Paname Restaurant, Paris in the Big Apple

April 24, 2018

in Food for Thought,International,National,Wine Cellar 13°C

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Paname Restaurant
1068 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10022
212-207-3737

panamenyc.com

Written & Photographed by: Jennifer Baker

Food & Service: It seems fitting that Paname Restaurant named itself after the slang term for Paris, even though it is housed in the middle of the Big Apple. That is confidence! You’ll find Paname in Midtown East, an area of Manhattan known for the well-attired business people moving in and out of skyscrapers day and night. At almost four years old, Paname Restaurant is tucked away on the same block as other native foods of New York City, such as the tried-and-true bagel shop and diner on Second Avenue. Paname’s vibrant red sign and awning accentuate the warmth of the dimly lit interior with checkered tablecloths, wooden bistro chairs, walnut bar, and salmon colored walls decorated with French nouveau paintings.

Paname Outside View

Amuse Bouche

The tables are spread out so diners are not on top of one another. Only a few dozen customers are sitting at one time, offering a perfectly acceptable volume that doesn’t require shouting at your dining companions.

Beef Bourguinon ala Paname

French cuisine is known for its richness, but at Paname classics like beef bourguignon are offered with vegetables and seafood dishes that don’t weigh the dish or the diner down. This isn’t necessarily a vegetarian friendly space, as most of the dishes outside of small bites and salads have meat or seafood. Owner and Executive Chef Bernard Ros emphasizes fresh ingredients only. The majority of the menu is French specific with a few nods to Italian dishes such as Bolognese and Penne a la Vodka, along with Caesar salad.

“I believe that the sauce makes the dish,” Ros says. Sauces are integral to the beef bourguignon; the mango coulis that accompanies the evenly roasted duck with crispy skin; and the bouillabaisse with mussels, cod, shrimp, and clams. These main dishes are not weighed down by their saucy attributes, but instead are enhanced by them to meld the desired flavors.

Paname's Intimate Dining Room

Sop up the scintillating seafood stew with a crisp slice of baguette topped with a tangy aioli spread. Indulge in savory and sweet with a dab of coulis on duck breast that is tender, yet doesn’t quite melt in your mouth. Gorge on the hearty flavors of red wine, vegetables, and au jus soaking into the beef from three days of preparation and simmering. The sauce reduction for the bouillabaisse also takes a full day to make, and the stocks and marinades take an additional two days for everything to merge together before even adding the seafood.

Ros was adamant about not only the need for fresh ingredients but to minimally target the response for taste buds.

Beautiful Paname Apple Galette

This means zeroing in on core ingredients and taste profiles. “Don’t over salt,” he emphasizes… because at Paname he wants you to taste the food. When it comes to this Ros’ dishes at Paname are successful. Paname offers a good wine list with majority French and Italian options, specialty cocktails, and beers. Start out with an amuse bouche plate filled bite-sized delectables of mushroom, anchovies, and roquefort cheese. The seared and sauteed baby octopus with haricots blancs has a hint of spice to the thin sauce that kisses the skin of an overly tender octopus.

Dish presentation is also part of the thrill, and taste, of Paname Restaurant. You can get takeout but there won’t be the visuals that amps up the desserts especially. The chocolate volcano is the equivalent of a lava cake, served with fresh

Paname Chocolate Volcano

whipped cream, a golden cookie tower arched above it as its own skyscraper. The dense chocolate caters to the chocolate and not the sugar with a slightly gooey center that oozes out just a bit. The apple galette is made with phyllo dough and slice apples on top glazed golden and shiny. A sugar basket that looks truly woven sits atop it encasing vanilla bean ice cream made on site. The creme brulee’s custard works well at room temperature, not overly sweet to balance out the sugar crust.

The personal touches Ros brings to every dish is easily tasted and seen, which brings the heart of French cuisine in not only name but design. It’s a perfect date spot and family spot with staff as well as Ros attentive to guests in the intimate setting. Paname also serves brunch and 3-course price fixe offerings at every meal. They will also have a special Mother’s Day menu in May to look out for on their website.

Visit Paname Restaurant soon and tell them that Jennifer Baker and DinnerReviews.com sent you! Bon appetit!

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