Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Paramount Bar & Grill: Contemporary American Fare Reaches Its “Paramount”!

By: Anne M. Raso

I was lucky enough to attend a dinner at the Paramount Bar & Grill in the famous and recently remodeled Paramount Hotel last week and was delighted at what a gorgeous and airy eatery was created out of a former storage space - thanks to new owner Aby Rosen). The lighting is at just the perfect level of dimness, the service is attentive and the food is classic American hotel food with a modern twist.
Restaurant Bar Wide paramount

The Chopped Salad ($13) is mighty fresh with a larger blend of veggies thrown in with the greens than nearly any other eatery around including thinly sliced radish, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, carrots and haricot verts. The executive chef Jason Kallert keeps the dressing a bit of a secret, though. He simply calls it the Mustard Vinaigrette and it is made of French mustard blended with red and white vinegar, shallot and a secret spice mix no one in the house will give up. It is a very light seasoning and doesn’t intrude upon the veggies and wild greens. The radicchio used here is particularly tender and fresh and I am assuming it must come from a local farmer’s market. The Chopped Salad is huge and a meal on its own.
28 Day Aged Strip
I take pride in trying steaks at different hotel restaurants and comparing the quality. The 28 Day Aged Strip ($35) done at the Paramount is pan seared and juicy, with little fat. This wondrous 1” plus thick slab of aged beef is served with delicious sautéed baby spinach, carmelized shallots and two hash brown patties officially called “Pommes Roesti” that are deliciously golden and crisp. Natural juice is made into delicious brown gravy served on the side. This is a classic pre-theater dinner for those with hearty appetites—me being one of those people, LOL! The perfect side was Brussels Sprouts With Macadamia Nuts and Garlic Confit ($7). The sweet brown glace was not intrusive upon the gorgeous blending of “green and nutty” tastes. Usually you see Brussels Sprouts only mixed with freshly roasted chestnuts, and I like the sweet taste of the macadamia nuts much better. This is a stellar side I would return to the restaurant for and ask for a double portion as an entrée.
Brussels Spouts 
For dessert, I could not resist the good old-fashion Ice Box Cake ($10). This 1920’s American Classic does not show up much on New York menus anymore even though it’s a “great grandma favorite.” The pastry chef uses the classic recipe of layering chocolate wafers and spreading freshly whipped heavy cream between each layer (there are about 15 layers here), but he makes individual portions in white china bowls—then tops the cake portion off with homemade gooey salted caramel sauce and roasted peanuts. This dessert is rich but does not give off the “too much of a good thing” effect—still, I would suggest sharing especially if you had one of the heartier entrees like the Strip Steak or their highly acclaimed Chicken Pot Pie ($24) made with savory organic leaks and onions.
Ice Box Cake
The Paramount Bar & Grill is located in the lobby of the Paramount and reservations are recommended but not mandatory. The crowd is very eclectic---you’ll see a rock group playing at the nearby Nokia Theater in with a Midwestern salesman and his wife, and then maybe a bunch of theater goers and after work crowd. It’s a great midtown spot for those who love after theater dinner since it is open until 11 PM nightly, except for Sunday, when dinner is served until 1AM. There are an impressive 60 domestic labels on the wine list and plenty of one-of-a-kind specialty cocktails available.

Paramount Bar & Grill
235 West 46th Street
New York, NY 10038
(212) 827-4116
Cuisine: Contemporary American

Paramount Bar on Urbanspoon

Photos By Anne Raso, Interior courtesy of Paramount Bar and Grill

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