As we watched the evolution of the old Fish Pier to the new Paramount there was a new excitement around my neighborhood – or was that just me? I soon found out it was not!
I decided to adopt a good food writer’s philosophy of trying a restaurant a few times before writing about it and I am glad I did as it really does make a difference to how one evaluates and ultimately writes about an establishment.
Each time I have been to The Paramount – a Tuesday, Wednesday and just recently a Friday, there is a wait for a table. No reservations at The Paramount. This past Friday I arrived with my friend and the second we walked into this frantically busy restaurant at 7.00pm the host greeted us with a friendly smile and a… “it will be an approximate 20 minute wait.” When we told her that was fine, she asked us did we want a drink and then we waited at the two available seats near the door. It wasn’t long before we were escorted to a table for four. Super – lots of room for us.
Refreshing cucumber water was delivered to our table immediately and seconds later our waiter (the same one I had the last two times) came over asking us if we had made any decisions. Luckily I knew at least the appetizer I wanted which was the Warm Goat Cheese.
I have now had this dish three times and it has been consistently good every time. Creamy, sharp goat cheese lightly fried resting in the center of large stewed sweet tomatoes with grilled tuscan bread. It’s the simplicity of this dish that makes it so good and perfect for sharing.
For my entrée I decided on one of the specials of the evening of Braised Lamb Shank. Falling off the bone the lamb was flavorful and succulent and enough for two people – I had to take most of it home. Creamy, sweet parsnip purée was a nice change from mashed potatoes. The pièce de résistance though, and you may be surprised to hear this was the carrots! Yes, vegetables – so incredible – candy sweet and crunchy good. In fact, a taste I just have to replicate. I asked for this recipe and it is as simple as brown sugar, butter and tarragon.
My friend ordered the other special of Sweet Chili Glazed Tuna Steak. The huge tuna steak was deliciously rare stacked on top of crunchy white asparagus, rice and sweet zucchini.
Our evening ended with the Chocolate Cake. A rich cake oozing with warm chocolate goodness. Loading your fork with sweet berries and cream made this dessert sweet heaven.
After trying a number of different entrée dishes from the Mushroom Ravioli to the Pan Roasted Teriyaki Glazed Salmon and now the Lamb special, I can say I have been impressed with the food each time. Good, solid cuisine (and local for me.)
There is a very hurried and efficient atmosphere in the Paramount. The waitstaff are constantly on the go and as much as they do not rush you out the door there is a sense of guilt about staying at your table just drinking wine while there is a line out of the door. This aside and absolutely not a negative, I can imagine The Paramount becoming a regular local for me for dinner when I don’t want to cook. Now I need to try it out for breakfast and brunch. If it is as good as the Beacon Hill location I am sure I will be very happy.