Try buttery, briny cornmeal-fried oysters and more at the former Park Cafe
Park & Grove
Good-bye aebleskivers, hello hanger steak. Long a Wagener Terrace neighborhood standby for coffee dates, work lunches, and a leisurely weekend brunch, Park Cafe is now Park & Grove. With an elegant new interior and a pedigreed pro helming the kitchen, the restaurant is focused on dinner service and cocktails. Gone is the indoor plantscape and in its place, geometric wallpaper and a dramatic black wall hung with eclectic art. It may have been a rebrand, says new chef Ramon Taimanglo, former executive chef at Peninsula Grill, but he thinks of it more as a beginning. “We opened a new restaurant with a totally different concept. It’s an opportunity to do my own thing and feature what’s in season,” he says.
For a lively weeknight in September not long after the restaurant’s debut, that meant cornmeal-fried oysters that tasted like crunchy, briny clouds; smoky grilled peaches glazed with balsamic; and a cocotte of garlicky Charleston Gold rice studded with Tarvin shrimp, late-season cherry tomatoes, and butter beans. Taimanglo looks forward to working with the hard squashes, cabbages, apples, and pears that fall brings. “The menu is designed to work with everything local farmers grow,” he says. The cocktail program, created by general manager Samson Kohanski, will also move with the seasons and offer a slate of vintage spirits.
Some things haven’t changed, however. The menu is built for sharing, with small plates, a la carte mains, and sides. “We’re very community- and family-driven,” says Taimanglo. That neighborhood vibe, along with the restaurant’s beloved avocado toast, isn’t going anywhere. parkandgrovechs.com