“The fish and chips is probably one of our No. 1 sellers,” Jeffrey Holloway said. “It's one of those things you see on the menu, and your first impulse might be to ignore it, but with the fresh halibut in there, it's just ... oh man — you gotta try it.”
Fancy tots, nachos
Holloway said he and Krell try to stress simple, recognizable dishes with a chef's twist. The Chicken and Waffle Nachos include waffle fries instead of tortilla chips, which are topped with grilled jalapenos, melted cheese and avocado crema. The Deviled Egg Flight includes the picnic classic in four incarnations: house-cured bacon and Danish blue cheese; lump crab and goat cheese; goat cheese pesto and mascarpone; and traditional egg yoke mixed with mustard and mayonnaise.
The menu reaches to some of the earliest days of Krell's cooking history, in Philadelphia, where he began putting fancy tater tots on menus.
“This place I was working was really popular but it wasn't open on Sundays. So, I begged the owner to let me do a brunch, and he finally let me,” Krell said. “I'm also a (tater) tot freak, so I put fancy tots on that menu, and I've been doing them ever since.”
The tots in question are of the house-made ham and cheese variety with a charred green-onion and creme fraiche dip that would make any potato product sing. Napoleon Dynamite would never have to worry about having these tots smashed into his pants pocket because he'd never have had any left over.
The menu also offers entree salads, sandwiches, 10 sides a la carte, and a small selection of fun desserts, including milk and cookies, doughnuts and coffee and a hot fudge sundae big enough for four people.
Wine and pricing
Thanks to the Holloway family's deep connection to the wine industry, Park House offers an expansive wine list with more than 100 options.
“We decided to absorb the 13 percent tax on wine and pass the savings on to our diners,” Peter Holloway said. “And we offer bottles that range from about $15 up to a couple hundred.”
Wine is served with dinner or in the beautiful crescent bar facing the dining room. The bar sports specialty cocktails and shot glasses in the shape of boots.
My favorite bit of whimsy on the menu is The Round of Beers for the Kitchen, the most expensive thing on the menu at $30, but probably the best value. Remaining prices range between $11 and $26 for sandwiches, salads and entrees.
Krell said he wants to take advantage of seasonal ingredients as the restaurant progresses, and he is prepared to adjust to demand.
General manager Rachel Ferren, a longtime HRG employee, said the menu undergoes its first tweak this week, dropping one salad and adding a sandwich and a vegetarian entree.
Rest of the story
Park House might be the biggest, shiniest jewel in the deal the Holloway Restaurant Group struck with Myriad Gardens, but it wasn't all that interested the Holloway Restaurant Group.
Ice House opened in the fall for a short run, including hamburgers and shakes in the 350-square-foot building where skates are rented while the ice rink is open. HRG partnered with local burger-master Justin Nicholas of the terrifically (and deservedly) popular Nic's Grill at NW 11 and Pennsylvania to come up with the burgers. Ice House was open only a few weeks to gain valuable experience and input for a grand opening set for March 1.
The group also opened the Ice Cube, which sells hot dogs and “lots of hot chocolate” while the skating rink is open through the end of January.
HRG also handles private events and catering for the Myriad Gardens. Catering Director Julie Monroe said Park House already has been rented out for two private parties. The restaurant seats about 145 people but has capacity up to 245 for private events. Prices start at $10,000 for that privilege.
“The foundation really wanted to make sure that anyone could afford to have a special event at the Myriad Gardens, so people can rent it for as low as $1,200,” Monroe said. She said those who book the gardens have full access to the botanical tube and a dining area below it.
For information about catering or special events, call Monroe at 202-5306 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Park House opens at 11 a.m. daily, closing at 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and at 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
“If the Thunder win or are in the playoffs during the week, we might be open a little later, and it's right across the street, so come by and check us out after the game,” Peter Holloway said.
Park House also offers valet parking for dinner. Reservations are not necessary but can be made at 232-7275.