Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Park Bruges: A Highland Park Treasure

            It’s hard to find a restaurant that does it all.  Often times, I find myself labeling eateries as good “lunch spots” or designated “dinner chow”.  Very rarely, do I declare an establishment a “Jack of all trades”.  (Okay, no more quotation marks.)  That’s why I find it so difficult to decide what time of day I should visit Park Bruges*.  I have to ask myself: Do I want brunch, lunch, or dinner? 
Going to dinner at Park Bruges, located on the expanding Bryant Street in Highland Park, is always a satisfying experience.  On any given night, you can treat your taste buds to an array of French inspired bistro delights.  On our last dinner visit, we had the pleasure of attending one of their Neighborhood Tasting Nights. On this particular evening, we munched on yummy items like pan-seared scallops, butternut squash risotto, and pork tostadas.  And what did we imbibe on you ask?  Our meal was paired with four generous tasting samples of locally brewed booze from Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellar. 

Tasting Menu with Arsenal Ciders

Scallops with Butternut Squash Risotto
If you can’t make it out every third Monday for these truly inspired chef’s tasting menus, fear not.  The normal dinner menu is just as exciting, featuring palate pleasers such as Steak Frites, Mediterranean Seafood Stew, and the always-popular Moules (mussels).   The most rustic dish on the menu might be the Gerber Farms Roasted Half Chicken.  This juicy, bad boy is made to order so make sure you get an appetizer.  It’s worth the thirty-minute wait though: no heat lamps required.  The daily specials are also a must try, featuring seasonal ingredients and clever innovation.

One of the delicious summer specials.

            Let’s talk lunch now.  If you have the time, Park Bruges has one of the best lunch menus in the ‘Burgh.  My go-to indulgence is the Bruges Burger.  Get ready to salivate.  Fresh ground chuck is topped with braised short ribs, Gouda cheese, and accented with green peppercorn mayo.  That’s what I call an afternoon delight!  If you prefer something lighter, their salads feature seasonal veggies and their soups are made daily. 

Bruges Burger

            Okay, now let’s quit messing around and get to my favorite meal: Brunch!  As with each of Park Bruges’ menus, Chef Kevin is mindful of the season.  As a result, we were excited to see a recently updated brunch menu featuring some new autumn treats last Sunday.  After changing my mind several times, I finally decided to go with the Baked Pumpkin French Toast.  As I waited for my food, I was trying to figure out how the pumpkin would be infused into the dish.  None of my imaginings were realized, however.  Those culinary geniuses had made a pumpkin bread pudding of sorts and sliced it into “French Toast” (had to use one more set).  It was then stuffed with baked spiced apples and drizzled with maple crème anglaise.  I never had anything quite like it before.  It was equally unique and delicious.  The husband opted for the Parmesan & Herb Biscuits.  His meal began with flaky biscuits, which were generously cloaked in savory Parma sausage gravy, then topped with two fried eggs.  Southern-style cooking at it’s best.  My one suggestion for Park Bruges?  The coffee, my friends, is on the weak side and is served in a tiny after-dinner cup.  When I go to brunch, I need a boldly flavored caffeine supply served in a mug.  Maybe they could get some brew tips from Taza D'oro.

Baked Pumpkin French Toast!

Parmesan & Herb Biscuits

            So there you have it, folks.  Whatever the time of day, Park Bruges is always a taste bud pleaser.  This neighborhood gem is sure to satisfy.

*See also Point Brugge.

I give Park Bruges: 4.5/5 forks

Will I Return?  Absolutely!

5801 Bryant Street 

Pittsburgh PA 

Phone: 412-661-3334

Park Bruges on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. I love this place! The food is fantastic and the servers are the best! Highly recommended!