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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Park Tavern Has Its Audience Figured Out

Posted By on Wed, Oct 26, 2011 at 8:10 AM

click to enlarge Park Tavern's smoked deviled eggs. - MELISSA BARNES
  • Melissa Barnes
  • Park Tavern's smoked deviled eggs.

Most restaurants take a few, financially perilous months to settle into their own skins. The tables get rearranged to improve the feng shui of the dining room. Slackoff servers are fired and wobbly line cooks are replaced. The kitchen masters the opening menu and is allowed to begin experimenting. More importantly, the foodistas check in and check out, and the restaurant's future regulars -- who will give the place its true character and keep it in business beyond the year mark -- slowly accrue.

Park Tavern -- the subject of this week's full-length restaurant review -- is one of those rare restaurants that springs into existence, fully formed. Though certain details are still a little hazy, Anna Weinberg and Jennifer Puccio's new Washington Square restaurant seems to occupy the same social space that the Washbag and Moose's did in the 1980s and 1990s. Money, new and old, already populates the tables. Puccio's food is solid, both stylistically and technically. And the space is handsome in the George Clooney mold: a little age on the place will wear well.

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Jonathan Kauffman


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