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Parkside

crosby_p Nov 2, 2008 11:07 AM

Drove by the new Parkside on Harford Road north of Moravia yesterday, and it was open! Anyone been?

  1. s
    stimply Jan 10, 2009 08:53 AM

    We went again last night for a drink. The menu changed a tiny bit with the new year. We didn't try anything though so can't offer any new reviews. The bar was full so I wonder if more people are coming for the beer and not the food.

    The gorgonzola ravioli was gone, replaced by a mushroom one. Some new entrees suggest some focus, maybe -- a couple of items with polenta.

    We were greeted right away and warmly at the door. An improvement. We'll try some of the newer menu items soon and report back.

    1. n
      nicksma Dec 28, 2008 01:57 PM

      My family and I went there for brunch about a month ago, and we were incredibly disappointed with the food in terms of quantity and quality. Nothing that we were served was anything I could not have made better in my own kitchen. At first, we were excited about nested eggs being on the menu, the egg fried in the middle of a piece of toast, but there was one egg in one piece of toast, which was way too scant given the menu price.
      We were not impressed with anything and haven't been back since.

      1. s
        stimply Dec 8, 2008 07:28 AM

        We've been three times now. We keep going mainly because of the beer selection and great price on hop devil draft. Our last experience was frustrating. The food has been hit and miss, with more misses than hits. The best so far was the smoked trout app and a special flatbread (salmon with capers and onions).

        Rather than writing a long post about the shortcomings, I think I can sum it up by saying the restaurant doesn't have a focus. The market area is unfocused (pottery, t-shirts, cook books, yoga stuff) but I know that's still evolving...

        The menu poses the biggest problem for me. There is no common thread weaving the offerings together. I love the idea of an eclectic menu but, this one seems more confused than eclectic. If the dishes were better than the confusion wouldn't be a big deal. We've tried about 7 different items and can only recommend 2 and one of those was a special. Some of them seem to need just one more ingredient to make it special. (Like the risotto cakes needing bacon or even a bit more salt. Gorgonzola ravioli needing some nutty crunch for texture.)

        The whimsy of the interesting decorations, the odd collection of items in the store, the play pen area, etc. are all very nice but whimsy (if you want to call it that) doesn't work for the menu. The beer selection is the best feature.

        We'll check back in on it but until we hear about improvements to the food and menu, we'll be getting beer and some select apps.

        I noticed some comments about service. We've had 2 good experiences and 1 really awful one. The awful one was entirely the server and not the kitchen at all. She simply had no concept of how to be a server or was entirely off her game. (Attending to more than one table and one task at a time was not in her repertoire.) The other two servers that night were busily attending to their tables so it had nothing to do with how backed up the kitchen may have been, etc.

        1 Reply
        1. re: stimply
          crosby_p Dec 18, 2008 09:41 AM

          I went back today for lunch and it was a complete 180 from the last time. I was the only one there, but that's ok...I sat at the bar, had a Resurrection (can't seem to get enough of that stuff and I'm not a beer drinker!) The bartender told me the specials, and I said I wanted to wait a while and read...she told me to tell her when I was ready. There is a lot of new art on the walls...she said it had been there for about 10-days, and it really adds to the place...it looks so pretty now! I also didn't really notice the lighting in the back this time...the front seemed very warm and cozy. I ordered the roast beef sandwich, which came with herbed horseradish boursin, and greens, and home made chips. i chose a side of slaw, and it was some of the best I've ever had...so good that I bought a pound to take home! The chips were wonderful as well, rather like tortilla chips, flavorful, and non-greasy. The sandwich was so large I took half home. So I am now very favorably impressed with the place, owing in part to the bartender, C-K=risten...not sure which letter. She was very sweet, and we had quite a conversation, which she was able to do as it wasn't crowded. She is an excellent addition to the place! I also noticed flyers for New Year's eve which sound wonderful...there is one sitting from 5-10, then another from 10-1am. I believe the latter includes lots of appetizers such as mussels...and is only $20,00! I'm sure details are on their website, but it sounds like a great neighborhood deal to me!

        2. b
          bkath Nov 11, 2008 09:02 AM

          Have been a few times, with and without food. Like just about everyone else, love the front, it gets a little weird from there but I think they have plans for the market space in back which should be a huge boon to the hood. I can't say I've been blown away by the food, but with Chameleon & Clementine to compete with they've got their work cut out. Maybe they're just trying to get things going? don't know but I'm way willing to cut them a lot of slack. The staff have all been great at each visit.

          It is at least a little less of a din than Hamilton Tavern on the weekend, which to my thinking is a huge plus - I love that place too but avoid it on Fri/Sat nights.

          What is with the sudden plethora of kids' areas?? what are we, Brooklyn? (hah, if only)

          3 Replies
          1. re: bkath
            h
            hawaiigrl2003 Nov 14, 2008 12:26 AM

            Yeah. I didn't realize that babies and play areas were so much the forefront of restaurants these days.

            1. re: hawaiigrl2003
              a
              aubzamzam Nov 17, 2008 08:54 AM

              Are they? I think what Parkside is trying to do is give people with kids an option to go out with their kids. Hardly makes it the forefront of restaurants these days.

              1. re: aubzamzam
                b
                baltimorejim Nov 17, 2008 09:23 AM

                I noticed the other day that Daily Grind in Fell's Point advertises some sort of kid's event. I think it may a trend with more young families choosing to live in the city for a few years.

          2. s
            shan_at_Beverlyhills Nov 10, 2008 09:07 AM

            Went to Parkside on Saturday and had a great evening. The staff was very friendly and efficient. We took our wine and payed the corkage fee of $5. The waitress was very efficient, friendly and attentive.
            We had a dip to start off with...hummus, spinach and something else with different types of bread. Good starter. We also tried the Gumbo which was excellent.
            I had the special...shrimp and rice pilaf. It was very tasty. My partner had the Baltimore Coddie with the fresh veggies. This was good too specially the vegetables which were obviously fresh and stir fried to perfection.
            The music was good and the decor although sparse added a sense of simplicity that worked. I did notice the children's play area but it did ot bother me much since the restaurent area is so big.
            I will deffinetley be going back again.

            1. crosby_p Nov 9, 2008 05:26 AM

              I went yesterday at about 1pm...decided to sit at the bar. There were 3-4 other tables of people. I asked about beer, and the woman recommended an Anchor Steam, which I had. (not bad, but not Resurrection, which she said they normally have). I ordered the smoked salmon platter. Someone came out and asked what kind of bagel I wanted as they were out of the plain. I got the meal, and the salmon was pretty fantastic. I was told they smoke it in house. It came on a bagel that was small and seemed homemade, with red onion, capers, and a slab of cream cheese, along with a caesar salad. Although there could have been more dressing on the salad, everything was tasty. The only complaint were the rock hard boxed croutons...
              As they are just beginning, I will give them a good grade for what I had.
              Now for the space. If you took out the furniture and bar, you could have a Ravens game in there! It is huge! Also, I am not a fan of kids areas, but recognize that they are needed. However, I think a wall, even if only of curtains, would cut down on the noise, which was earsplitting! The only other minus IMO, was the market place in the back. It is also large, with a great expanse of checkered floor, and fluorescent lighting that completely changes the atmosphere of the whole place. I did go back to look and saw some wonderful braised pork and roast beef, and some wonderful looking potato salad. I loved the little seating are with lamps in the front as well, but that children and market area really detracts. I will go back again, but give them a few more weeks.

              1. r
                ronandaim Nov 7, 2008 04:35 PM

                Had dinner at Parkside tonight. I have a pretty mixed opinion, although I really wanted to love it.

                For starters, the children's area take up a decent portion of the dining room. There were children everywhere. Parents of small children will likely see this as a huge bonus, but we weren't too fond of it.

                On to the food...I think there is potential. My husband had the coddies and he enjoyed them. I had the vegetarian paella and was not impressed. The dish was very monotonous both in flavor and in texture. It wasn't satisfying at all. In fact, I came home and ate a Joe Corbi's pretzel dog!

                On the way home I passed Clementine's and Hamilton Tavern and found myself wishing that we had gone to either one instead of Parkside.

                I would be willing to give it another try if others have better experiences. Especially since they just opened.

                3 Replies
                1. re: ronandaim
                  h
                  hawaiigrl2003 Nov 8, 2008 12:29 AM

                  I was also a bit traumatized with the children's play area, and we only had drinks.

                  1. re: hawaiigrl2003
                    h
                    hon Nov 8, 2008 10:47 AM

                    Children's area? Ewwww

                  2. re: ronandaim
                    t
                    tapas gal Nov 8, 2008 01:31 PM

                    I had dinner there last night also... where to begin...Got there around 7:15 and ordered a bottle of wine... which we got around 7:45. We place our order... and waited... and waited... and waited...1 hour passes and someone comes over to tell us that they ran out of gumbo (yeah, I guess so since an HOUR has passed) but no mention of when our food was going to arrive. So then we started watching people that came in after us getting served their food... so we ask the waiter how 3 tables of people who came in after us (one table had probably only been sitting for 20 minutes) were eating already. He doesn't even reply except to say he was going to get the manager. Our best guess is that they totally lost the ticket and we were just bypassed many times over.

                    The staff was very nice and apologetic... i believe one of the owner's came over as well as he paid for our second bottle of wine - which was a nice gesture. The waiter we had however seemed a bit clueless. When I asked what the soup of the day was, all he said was Gumbo. Which is one of the soups they always have. I just assumed since they just opened they hadn't gotten around to making a second soup. So I ordered the gumbo. However when a different waiter came to tell me that they ran out of gumbo he asked if I would like a substitution and listed 2 other soups. Also a waitress who brought our second bottle of wine struggled severely with the corkscrew and broke the cork not once but twice....

                    Our food seemed to be pretty good... however we were on our second bottle of wine on an empty stomach so who's really to say. We shared a Scampi Flatbread, the house salad which was quite nice. It comes with acorn squash, beets and goat cheese. Although I am not sure I saw any beets come to think of it. We also got a cheese plate that was average.

                    I agree with ronandaim that we were wishing for Clementine or Hamilton Tavern also. We usually go to Hamilton Tavern on Friday nights but wanted to give this place a shot. I am sure will will try it again when everything else is up and running.

                    Oh, and I am also in agreement with the children's area... Very big and oddly placed... with these incredibly tacky plastic palm trees sitting in the middle of the dining area. The place is strange in that it starts out very cool looking with a stuffed chairs and bookcase sitting area and just gets stranger and stranger the further back you go...

                    my two cents!!

                  3. f
                    farmermarn Nov 3, 2008 02:17 AM

                    We went in- didn't eat, but had a glass of wine and a beer. They are filling a wonderful need- a place for someone with kids to get a bite or a beer (without bringing your kid to a bar).
                    There is a fenced off play area for kids with a sofa and several tables. I can see actually EATING DINNER out with my husband!

                    It looked like the deli wasn't open yet, but I think it is supposed to next week.

                    1. r
                      ronandaim Nov 2, 2008 11:40 AM

                      I haven't been...yet. But the menu is posted at http://www.theparksideonline.com/

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