Finer dining returns to Campus Martius with the opening of Parc this week.
The upscale restaurant replaces Fountain Bistro, which closed in February after the Detroit 300 Conservancy passed the space to new owners Zaid Elia (of 220 Merrill in Birmingham) and Matthew Shiffman.
After a full renovation, Parc debuted Monday with the cuisine of chef Jordan Hoffman, a Schoolcraft College graduate who has spent the past decade working in Las Vegas. He said he returned to Detroit to open Parc and its sister business, shipping container restaurant Fountain Detroit, which opened in May.
“I came back (to Detroit) and hit the ground running with that project,” Hoffman said of Fountain Detroit. “As we’ve been working on (Fountain Detroit) throughout the course of the summer this has always been what I’ve kind of been focused on and making sure we’re ready for this day.”
Hoffman calls Parc, which has a clean, modern look with touches of silver, white and a light, almost seafoam green color, “an absolute gem of a restaurant.”
“There’s no better location as far as I’m concerned, in the city,” he said during the first day of business Monday afternoon. “It’s the most beautiful. In the summer you’ve got the lawn and music and everything going on down here every day and then like today you’ve got the ice rink and the Christmas tree.”
“It’s the most perfect setting and I think that we’ve created a restaurant that fits that sense of place, and food that fits that sense of place,” he said, describing the vibe as “refined and relaxed.”
For now, Parc opens weekdays with a happy hour menu 3-6 p.m. Small plates are all $7 and include oysters, wood-grilled chicken wings, a small but hearty chop salad, Maine mussels, a potato dish, tacos and sliders. Also during happy hour, a list of $7 cocktails, $6-$8 wines and $5 beer selections.
The dinner menu has “first courses” ($12-$16) like wood-roasted oysters, yellowtail crudo, tuna tartare and wood-grilled baby back ribs. This season’s soup is minestrone ($8), and a list of four salads ($9-$11) includes a bigger version of the chop salad from the happy hour menu which stands out with pickled cauliflower and other veggies tossed in a mustard vinaigrette.
A pasta list features king crab tagliatelle and pappardelle vegetable ragout, and fish entrees includes roasted giant prawns and Scottish king salmon. All of the meat entrees are wood-grilled, including the reserve steaks that are dry aged and hand selected by Fairway Packing. Entree are priced $18 and up.
Weekday lunch and weekend brunch menus will be introduced in the next few weeks.
Parc, which accepts reservations, has a slight musical theme. Besides there being mostly classic and ’90s rock on the play list, life-sized portraits of music legends Elvis, Jimi Henrix, Michael Jackson and John Lennon watch over the dining area from either side of the 15-seat bar.
800 Woodward, Detroit
Open for happy hour Mon.-Fri. 3-6 p.m.; Dinner service starts at 5 p.m. daily
Lunch and brunch service expected to start in a few weeks