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On French time

Parc Bistro

Escargot, just taking it easy
Escargot, just taking it easy
Place

Parc Bistro Brasserie

2760 Fifth Avenue, San Diego

Since 1903, the only interruptions to the Tour de France have been the two World Wars. Every summer the world’s best cyclists complete a 21-day circuit of the hexagonal country, often dipping briefly into Spain, Italy, Switzerland, or Belgium while the countryside turns out to watch.

Lobster with gnocchi and green peas

Considering the extended vacations enjoyed by many French, following the tour around or simply camping out on mountaintops and roadsides in hopes of seeing favorite riders rush past in a colorful blur of man and machine makes perfect sense. Imagine a month-long tailgate party, if you will. Though it’s an international event, drawing talent from every continent except Antarctica, the idea of significant portions of the country hitting pause to indulge a sporting event seems quintessentially French.

Steak frites

Perhaps some people are thinking this as they tuck into steak frites, cooked nicely saignant (bloody) at Parc Bistro and Brasserie. Do they realize how inextricably French this humble dish is?

Badoit French sparkling water

The whole menu, in fact, seems designed to emphasize an idea of French food. Escargot drenched in butter and herbs; steak tartare, onion soup, and frisee salad with lardons and poached eggs; foie gras, bone marrow, and Provençale tapenade; coq au vin and duck confit. How French indeed.

In an era which prizes inventiveness above all else, we’ve come to expect cleverness in restaurant menus, but there’s little of that to be found at Parc. Instead it’s as if the restaurant wants us to tune into a state of mind that would be content to sit for an entire day on a narrow roadway twisting up the slope of Mont Ventoux, drinking wine and waiting for a bike race to thunder by for all of 30 seconds.

It’s not so much about the spectacle as it is about the circumstances, surroundings, and the traditions. Call it “indulging your Frencher side,” and it’s probably good for us all.

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Escargot, just taking it easy
Escargot, just taking it easy
Place

Parc Bistro Brasserie

2760 Fifth Avenue, San Diego

Since 1903, the only interruptions to the Tour de France have been the two World Wars. Every summer the world’s best cyclists complete a 21-day circuit of the hexagonal country, often dipping briefly into Spain, Italy, Switzerland, or Belgium while the countryside turns out to watch.

Lobster with gnocchi and green peas

Considering the extended vacations enjoyed by many French, following the tour around or simply camping out on mountaintops and roadsides in hopes of seeing favorite riders rush past in a colorful blur of man and machine makes perfect sense. Imagine a month-long tailgate party, if you will. Though it’s an international event, drawing talent from every continent except Antarctica, the idea of significant portions of the country hitting pause to indulge a sporting event seems quintessentially French.

Steak frites

Perhaps some people are thinking this as they tuck into steak frites, cooked nicely saignant (bloody) at Parc Bistro and Brasserie. Do they realize how inextricably French this humble dish is?

Badoit French sparkling water

The whole menu, in fact, seems designed to emphasize an idea of French food. Escargot drenched in butter and herbs; steak tartare, onion soup, and frisee salad with lardons and poached eggs; foie gras, bone marrow, and Provençale tapenade; coq au vin and duck confit. How French indeed.

In an era which prizes inventiveness above all else, we’ve come to expect cleverness in restaurant menus, but there’s little of that to be found at Parc. Instead it’s as if the restaurant wants us to tune into a state of mind that would be content to sit for an entire day on a narrow roadway twisting up the slope of Mont Ventoux, drinking wine and waiting for a bike race to thunder by for all of 30 seconds.

It’s not so much about the spectacle as it is about the circumstances, surroundings, and the traditions. Call it “indulging your Frencher side,” and it’s probably good for us all.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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