Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Park Bruges

 Park Bruges is the sister restaurant of the Point Brugge cafe in Point Breeze. The Point Brugge cafe was so successful that the owners decided to open up another restaurant in Highland Park. Both restaurants specialize in Belgian/French cuisine. Word of mouth had been pretty positive about both restaurants so I was excited to try out the Park Bruges in Highland Park.
 We arrived at the Park Bruges around noon on a Sunday and it was pretty crowded with a 20 minute wait. While waiting, me and my eating companion decided to get some Belgian beers at the bar. My eyes lit up when I saw that they had Delirium Noel on tap. Delerium Tremens is one of my favorite Belgian beers and the Noel is a Christmas version being both darker and stronger. The beer was excellent but the price was a little steep at $9.00.
Delerium Noel $9.00
  Even though we were told a 20 minute wait, we were seated in 10 minutes. On Sundays Park Bruge has a  special brunch menu. For our meal we wanted to try some of the more traditional Belgian favorites. Our order consisted of Bruge Frites (French Fries), Crab Beignets, Tarte Flambee, and Prince Edward Island Mussels.

Bruge Frites $5.00
 If you dont know about Belgian french fries, let me tell you that they are the best in the world. They are first soaked in water overnight. Then they are fried twice. First at 310 degrees, than at 400 degrees. The result are fries that are perfectly crisp. Park Bruges fries were an excellent representation of this style of fries.  In Belgium they dont dip their fries in ketchup but usually a flavored mayonnaise of some sort, and the roasted garlic mayo that came with the fries was the perfect accompaniment for dipping.

Crab Beignets $10.00
      The crab beignets were fritters with crab and typical Maryland style crab cake seasoning.
They were accompanied with a charred tomato remoulade sauce.
Inside the Crab Beignet
   These were ok, with the crab meat being generous throughout the entire fritter though it was not lump crab meat, more claw and other parts.. The sauce was complex with tastes of mustard and smoked paprika. A very unique sauce, and it added some good flavor to the crab beignets. All in all these were tasty deep fried crab cake balls.

Tarte Flambee $12.00
   The Tarte Flambee was the biggest disappointment of the meal. The tarte flambee is described as Parma ham, arugula, shirred eggs, rosemary bechemel & cheese over a thin, crispy crust. First off I am not sure what the hell type of cheese they used on top of this thing but it was flavorless, I suspect from its lack of flavor and dryness that this was, heaven forbid, soy cheese. YUCK. The flavor of the entire dish was very mild and could have used some extra bechamel to add flavor, and also add some moisture, as this was also very dry.
Mussels $12.00
 The high lite of the meal was the Prince Edward Island Mussels. You can get your mussels in one of three styles. The traditional which is with a white wine, shallots, and beurre blanc. Or creole style in a tomato sauce with andouille sausage, peppers,onions, and Maytag blue cheese. Or French Style with lobster-pernod, tarragon and basil. I chose the traditional and was not disappointed. The mussels were cooked perfectly not being overcooked as to make them too chewy. The sauce was dreamy with the white wine and a generous amount of shallots and butter making an impeccable sauce. My one small complaint was that they dont send out enough bread for soaping up the heavenly sauce. If you like mussels these are a must try when visiting the Park Bruges.

 Would I go back? Yes, the mussels and brugge frittes alone are worth coming back for. The service was decent. The prices are a tad on the high side but not to the point of making me think twice about coming back. Their Belgian/French style menu is pretty unique here in Pittsburgh and I would like to come back to try some of their dinner fare.

Park Bruges Rating:
 Bruge Frittes: 9/10
 Crab Beignets:  7/10
 Tarte Flambee: 4/10
 PEI Mussels:    9/10

 Overall: 7.5/10

Park Bruges on Urbanspoon


  1. I thought there tarte flambee was excellent. Then again it had bacon.