i sent my co-worker who was in town last week to Parkside and he really enjoyed it and said the people were very friendly and attentive. I plan on trying it out in the next couple of weeks. He really liked their wine list. I didn't get an exact report on what he ordered.
I went to Parkside this past weekend during SXSW and really enjoyed it. We definitely got the impression that they had JUST opened, as there were a lot of details that hadn't yet been ironed out. For instance, we were brought our appetizers before we had received drinks and silverware, little details like that... We sat out on their balcony, which is really quite lovely and has a nice breeze blowing through.
I ordered one of their specialty drinks that was made with my favorite gin (Citadelle), and it was very yummy- "French something..." For an appetizer we ordered the calamari, which was some of the best I've had in a while. It's served with a garlic aoli and was very lightly breaded, and fried just enough. It was tender and not chewy at all. I also ordered the ceasar, which is a knife and fork ceasar that comes with crostinis and anchovies. The anchovies were divine and were some of the best I've ever had- not too salty and wonderful flavor. As an entree I ordered the steak tartar which was also very good. This was only my second time to order steak tartar, so I wouldn't say that I'm the best judge of it. It was a finely chopped steak mixed with capers and really yummy pickles with a raw egg yolk on top. This was served with crostinis. Everyone at the table had some, and agreed that it was very tastey. My husband ordered the shrimp entree, which was awesome. The shrimp were amazing quality- plump, sweet, and perfectly cooked. Very flavorful. He also got the potatoes au gratin as a side, which were fantastic. The cheese sauce was rich and not too salty (like some I've had), and tasted like it was made with gruyere- yum!
My friends ordered the burger and fries and the chichekn sandwich which were both very small "mini" sandwiches. Both entrees included aoli dipping sauce for the fries. I didn't try any of the chicken sandwich, but the burger was excellent. Juicy, good-quality meat, on a very crusty gourmet bun- but keep in mind, not your average size burger.
In summary, I will be going back to Parkside. They have fairly decent prices, but very small portions. Entrees seem to be pretty much a la carte, unles it otherwise specifies on the menu. This was perfect for us while we were at sxsw, as we weren't really looking to fill up, just wanted a little break from all the sidewalk food. Just keep in mind, the appetizers are small and pretty much meant for 2 people. For 2 peeople you could easily be able to eat an appetizer, 2 salads, 2 entrees, and sides- which would probably run you about $60-75. While I really enjoyed it, I'm not sure if the typical 6th street crowd is quite ready for that style of dining. But like I said, I will be making it back to Parkside. Next time I'll try something else from the raw foods section of the menu.
Parkside has become me and my bf's Monday night date spot. We've been twice sofar and each experience has been great. We sat at a table the first time, and at the bar last week. I have to say I really enjoyed sitting at the bar, near the raw station so we could watch the oysters and fish plates being made. The guy doing it seemed to be in a pretty rotten mood at first (mumbling angrily as he popped the oysters open with some real gusto) but was great to talk to and was genuinely interested in what we thought of the bass and grapefruit he made us, if the marinade was balanced, if the grapefruit was too tart, etc. There had been a second guy there earlier so from what we gathered, he just kind of disappeared and left this guy to take care of oyster and fish preparation.
The first time, we started off with the oyster platter which was fantastic. It came with 4 each of 3 different types of oysters so we could try each try one plain as well as with the great sauce it came with.. I can't remember exactly what it was but it was not a traditional cocktail sauce or horseradish. It was tangy/acidic and a bit sweet. The second time, we tried the 1/2 off fried oysters. They were good, a bit small, but they seem to have mostly non-gulf oysters right not that are just generally smaller. Good crispy cornmeal crust, not greasy or mushy at all. Served with the great aioli.
What we're mainly going for, and have gotten both times, are the marrow bones. You get 3 big chunks of femur with some toasted bread and a great herb salad (flat leaf parsley mainly). Order them early as they take 20 mins to roast. Our first visit, they brought us some complimentary crab fritters while we waited for the bones. These seemed to just be balls of chunk crab meat, breaded and fried, with an excellent basic aioli. Ask for extra bread, but not toasted so you can try the marrow with different textures. They're really great about packing up the bones to take home for stock (or your dog). If you've never had marrow, they're very nice and non-condescending about explaining how to eat it, etc. A primary complaint about this place is the price and small portions, but if the marrow bones are involved, you can try the lighter stuff and definitely not leave hungry. It is rich and the portion is generous. I couldn't imagine eating it by myself.
There are always a variety of raw fish and fruit dishes. We've had 2 and both have been amazing. First we had salmon with blood orange. The citrus is expertly supremed and the thin slices are tucked between the slices of fish that has been marinated in something that creates a great bridge for the fish and citrus flavors. The second trip we got bass with grapefruit. Both were really well balanced, very smart.
After our first meal, we didn't order dessert (not big dessert eaters) but the chef sent out a delicious grapefruit sorbet since "after eating that good, you have to have something sweet." We were sure there was something else in it, but it was just grapefruit and ice. Our second trip, we got the lemon mousse, which was firm and not too sweet. They were out of the donut holes I have heard so much about. Am planning to try them tomorrow.
The reason we go on Mondays (poor college students) is for the drink/appetizer specials. Their impressive specialty drink menu is $3. My favorite so far is the Rosemary Cucumber. It's Hendrick's gin (a very fragrant, smooth, flowery gin) with cucumber puree and rosemary. My boyfriend got something that was rum, pineapple, and coconut and I couldn't stop stealing sips. I wanted to pour it on ice cream it was so rich and creamy tasting. I usually don't like sweet drinks but this was great. Both times we've finished off by sharing an excellent old fashioned. I wish their bourbon used in the specialty drinks was something besides Maker's (Bulleit or Knob Creek would be great!) but it's all good. Their featured vodka is Monopolowa, which is a personal favorite of mine so they get points for that. The specialty drink menu also includes oyster shooters! Haven't tried those yet but I plan on getting at least a couple tomorrow.
The first meal was $60 for 2 satisfied people. We ordered the oyster platter ($30) as we were there celebrating an internship I got, but did not order apps or dessert (they were given complimentary). The second was around $50 and we ordered an appetizer and a dessert. Both times we got 3 drinks, marrow bones, and a fish plate from the raw bar.
Great review, wrenfern, thank you!
The menu sounds like it was lifted from Blue Ribbon in NYC- which is a very good thing.
Now can we just get a Les Halle equivalent?
It's my absolute new favorite restaurant... most interesting menu for the money. It's become my wife and I's favorite sit-at-the-bar happy hour spot.
Favorite menu items so far (all very, very good):
the already mentioned bone marrow
tri-tip steak (bar steak and fries)
leg of lamb
fluke with almonds and lemon
all deserts were good, but especially the doughnut holes and mississippi mud. And the wine list is balanced.
Wednesdays offer 1/2 price oysters and champagne.
Highly recommend this place.
Went for the first time this weekend. Nice place, allbeit not cheap night out. $90, however, we did get some specialty drinks. I'd bet if you kept it to beer it would be well worth it.
We had the chiviche, which was the best I've ever had. Two kinds of fish, plenty of it, and the citrus undertones just right. Very, very fresh.
We each ordered a fish entree and shared the mac & cheese. Holy cow, I could have bathed in the mac & cheese. It was a guyer and bechamel sauce. yum-yum-yum.
I had the amberjack with pineapple and really enjoyed it as well. Can't remember what hubbers got, as we were horribly rushed.
Which brings me to the only real negative of the night. We arrived around 6:40 and let the waitress know we were headed to the show at 8:00. We recieved our drinks and chiviche, finished both and waited...and waited....and waited. At 7:45, I couldn't find our waitress, so I informed the gentleman at the bar of our situation. Our fish and side arrived just moments after, but we had to gulp down our entree and sides in order to make our show. Kind of ruined the whole experience.
Even so, we've decided it was still wonderful and are planning on making it one of our stops for our Halloween Feast.
Been there once; had a rockin' good time and delicious food.
Arrived on a Friday at ~ 4pm, and enjoyed 1/2 price appetizers and drinks till 7.
- Fried Oysters (perfectly crunchy and tasty, lemony dipping sauce; kinda small portion)
- Cheese plate (good, but not as good as The Steeping Room in the Domain's - a gold standard for what an amazing cheese plate contains)
- Skate (loved it; capers made it on the salty side, but I love salt)
- Roast Chicken (exquisite. Parkside and Zoot have the most amazing roast chicken in Austin so far. Try this to see how the moistness and flavor of a boneless (but not skinless) roast breast of chicken can amaze you.
The server (totally cute and very knowledgeable) conferred with the bartender on which cocktails I should try based on what liquors I liked, but wanted to try something different. Had 3; enjoyed all 3.
Wish I could be back sooner.
Decided to valet the car after 10 min of parking space hunting. (If you valet it, approach them from the cross-street _____ heading south (taking a Right) from 7'th. Valet person will be immediately on the left after crossing 6'th. Parkside is catty-corner to Hard Rock Cafe.)