A few days ago I was strolling down 16th Avenue SW in Calgary, AB when I noticed something different… Something new.
A large new awning on one of my old favourite restaurants that simply read “PARC”.
I was intrigued and needed to know more. So I did what any curious ‘looky-loo’ would have done, and pressed my face up against the window.
Inside, a perfect Parisian French bistro but quadruple in size. Construction workers, and interior designers still busy.
A few moments later into my sleuthing I was discovered with a friendly “Bonjour”.
I flipped my elementary school Français into high gear and within moments, I was being invited inside as a “Guinée Porcs” (French for guinea pig) to not only the unopened space, but to sample their wares!
Now I have to be honest, at first I was nervous.
Would I be eating quail eggs and Cornish game hen?… Heck, I didn’t even know what French cuisine was.
But PARC prides themselves on being “Comfortable French food”.
Traditional French food with out all the pomp and circumstance.
And YES they even have a burger on their menu!
That night they let me order a few items, and to keep the experience legit I made sure to sample the traditional, yet unique:
Rillette de Lapin
A rabbit pate of sorts. Or at least that’s the understanding I walked away having miserably failed grade 7 French.
Bottom line: It was delicious.
Then I moved on to Calamari with olive tapenade and tomato compote.
Now listen, I don’t know if calamari is considered French, but what I do know is that it was the best calamari I’ve ever eaten.
It’s not breaded, it’s not deep fried and it certainly didn’t have a handful of those mini octopi tossed in.
What it was was meaty, flavourful and unforgettable.
Then it was on to the main.
Because let’s be honest, that’s how you judge a French bistro.
The steak was perfectly grilled medium rare to keep it tender and the fries were thin and crispy.
The bonus that made this a ‘dish to write home about’ was the peppercorn mushroom sauce and roasted shallot butter it was served with.
Lastly, on to desert and because I am a connoisseur of all things sweet I ordered two.
Baba au Rum with Chantilly Cream;
A slab of dense cake soaked in rum and topped with heavenly whip
And Mousse Au Chocolat
Which was so rich, I felt like Scrooge McDuck swimming in a pool of dimes.
A dessert I will daydream about every waking moment until it’s mine again!
I’ve been to Paris, and my dinner at PARC had me imagining I’d be seeing the Eiffel tower on my walk home.
…Oh and let me not forget the cocktails!
A must try is the French Quarter.
A mix of cognac, chartreuse, bitters and absinthe.
It had me ready to do the ‘can-can’ like I was at the Moulin Rouge!
The entire experience at PARC was très bon!
The restaurant will officially open its doors on Wednesday March 11th for dinner.
But if you can’t wait… Just try pressing your face up against the glass!
Mr. Fab lala