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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bistro Central Parc's Food Is Good on Its Own Terms

Posted By on Wed, May 25, 2011 at 2:45 PM

click to enlarge Bistro Central Parc's bouillabaisse. - LARA HATA
  • Lara Hata
  • Bistro Central Parc's bouillabaisse.

I grew up in a family of inadvertent francophiles. How my father, a Mennonite kid from a tiny Michigan town, learned to speak French and travel around Europe before going to college is a very long story; somehow I've ended up with a thick Belgian accent (uh, not in English) and a sister who holds French citizenship. So the American love for French food, French interior design, and inappropriately used French words has always struck me as both understandable and a little silly.

It's also been several years since I've reviewed a purely French bistro like Bistro Central Parc, the subject of this week's print review, which has a French owner, French chef, French-speaking waitstaff, and menu of bistro classics. Without much hoo-ha, the place has quickly established itself in the neighborhood; on both my visits the restaurant was filled with regulars. For so many years, French cuisine was the ne plus ultra of American cooking, but as our own haute cuisine has taken off, we Americans are appreciating dishes like Bistro Central Parc's steak-frites, truite aux almandes, and bouillabaisse for what they have been all along: straightforwardly delicious fare that is good because it's tasty, not because it's "French."

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Jonathan Kauffman

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