New restaurant on Broad Street

Jun. 09, 2014 @ 08:23 AM

Oval Park Grille now open: The neighborhood restaurant Oval Park Grille opened Thursday in the old Broad Street Café space on Broad Street.

The restaurant is the vision of Greg de Marchi, the former bar manager at the French bistro Vin Rouge, and of Todd Whitney, the former chef de cuisine at Vin Rouge.

With the new restaurant, they’re looking to serve the nearby Watts-Hillandale and Walltown neighborhoods with comfort as well as healthy food.

“We want it to be a neighborhood bar and grill that just has nicer product than your neighborhood bar and grill and probably looks nicer than your neighborhood bar and grill,” de Marchi said.

The menu is posted online, but de March warned that it will change daily as the restaurant gets fresh ingredients from local farmers.

“Buying so much from the farmers’ market, sometimes there are things there that day that are going to be on last night’s menu, sometimes not,” he said. “It’s a matter of what’s fresh and available.”

The menu posted on the website includes starters such as grilled kale with carmelized shallot, lime, chili, pecorino, and fried oyster, and a warm lentil salad with arugula, roasted beats, oyster mushroom, poached egg, and sherry vinaigrette.

They’ve got sandwiches on the menu, hamburgers, and dinner items such as braised duck with oyster mushrooms, leeks, mustard greens and egg noodles; a miso hotpot with fish of the day; and a steak dish.

“It’s just stuff we like,” de Marchi said. “We want to have some comfort food, and a lot of healthy options as well.”

Next door to Oval Park Grille, they’re still planning to open a business called Tonic that will have a wine shop, a small bar and a private dining room. However, de Marchi said city officials have not approved the parking agreement for the business.

He said they’ve been leasing the space since last August, but haven’t been able to start construction or do any other preparations for the business because of the parking issues.

He said they have a parking agreement that would allow the business to use space for parking next to Watts Grocery through a sublease from Clements Funeral Service, but it has not been approved.

 “We hope to be able to open Tonic but it’s really unfortunately at the whim of the city,” he said.

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