Monday, October 23, 2006
one of the 50 best restaurants in America
I went out to dinner with some friends last Friday--a kind of memorial dinner. We did an informal writing retreat in the summer, and want to keep the energy alive; also just to have fun.
We went to Parker's New American Bistro and it was wonderful--above is my entree, a moistly tender piece of pork loin with just the right amount of chewiness. And here's the lamb sausage on a polenta cake appetizer: also extremely good (I snagged the last bite).
One of the nice things about Parker's is that everything is very good, and also as local as it's possible to be when you're running a restaurant. Parker is a local-foods advocate, and is active in various ways around Cleveland and northeast Ohio in the farmers markets, etc. In fact, he's closing the restaurant to give more time to these activities, which is good and bad. Good: more attention to local food, better farmers markets. Bad: no more Parker's.
So this dinner might have been a swan dinner, if I don't make it back before the end of December. It made me think of all the times I'd been there before. It's in the Ohio City neighborhood of Cleveland, which is where I went to high school, so the 19th-century building was familiar to me from before it was a restaurant (it's quite close to a boys' school, in the vicinity of which the girls from my girls' school did a certain amount of hanging out).
And then later, when I was working at Cleveland State, my boss would sometimes take me to dinner at Parkers. He liked it because they would bring his plate without any garnish or vegetable. He didn't like to see anything impinging on his meat and potatoes--it ruined his appetite, he said. At other restaurants they would say they'd leave off the carrots or the curly kale, but then they would forget. He also liked the dessert souflees, which had to be ordered at the beginning of the meal (they still do). I had my first souflee there--lemon, very good.
Parker's was featured by Gourmet as one of the 2006 50 best restaurants--one of not so many Cleveland restaurants to be so honored--so it's quite a loss. I'm thinking I ought to go once more at least before it's gone forever.
Posted by mary grimm at 5:02 PM