...Picasso "This Is What We Do"
We accidentally call Paloma – "Palerma" (a female variation of an Italian city). We then break a margarita glass like a Greek lady – "Hahazzz." We later spill a water glass in official restaurant baptism and confirmation of “Oh no you didn’t!” clutsy embarrassment.
This is what we did on July 4th, 2015. We four dined at famous Food Network guru Aarón Sánchez’s restaurant called Paloma on the water in Stamford, Connecticut. It was Little Miami, meets Italy, meets Greece – and then that kooky Dutch lady dressed in fiery Native American colors in the corner. She kept mumbling – “Where’s that on the menu?”
Paloma has all the ingredients for Spanish restaurant greatness. Aside from a great name (paloma means "dove" in Spanish, and it is the name of famous painter Pablo Picasso’s youngest daughter), its location is fantástico. It sits right on the water in Stamford – amid a new, pristine complex of high-rise condos and upscale restaurants. There’s also a beautiful multi-tiered fountain that, after a few cocktails, might just look Ponce de Leonish enough to prompt you to jump in and recapture your youth. But don’t.
With dining tables inside and out, plus beautiful outdoor rooftop seating, the location really is dynamite. Catch this restaurant on a summer night as we did. The bright warm sun lingers on the horizon, peeks around the boardwalk, and plays with oceanfront breezes. Couple this with the restaurant’s rustic, modern Spanish décor, you can’t help but want to turn your chair to gaze at your surroundings. Paloma is eye-capturing. The ambiance is lovely.
As for the drinks, we had a few Margarita Palomas – the house specialty. The Paloma is a delicate frothy pink, served in a martini glass, with a bit of spice and sugar on the rim. Maybe it was chili powder? I’m not sure, but reports were the drink was delicious. I opted for a Grace in the Afternoon – a non-alcoholic beverage made with passion juice and an array of other tropical juices. The drink was refreshing, light, and just fizzy enough to keep your foot tapping. It was a big, bright yellow sparkle of a drink, donned with a purple and white tropical flower – gorg. The flower could have easily become a nice addition to my hair décor come the end of the night. One of the restaurant staff suggested this?
The food at Paloma is divine. The menu covers a lot – a wide choice of surf-and-turf and veggies. The queso fundido – a vegetable tapa with mushrooms, Spanish cheese, and spices – was my favorite dish. Qúe rico! The braised short ribs were delicate and flavorful. Then the super-spicy shrimp dish – its foundation a delicious bed of yucca – was awe-inspiring. It embodied the fiery, gourmet, and authentically Spanish spirit of Paloma.
Would I return to Paloma? Absolutely. It was a 4th of July treat. And I will no doubt return with my fiery female chick-clique. They were a hoot – an absolute hearty hahazzz.