Thursday, May 24, 2012

A WEEKNIGHT DINNER WITH FRIENDS AT: PARK CAFE

We decided to try a restaurant with good friends in Duluth, GA, that 3 of us had never been to at night, called Park Cafe.  From their website regarding the Chef and Owner, Michael Ganley:

Michael has been in the hospitality industry for 17 years, working his way through the ranks of the restaurant industry. Michael graduated from George Brown Culinary School in Toronto, Canada. Upon graduation he participated in a very demanding European style apprenticeship with Delta Hotels and the Westin Harbour Castle. Michael joined the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company in 1995 and held positions in various hotels including The Ritz-Carlton, Dearborn, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas and The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead. In 2000, Michael was selected to be Executive Sous Chef for the opening of The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans and in 2003 was promoted to Executive Chef of The Ritz- Carlton, Dearborn Michigan. In 2004 Michael and his wife, Krista moved to Duluth, Krista’s hometown, and assumed management responsibilities at the Payne-Corley House, a Special Events Facility also located in Duluth. Michael is an active part of the community and a native of Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

The restaurant is in an old house just off the square.



Photo Credit: Park Cafe




As you walk in there is a bar area which was the porch originally.  It's got a great atmosphere, and we stopped and had a drink while waiting to be seated.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue





















The options for dining are inside or out - the inside is very charming, and old, if not a bit too dark.  The outside (if the weather is good) would probably be my choice instead.

Photo Credit: Park Cafe




The tables are spaced apart nicely, and the ambiance is lovely.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue


Photo Credit: Cate Bogue


Photo Credit: Cate Bogue




































The menu is fairly limited, but there are a few specials.  Two of us had the tilapia special, one had their signature salmon with potatoes and horseradish (potato & horseradish salmon sautéed spinach, herb beurre blanc) and the other had their Shepherd's Pie (shepherd’s pie beef bourguignon , sautéed vegetables, mash potato) which is another staple dish on their menu.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue


Photo Credit: Cate Bogue


















The tilapia was truly out of this world!  It was topped with fresh mozzarella and was on a roasted tomato risotto bed with fresh spinach.  The simpleness of the white mild fish was a perfect contrast to the richer risotto.  I loved it.  Unfortunately the iphone picture does not do it justice:

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue



















My husband got the Shephard's Pie, and it was very rich and heavy - a good Shephard's Pie, but for a warm night in Georgia, perhaps it wasn't the perfect dish.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue


































My friend ordered the Salmon, and it looked devine.  The portion was enormous, and it was presented on a bed of mashed potatoes mixed with horseradish.  She loved it, and I would order it next time if the tilapia was unavailable.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue


















We opted for no dessert (it IS bathing suit season after all), but I've heard their bananas foster bread pudding is amazing - will keep that on the back burner for future visits, which there WILL be!

Park Cafe on Urbanspoon