Sit. Chat. Chew. is the new mission of Park Corner Food Bar in Oak Bluffs. Note the “bistro” part is gone too. A lot has changed with the small corner bar/dining spot, and I was happy with what’s new.
You’ve probably wondered why in all my blogs, I have never mentioned Park Corner. A few years back, I had an unpleasant experience there, and was a little gun shy about returning. However, when my girlfriends and I were looking for a place to grab a bite to eat last week, it was one of the few options.
When we got to Park Corner, we started our evening at the bar. There is something quaint and cozy about having a nice cocktail at the bar there, and Emma, the bartender, server, “Girl Friday,” makes some really good drinks.
I started with the Bourbon Sling, which featured Breckenridge Bourbon, bourbon aged bitters, with black cherry and a lemon twist. Whoa – this was a big kid bourbon drink for sure, a good sipping option for true bourbon drinkers. I am still a novice, but enjoyed the simple sophistication of this cocktail, and the black cherry in it was the best ever. No silly fake maraschino cherries in this bad boy.
After a cocktail, we got a great seat by the window, and in case you were wondering, the other wall of windows is slated to be fixed. It just takes a little time with these things. I was glad to hear this because I like the openness of the restaurant with all the windows.
So, with the motto, Sit.Chat.Chew. you kind of get the feeling that Park Corner is not a fast food place. Here, you’re encouraged to relax, chat with friends, slow down a bit.
It just so happened that the night we were there, Park Corner was premiering its new menu. This menu is focused on sharable items that are made with local, quality ingredients, and that taste great. There is an Asian/Mexican vibe to the items. You’ll find a Tuna Tostada, Duck Buns, Gochujang Shrimp Gordos and more.
Jessie Martin, chef/owner of Park Corner was pretty excited about the new menu, and he should be. It’s got the variety. For him, it was about creating a menu that people could have fun with, share a meal together, perhaps try something new.
All of the dishes have been carefully created, no short cuts taken with ingredients or prep. Park Corner has a small kitchen and a small team working to get the dishes out. With that said, things might take a little longer, but if you’re with good friends and having fun, it doesn’t even phase you.
With the new menu, my friends Annie, Liz and I wanted to try a bunch of things especially since there was a lot to choose from.
We had Roasted Cauliflower, cauliflower florets roasted with lime, cumin, cayenne, served with a lime creama. A great, light healthy dish to add to the table and get some of your daily veggies.
We were sort of all over the place after that. We ordered Duck Buns, Pot-chos, Chorizo Sliders, Mongolian Steak Tacos, and last but not least, Cuban Pork Gordos. A lot right? We were curious about so many things because they sounded so good.
Whoa was there a lot of food. Each dish looked delicious, full of color and smelled amazing. We just kind of dove in. Each person, trying what caught their eye the most first.
For me, I had to have the Duck Buns, and these were the first of such a dish for me. The duck had a delicious sweet chili marinade that was really good. The soft, white, fluffy steamed buns were pretty cool, add the duck and a nice helping of Napa cabbage, scallions and cilantro, and you’ve got a great Asian inspired dish to share.
Then I had to try the chorizo sliders. Jesse makes the chorizo in house, and these flavorful Mexican sausage patties are right up my alley. I love chorizo and these were really good! Topped with lime crema and pickled onions – yum!
The Cuban Pork Gordos were good too. The gordo shell is almost like a flatbread, and this one was filled with mojo pork, Napa cabbage, housemade queso (it’s true), housemade pickled onions and peppers and more including Jesse’s fan favorite hot sauce. This is a filling dish, two of these are more than a meal, whew.
Of course in between buns, sliders, and gordos, I was sampling Pot-chos. The Park Corner does NOT have a frier any more, so everything is baked goodness. The Pot-chos are pan fried organic heirloom potatoes with Monterey Jack Cheese, hot sauce and more. It reminded me of super fun hashbrowns which always are liked by this girl.
As if I was not full enough, I had to keep going. Last up was were the steak tacos. Though good, these were not my favorite. The Mongolian BBQ sauce was a little tangy for me. I like things a little smoother, sometimes a little sweeter. I think that next time I am going for the Chicken Diablo Tacos. Curious about them? You’ll have to head to Park Corner to find out more.
Liz, Annie and I were there for hours, and we did really do all the things you should do at Park Corner, we sat, chatted and ate, but need to also add in laughed. This cozy spot is perfect for meals with those you want to sit and enjoy.
Perhaps we’ll even hit brunch over the Winter, and see what that’s all about. I have to say I do like all the fresh, organic ingredients used. The food was a lot different than I remember. Happy to add it to my Oak Bluffs restaurant year round list.