You Better Park It: New Chef on Henderson Avenue is Making It Rain

I know it’s easy to forget what makes certain places special on Henderson Avenue, especially weekend nights when each bar you hop to fades more into the obscurity of good libations. You head to Barcadia for the skeeball and giant Jenga sets, Capitol Pub for the beer selection and Veritas for the quiet ambiance of a wine bistro. And then there’s Park. When they first opened a couple years back, they were best known for their incredibly delicious and complex hand crafted cocktails. While this is still a veritable truth at Park, there’s something else equally seductive, if not more so, cooking in the kitchen.

With the arrival of Garreth Dickey, formerly Exec Chef at the acclaimed lower Henderson eateries Hibiscus and The Porch , Park has reestablished itself on the savory side of the menu (and the sweet, but we’ll get to that in a bit.)  Think of the newly spruced-up – not totally renovated, mind you – menu at Park as a fresh, farm-to-fork compilation of some of your faves and soon-to-be-cravings. It’s Bolsa, for the East side of Dallas. And it’s about time.

The local, neighborhood feel is still apparent here, making the checkered napkins that much more cozy and the fireplace a coveted spot for quiet drinks. To accompany the ambiance, the rotating menu is consistently fresh, featuring farm-to-fork favorites from local growers. On our recent Tuesday visit (your menu will change depending on the night you go) we started out with the spicy meatballs, which were perfectly crisp on the outside and devilishly tender and flavorful on the inside (you can’t eat just one.) Add to that an arugula salad with a cantaloupe vinaigrette, a succulent piece of duck confit with creamy polenta and a fresh, rotating dessert menu including an Apple Crumble featuring local fruit, Park has definitely become, in my book, one of the top place to eat in Dallas.

Don’t let the night end there, however. Head to the back room for the chic Parisian-inspired Bar Celine. A rare creature in the world of Dallas nightlife, any level of evening ambition will be met by this capable hotspot.