...Parc Brasserie (Calgary)

Overall - 8.5/10
Food - 8.5/10
Service - 8.5/10
Ambiance - 9/10
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Ten years ago if you wanted a good French meal, your only choices were La Chaumiere on 18th Ave or flying to France. Nowadays we are spoiled for choice with a number of restaurants that proudly serve classic French fare (check out our article for Food Trekkers). Parc Brasserie is another new option which has recently opened and is challenging for our favourite French spot in town. For those who don't know, a brasserie is a more upscale type of eatery that slots in somewhere between the laid back bistro and the high end French fine dining options.
Kir royale
Their menu includes an 'apertif' section of small bites that go great with a cocktail. They are reasonably priced and great for a snack or as a way to kick start your appetite for the delicious dishes to come. We chose the croquettes filled with emmenthal cheese and ham and the rillette de lapin (rabbit terrine - note that a lot of the menu was in French without English translation so review your old high school French notes or ask the friendly wait staff). The croquettes were expertly fried and lusciously cheesy on the inside while the rabbit terrine was the perfect meaty spread for the toasted crostini that accompanied.
Rillette de lapin
The hor d'ouevres section of the menu include your traditional appetizer type dishes and this evening we went with the escargot and squid. The snails were served in a non traditional portobello mushroom tart as opposed to swimming in small pools of butter.   The escargot was chopped up along with the mushrooms and hidden below salad greens on a tart.  I did not care for the tart which had a hard and dry texture and wished the escargot was highlighted rather than mixed with chopped mushrooms.  The squid was quite tender cooked in its own ink and served alongside a delicious olive tapenade, reminiscent of the dishes we had in Southern France.  The Merguez (spiced Moroccan beef sausage) was not served in 'chip' form as advertised and we felt this dish could have benefited from a crispy element to contrast and balance the soft textures of the squid.
Escargot tart
The 'Plats principal' are your main dishes. The canard was a perfectly seared breast of duck served with a savoury orange sauce on a generous bed of Puy lentils.  The veau was a tender veal striploin with wild mushrooms, pearl onions and wild rice was expertly done in a cream sauce and very satisfying.
 Then came the desserts, from which we chose the profiteroles and the baba au rhum.  The profiteroles looked stunning on the wooden board and tasted as profiteroles should- creamy and smothered with an expresso chocolate sauce.  The baba au rhum, a typical French dessert was a bit of a disappointment.  We had no complaints about the cake and chantilly cream which was pretty standard, but the rum was barely detectable and did not saturate the cake.  This is unlike the rum babas served in France where often times a shot of straight rum is poured table side onto your cake for a liquor infused aroma and taste.  Upon talking to the server, she informed us their rum baba indeed gets mixed reviews.
Rum Baba
Overall, we enjoyed our experience at Parc, especially the ambiance of the decor which took us back to our days in France.  We wouldn't hesitate to go back again and experience other offerings on the extensive menu.


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