Dining in San Diego at PARQ Restaurant & Nightclub

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(Image credit: Mike Newton)

Finding great restaurants to dine at in San Diego should be a walk in the park with so many to choose from. PARQ Restaurant & Nightclub, owned by Carlos Becerra, should be one of those penciled in at the top of your list.

It’s San Diego’s newest, hippest restaurant, with a swanky nightclub to add a cherry on top to this already eloquent dining establishment.

But for this review, I’m only going to take you on a palate-worthy journey into the fabulous cuisine served at PARQ Restaurant. My friend and I arrived at PARQ, complete with a red carpet, but that wasn’t for us (sorry to disappoint). There was a special event going on inside the club.

The restaurant and nightclub are located on the east end of Broadway Avenue, an unfamiliar territory to downtown clubs and restaurants.  Most San Diego clubs are nestled along 5th Avenue, and south of Market, which makes this location especially unique and off the beaten path.

We entered the restaurant through long velour curtains as if entering a secret lair, but this was no lair. It was a breath of fresh air as we walked through the restaurant’s park-like atmosphere.

The décor is refreshing and inviting, almost like being in Alice’s Wonderland. The walls are lined with greenery and brick, and the faux jacaranda trees light up like constellations. You truly feel like you are dining in the middle of a majestic European park on a perfect night.

We sat down in one of their booths close to the bar where we had a panoramic view of the entire place. We were quite impressed with what we had seen so far, and could only imagine what the rest of the night held in store for us.

dining in san diego

Burrata Caprese Salad
(Image credit: Nick Biliotti)

Everyone on the staff greeted us warmly, and I could tell that everyone received the same treatment, as it should be.

We were also able to meet the executive chef, Errol D. Leblanc II. What a treat that was!

Our server was incredibly attentive and pleasant but not overbearing. He showed up at just the right times, was genuine, and quite knowledgeable about every dish and drink.

We started off with one of their craft cocktails, and a couple of appetizers to tempt our taste buds. The Warm Burrata Caprese and Clams Casino came highly recommended by our fabulous server, so we couldn’t resist. Their specials constantly change with what type of ingredients they have in house, or what is in season in San Diego.

We also ordered the Oysters Rockefeller, Chile Shrimp and the lobster roll, and the chef sent over Charred Octopus, which was my first time with this delicacy of the sea. For our entrees, my friend had the Duck Confit, and I had the Brown Butter Grits with Shrimp.

Each plate was beautifully presented, and the flavors were perfectly balanced. Chef Errol’s motive was to create inspiring farm-to-table cuisine, or in our case, ocean-to-table for the seafood lovers in us. To top off the night, we shared the deconstructed cheesecake, and the chocolate lava cake with fresh berries that had the most lightly whipped cream I’ve ever had.

I stopped eating long enough to notice that this place was filling up fast with the young and hip, as well as a classy, older crowd. We saw birthdays being celebrated, friends sharing laughs and lovers engaging in a special evening.

dining in san diego

Brown Butter Shrimp and Grits
(Image credit: Nick Biliotti)

As we snapped out of our food comas, it was about this time that the club goers began pouring in.

The music was pumping inside the club and the servers were moving about like finely tuned dancers, ready for wherever this crowd was headed.

I think this was our time to retire. Although the night club was bumpin’, my friend and I couldn’t make any sudden moves, like dancing, after a meal this rich.

But we did get a tour through the club and I was certainly impressed. They boast the largest LED screen in San Diego, and the open floor plan made the place feel larger than life.

We had such a great dining experience here at PARQ, and we could tell by the line around the corner that the club was something special too.  This won’t be my last time here as the experience and service can’t be matched.

PARQ Restaurant & Nightclub has set the bar for what dining out in downtown San Diego should be like. I look forward to returning to dance the night away in the club, but that’s for another review.

By: Marci Pascua

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