The Park at Fourteenth: Downtown DC Red Carpet Dining

IMG_2555In lieu of the usual restaurant review, DC Style Is Real brings you a glimpse of a real-life back and forth about a recent dining experience at The Park at Fourteenth.  Two DC ladies reflect on a fun weeknight out in McPherson Square over GChat.


The Park at Fourteenth treated us to dinner, showing us that the place is a restaurant in its own right, as well as a consistently upbeat and fancy-schmancy nightclub.  We were…underdressed.


Anna: Haley, it was an honor to be your plus one. If we both weren’t married I could definitely see this as a place to go to meet someone.  And we should go again (and also make reservations because that place is mad busy during happy hour).
Haley: I know!  Everyone there (except us) was dressed to the nines.  I was wondering how this red carpet experience has been hiding in plain sight in downtown DC.
A: I don’t know if it’s been hiding–I think there was actually a red carpet outside?–but it’s not a place a quiet gal like me usually notices.  I do wonder how people in this city meet other people outside of places like work. I think lounges must play a big role. Would you call The Park a lounge?
H: I guess so, but it was so crowded with gussied up 30-somethings that it didn’t have that relaxed feel.  I would call it a “meet market” in a good way.  People were so friendly!  Even though it was totally crowded, everywhere I went, people smiled and interacted with me, which is way more than I’ve come to expect at most places.
So, we covered the friendly/fancy vibes.  What about the food?
A: Well, we started off with drinks– mine was house red, nothing here nor there to speak of, followed by a Caesar salad from the prix fixe menu. The croutons were banging.
H: Same here!  I was a big fan of the mixed green salad.  Thanks to the large chunks of blue cheese (fresh, not from a container), whole pecans, and cranberries, it wasn’t a boring salad at all.  As part of the 3-course special for $35, we also got entrees.  Mine was fabulous and just the right portion size: I had blackened salmon with asparagus.  The fish was done correctly, flaky and not dry at all.  A solid choice for anyone not wanting to overindulge.
A: I sort of wanted that (and also the jerk chicken wings, because nearly every table had them and they looked amazing) but I got the angus beef ribeye and switched out the loaded baked potato for mac and cheese. It was a lot of food!  But I ate it all, so I must have been ravenous. As for the quality and all, the steak was a good cut — not awesome, not bad, just did the trick — but was plenty juicy. The mac and cheese did not last long, so clearly it was yummy.
H: Don’t forget the shoestring fries on top!
A: Oh yeah! Good memory! Yeah that plate was fully of cheesy fried goodness and I cleaned. it. up.
H: On to dessert!  I had the lime parfait, and that really hit the spot on a warmish evening.  It comes chilled in a glass, so getting to enjoy it after dinner as we were sitting on the back patio was really enjoyable and relaxing.
A: It looked amazing! I sort of regret not trying it. I’m trying to curb a mean sugar addiction, which means basically abstaining from most sugars. I ordered the bread pudding anyway because it was part of the prix fixe meal and took it home to my husband.
Who forgot about it and it was never eaten!
H: Really?  That’s so sad!!!
So what was your overall impression of the place?
A: It was really fun! And perhaps a little over-stimulating! It didn’t just feel like dinner, it felt like an outing. I would take someone here to have a fun night out.
What about you? Did you have a good time despite beer bottles falling on the back of your chair?
H: That’s a good point, it did feel like more than just dinner.  It was an experience, all the way from the handsome bouncer at the door checking IDs to the stellar and personable service.
A: Oh yeah, our server Julie was fantastic. Super friendly, explaining the drinks and everything. Which is hard when you’re thronged by people.
H: AND she did not take notes when she took our order.  This really blew me away, because even though you made substitutions, she got everything right!
A: My final thought is this place is fun and clearly the epicenter of activity in McPherson Square. Go! And bring yo pumps in your purse!

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