps?), and a sauteed (IIRC) white bass sauteed with morels, caramelized maui onions, spinach and a garlic broth (thickened with potato, I think) - were superb. My table mates were pleased with the burger and fries (!), and glazed salmon, a vegetable terrine appetizer, and interesting salads. Attentive friendly service, but not at a pace that I would trust them for a pre-theater dinner, unless they gear up differently on weekend nights. Cute sweet cocktails, that I did not try, and a decent, modestly priced wine list. The beer selection could have been more imaginative (and I'm not a beer drinker!)

            Not a complete loss for vegetarians, in my humble semi-vegetarian opinion. At least one appetizer - the vegetable terrine plate that my husband said was very good- , the fruit soup, and several salads. Many vegetable sides available a la carte. Yes, a coucous/lentil/other bean-grain main course would be welcome, but perhaps advance notice to the kitchen might get an accommodation?

            Cost - we each had a couple of drinks by the glass, appetizers, main course, one side dish, and coffee. Total for two before tip - $94. Good value but not cheap, in my estimation. There's a big parking lot right next door. I'm glad to have it in the neighborhood, and hope it stays a while!