Photo by Caitlin Abrams
Parka was white hot when it opened in its Longfellow space, where it coexists with Forage Modern Workshop. But then it cooled down, way down, as diners chatted about inconsistencies and poor execution.
Ownership of the parent company, Stock & Badge, shuffled a bit as the opening chef/partner Erik Harcey left the fold, and the little spot floundered for a while. But it has gained a grip with influence from new food director Sam Kanson-Benanav and chef Josh Wood, who is manning the stoves.
The fun stuff is gone, and that chicken wild rice soup will remain legendary, but in its place are easier plates that are beautifully modern and focused on simple goodness. A white fish bruschetta on gorgeous Rustica bread was topped with a stunning mélange of tart pickled vegetables, and rich salmon gravlax on sprouted rye with perfectly soft scrambled eggs and smoked trout is happily available all day. The beer brat was also nicely dressed with pickled ramps and house kraut, and the local-beef, local-cheese burger surprised me with an awesomely spicy and messy mix of Sriracha mayo and horseradish kraut aioli.
This is not to say everything was perfect; there were some of the old execution issues I remembered. But I feel like this menu will be easier to perfect and perform, and I’m hoping it’ll keep diners mouths full instead of flapping.
4021 E. Lake St., Mpls., 612-886-1585, parkampls.com