Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Eats of Stamford: Paloma

Despite our three wonderful beaches and priceless views of Long Island, it's easy to forget that Stamford is, in fact, a coastal city.  This is partly because much of our waterfront has been used for industrial purposes until recently.  With the wave of development at Harbor Point and elsewhere, it seems like we'll get to enjoy more and more of our coastline.  If you can't wait until Cummings Beach resembles 1940s Havana, a great place for waterfront dining is Paloma, from world-renowned chef and Food Network star Aarón Sánchez.

This thick tome is just the drink menu.  Seriously!

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of dining at Paloma with a veritable plethora of fellow bloggers from CT Bites, Food Dudes, Talk-a-Vino, Hamlet Hub, Savory Sweet Eats, CT Lifestyles, Home Place Blog, Fairfield County Foodie,, Hey Stamford!, and Connecticut Magazine.  What a crowd!

Paloma's menu offers a variety of Latin-inspired dishes that will scratch any itch you may have.  Like chicken?  Try the Cuban marinated roasted chicken.  Ribs?  Braised short ribs.  Seafood?  You get the picture.  Enough of my blathering - let's go to the photographic evidence.

First up were the appetizers, starting with Lobster Ceviche in a passion fruit habanero sauce.  It was sweet, spicy, and delicious.

Next was Tai Tiradito - raw snapper in a spicy sauce.  I love sushi beyond words, so give me raw fish and I'm happy.  Add some spice to the mix and I'm even happier.

Continuing the app parade were shrimp tempura (top) and crab (bottom) tostadas.  Perfect little finger foods!

This little skillet of joy is Queso Fundido.  It's got huitlacoche, wild mushrooms, and jalapeños.  Yeah, it was awesome.

Albóndigas are meatballs (obviously), and these bad boys were rich and delicious.  They came in a chipotle broth with mint and queso cotija on top.  The astute reader will have noticed that all of these appetizers had some kind of spicy ingredients; Chef Aarón is known for his love of everything picante.  Heck, he even has a show called Heat Seekers, where he suffers and sweats through insanely spicy dishes for our entertainment!

Mexican Street Corn comes topped with chipotle crema and queso cotija.  I'm pretty sure I ate that entire plate.

OK, enough foreplay - on to the entrees!

These braised short ribs were fall-off-the-bone tender.  The veggies were delicious, as was the horseradish gemolata.  10/10; would eat again.

Cuban-Style Chicken is marinated roasted chicken served with a pickled salad and tamarind chicken fried rice.  Yummmmm.

This is Garganelli Pasta, and the sauce is ground chorizo, cauliflower, and grilled escarole in a tamarind reduction.  Another clean plate for me.

These jumbo shrimp might be the illegitimate offspring of Godzilla.  Seriously, they were HUGE.  They came with chile de arbol butter, which is buttery and spicy - two of my favorite words!

For a brief intermission so you can digest, here's a shot of the awesome wood-fired grill where the magic happens.

OK, that's enough of a break.  It's time for dessert!

Believe it or not, these are churros!  These little round balls of deliciousness are filled with dulce de leche and served with agave-vanilla crema on the side.  They were warm and sugary and amazing.

Not to be outdone, here's cheesecake in a jar!  It's got salted caramel (oh yeah), crumble, and whipped cream, with a cherry chunk cookie on the side.  Leave room, yo.

Almost as good as the food at Paloma is the atmosphere.  If you can, I highly recommend eating outside on the patio.  You're right on the water, surrounded by the sights and sounds of Harbor Point.

 Man, just writing this post made me hungry again.  Meet me at Paloma!