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Step Inside Brasserie du Parc, Now Serving Crepes & Coq Au Vin At One Park Place

Originally Published on Eater.com

Francophiles who love to wine and dine on the highly acclaimed cooking at Etoile in Uptown Park are in for a treat with the opening of Brasserie du Parc, the latest joint effort between Chef Philippe Verpiand and wife Monica Bui.

The Parisian-inspired bistro designed by Bui occupies the first floor corner of luxury high rise One Park Place at 1440 Lamar Street, directly across from Discovery Green. The restaurant’s rust-chic interior is draped in warm hues of caramel-brown, yellow and copper offset by industrial-chic iron, glass, marble and wicker. Indoors, you’ll find a spacious bar, plenty of seating, and a glass-encased indoor/outdoor patio with walls that can slide open to bring in fresh air on nice days. Outside, a walk-up window offers easy access for passersby to grab freshly-made crepes.

As far as the food is concerned, former Etoile chef Romain Mauger will serve up a menu of hearty, European-inspired fare (think steak frites, coq au vin, and wild boar bolognese) alongside Gulf seafood and locally-sourced produce. Beverage director Kimberly Paul serves up a selection of signature cocktails and punches mixed with housemade bitters, syrups, and cordials. Look forward to tippling the Faux Snow Day, mixed with Suerte Reposado Tequila, coconut and lime cordial, and Angostura bitters.

If you’re dying to check it out, Brasserie du Parc is set to kick open the doors tonight for dinner service. Admittedly, getting there is tricky right now due to heightened security around the park but valet will be available as soon as current security restrictions are lifted after the Super Bowl.

French eatery opens downtown next to Discovery Green

Originally Published on Houston Business Journal

Another restaurant near Discovery Green has opened ahead of the Super Bowl.

Brasserie du Parc debuted Jan. 30 at 1440 Lamar St. inside an apartment tower in downtown Houston, according to a release. Chef Philippe Verpiand and wife Monica Bui, the duo behind Uptown’s Étoile Cuisine et Bar, are behind the new eatery. Click through the slideshow for photos of the restaurant and some dishes.

Brasserie du Parc is located on the ground floor of One Park Place overlooking Discovery Green.
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Brasserie du Parc is located on the ground floor of One Park Place overlooking Discovery… more

The French restaurant occupies about 3,000 square feet on the ground floor of One Park Place, a 346-unit, 37-story luxury apartment tower that Houston-based Finger Cos. opened in 2009. Phoenicia Specialty Foods and MKT Bar also occupy space on the building’s ground floor.

The eatery seats about 180 people and features old-world French decor with industrial touches. Antique mirrors line the faux-finished walls, and chandeliers hover over dining booth nooks.

Brasserie du Parc also features a walk-up crepe window, Crêperie du Parc. About a dozen crepes will be offered, ranging from Nutella crepes to ratatouille with a sunny side up egg.

Romain Mauger is the restaurant's chef de cuisine. Menu items include gratin de coquilette (coquillete pasta, ham, mushrooms gruyere, truffle oil), steak frites (8 oz. flat iron, pommes frites, spring mix salad) and escargots bourgogne (baked Burgundy snails, fresh herbs, garlic, butter).

Cocktails include Oaxaca old fashioned (Delirium Mezcal, turbinado sugar, house-made orange bitters), faux snow day (Suerte Reposado Tequila, coconut and lime cordial, soda, Angostura bitters) and whiskey spiced tea punch (High West Double Rye, spiced tea, lemon, mint). Étoile traditions, such as table-side absinthe service and limoncello, will also be featured.

The restaurant will be open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Verpiand is from the Vaucluse region of France and graduated from the French Culinary Institute in Avignon. After working in several Michelin-starred restaurants in France, he worked in San Diego, California, eventually opening his own restaurant there in 2005. He opened Étoile in October 2012 and was named a Master Chef of France in March 2015, becoming one of only three chefs in Texas ever to receive the honor.

Brasserie du Parc is one of several restaurants opening adjacent to Discovery Green in time for the Super Bowl. Just a few days ago, chef Hugo Ortega and his wife, restaurateur Tracy Vaught, opened Xochi inside the new Marriott Marquis, which is serving as the official headquarters for the National Football League. Click here for a slideshow of the hotel.

Xochi was one of several new restaurants announced over the summer for the hotel and outside the George R. Brown Convention Center as part of the transformation of Houston's convention district. Another one of those eateries, McAlister’s Deli in the George R. Brown, opened last week, as well.

Beyond the Super Bowl: Where to Eat Global and Shop Local in Houston

Originally published on Vogue

"For fine French cuisine, the new Brasserie du Parc hosts a stunning copper bar, antique mirrors, and grand views of Discovery Green."

 

First look: Brasserie du Parc

Originally Published on Chron.com

Discovery Green soon will be filled with visitors strolling around with Grand Marnier crepes in their hands and the smell of steak frites and coq au vin filling the air. For real? Oui.

That's because Brasserie du Parc – a new French bistro from the owners of Etoile Cuisine et Bar – is due to open in a tres chic outpost on the northern lip of Discovery Green at the base of One Park Place tower. Monday Jan. 30 is the day chef Philippe Verpiand and his wife and business partner, Monica Bui, plan to open their restaurant with its walk-up window for crepes called Creperie du Parc. And just in time to catch the hordes of out-of-towners expected to take in all the Super Bowl action at Discovery Green and George R. Brown Convention Center.
NEW RESTAURANTS: A slew of new spots opening up before the Super Bowl

Not by accident. Brasserie du Parc, like so many other restaurants fighting to open before SBLI, has been pulling sleepless days and nights to make its public debut. For Verpiand and Bui it's an enormous new step into the busy Houston food scene made four years after opening their first restaurant, Etoile, in Uptown Park. The success of that Gallic charmer led to the brasserie in one of the most desirable locations in downtown Houston – Marvy Finger's white glove apartment building overlooking Discovery Green.

"Honestly, we were not searching for another location, but this came up," he said of the formerly unused space at the corner of Lamar and La Branch. "I never thought I'd be downtown but the first time I saw it I liked it right away."

Both he and Bui envisioned a classic Parisian restaurant of Verpiand's native France (he hails from Provence, the son of a second-generation butcher). For Verpiand that meant a menu of classic dishes such as beef tartare, moules frites, foie gras au torchon, goat cheese salad, sole meuniere, duck confit, coq au vin, and steak frites glossed with sauce béarnaise. All those can be found on the menu executed in a manner worthy of a chef who has worked in seven Michelin-star restaurants in France and who happens to be one of only five Master Chefs of France living in Texas.

The dinner menu also includes dishes such as chicken liver pate served with red Dijon and cornichons; Burgundy-style baked snails; seafood risotto; Gulf snapper with saffron cream and fingerling potatoes; pasta with wild boar Bolognese; ribeye steak with French fries and spring salad mix; and Tartiflette, a creamy casserole loaded with bacon, potatoes and reblochon cheese from the French Alps. Lunch finds many of the same dinner dishes at a slightly lower price point, as well as sandwiches (the classic Croque Monsieur; a brioche bun burger), quiche, and merguez sausage.

Desserts also cover the indulgent classics: crème brulee, pot au chocolate, and Ile Flottante (a "floating island" of crispy meringue on a sea of pistachio crème anglaise).
And then there's the crepes. The partners hope to do a nice business in their clever walk-up window attached to the terrace portion of the restaurant offering take-away crepes. Both the savory (salmon and crème fraiche; ham and gruyere; ratatouille and mozzarella; pork belly; and shrimp, salmon, and blue crab in saffron veloute) and the sweet (Nutella; banana and Nutella; strawberry and Chantilly cream; Grand Marnier Suzette; caramelized apples, vanilla mascarpone, and fleur de sel caramel) are covered. And all served in the restaurant as well.

Bui designed the restaurant, taking inspiration from classic brasseries with their antique glass, colorful French posters, marble tables, and curvy lamps. The color scheme is the orange and yellow warmth of autumnal leaves: amber colored water glasses; ochre walls; marigold beadboard wainscoting; cognac-hued bar stools, creamy cognac leather dinner chairs, and the pale gold glow of Edison bulb lighting fixtures.
The space is divided into several areas including the light-filled terrace with its marble table tops, rattan bistro chairs, and glass "doors" that can slide open when the weather's optimal; the main dining room with white tablecloth and leather chairs; an upstairs wine room; and a double-height bar area anchored by a four-sided, brass-top bar with a three-tier glass canopy holding liquor and glassware.

The bar is where beverage director Kimberly Paul will show off her seasonal cocktails such as the Wallbanger circa 2017 (vodka, Galliano, and cardamom orange syrup); Oaxaca Old Fashioned (mezcal, turbinado sugar, and house-made orange bitters); Faux Snow Day (tequila, coconut and lime cordial, soda and Angostura bitters); and Bonny Prince Dram (scotch poured over an Earl Gray tea and honey ice ball). There are also three larger-format shared cocktails including Whiskey Spiced Tea Punch (rye, spice tea, lemon, mint); Rhum Petit Punch Vieux (rum, spiced syrup, lime and raspberry); and Sloe Ginger Punch (gin, ginger beer, lemon, sloe gin, and soda). And what would a good French bistro be without its aperitifs? They are here in good measure.

Verpiand said there's a mix of emotions attending the opening of Brasserie du Parc: stress, yes, but excitement too. Especially with 140,000 out-of-town visitors descending on Houston next week.

Where to Eat, Drink & Play in Houston During This Year's Super Bowl LI

Originally Published on Austin Way

Brasserie du Parc (1440 McKinney St.), the intimate restaurant and walk-up creperie (the "parc" in this case is the bustling Discovery Green) by Etoile Cuisine et Bar’s charming chef-owners Philippe Verpiand and Monica Bui

First Bite: Brasserie du Parc

Originally Published on HoustoniaMag.com

THE CRÊPES AT BRASSERIE DU PARC AREN’T CRISPY. They also aren’t overly thick and mushy. Chef and co-owner Philippe Verpiand and chef de cuisine Romain Mauger make sure of that. What they produce in the closet-sized crêpe station inside Verpiand’s new restaurant are a French Goldilocks’ dream: that just-right middle ground of a thin-but-yielding pancake.

And in truly Parisian style, customers can grab them on the fly, not from a kiosk or cart as in France, but from a window on McKinney Street. At least they’ll be able to beginning Monday at 11 a.m., when Brasserie du Parc serves its crêpes at 1440 Lamar Street, just across from Discovery Green at One Park Place.

Crêperie du Parc serves six different savory crêpes, including classic jambon et Gruyère, but also innovations like pork belly with cheese, onions, mushrooms and an egg. The five sweet crêpes range from banana and Nutella to one flambéed tableside with Grand Marnier. Yes, you can order crêpes in the dining room, too, but why would you with as dense a bill of fare as is available the Brasserie?

“When you look at the menu, it’s a little more casual, less expensive,” says Verpiand, comparing it to his first Houston Étoile Cuisine et Bar. “You see it’s a small room, a little cozier, high-paced restaurant.”

In effect, a typical brasserie. And it was the 3,000 square-foot space (2,000 less than Étoile) that dictated the direction he went with the restaurant, Verpiand says. Not including the 1,600-square-foot covered patio, which is heated in winter and air conditioned in summer, the two-story restaurant is small and bustling. But with nooks for two-top tables lit with colorful chandeliers, it feels personal, not cramped.

It makes sense that comfort food would be a focus. There are three versions of moules frites, including the Galveston, which also includes Gulf shrimp and crab. Other warming dishes include tartiflette, an Alpine potato-and-cheese casserole; a gratin of coquillette pasta with ham, mushrooms, Gruyère and truffle oil; and Gulf snapper in saffron cream sauce.

The last of those is important: Verpiand says that he’s made it a point to focus on Gulf seafood at his new restaurant. Gulf shrimp, for example, appears in both a mixed seafood crêpe and risotto that’s also flavored with calamari and red bell pepper stew. He admits, he should have started using local seafood a long time ago. To Verpiand we say, “Better late than never.”