Restaurant Review: Paramour
Will Paramour be an occasional tryst or a long-term love?
Restaurant: Paramour (at the Wayne Hotel)
Address: 139 East Lancaster Avenue, Wayne
Rating: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
Atmosphere: Contemporary and refined
Service: Friendly and accomodating
Price Range: per person
Unique Feature: Outdoor dining in warm months
Well, love is a curious thing. And in my book, very few restaurants earn my love. But the question should be, “Will you go back?”
Yes, I will, and not just because I got a gift certificate from my family for Christmas. But Paramour might remain in my “special occasion” restaurant list, and that’s not quite what owner Steve Bajus is trying to accomplish.
The successful property owner is also the restaurant operator, and he said people can use it for special occasion restaurant, but that there are a lot of small plate and shared plate options that would allow for a casual meeting with a friend or spouse after work. He is also marketing it to people going to a movie who want to grab glass of wine and small bite after.
The issue is that one person may be delighted to pay $19 for a Lobster and Prawn Cocktail (with blood orange sorbet and spicy greens) and another may not. We all live on different financial levels, and we differ on how we want to spend our money.
(See Radnor Patch tomorrow for a review of a dinner at Paramour.)
The menu lends itself nicely to lunch, with items like the Business Express (the chef’s daily selection of hot entree, petite salad and dessert for $17) and The Relationship (half a sandwich, choice of cup of soup or side salad for $17).
But you can also choose a soup and share a flatbread with your dining companion and that makes for a light but satisfying lunch.
We shared the Sulumi and Ricotta Salata Flatbread ($15). And while it did not blown me away, the bread was good — chewy but crisp — and so was the portion. My companion also had the Carmelized Cauliflower Soup ($6 for a cup, $9 for a bowl) and that was tasty with accents of corn and lobster. Getting a soup right is important, and this was a worthwhile soup.
The Tomato Soup I had was just as good if not as interesting. But then again, it's tomato soup.
We sat in semi-circle banquets across from large windows that let in light on an over cast day. The décor is modern but with traditional lines, and it feels new and clean and special. And that’s a good atmosphere in which to dine.
My companion did not care for the electronica genre of music playing in the ambient air. But I liked it because it was the music I listened to in college.
Our only issue in the realm of service was that our napkins shed on us. Wherever the white napkins had touched us there remained little white annoyances that would not be dusted off. I’m not sure why that happened, but it did. And hopefully it’s easily solved.
Bajus told me that there have been some service issues they have been working on. He said it was an ambitious project to marry a new restaurant into a longstanding hotel, but that they are responding to criticism and making changes where necessary.
But back to the food.
The Bibb and Roaring Forties Blue salad that my companion dined on (bacon, red onion, red wine vinaigrette for $12) was “fabulous,” she said.
There was a good amount of lettuce, the bacon was crispy and the red onion on the side, so as not to overwhelm the dish.
I took on the House Burger (local beef, lettuce, tomato, Lancaster bacon, garlic aioli for $14). The beef was couched in a soft roll, and while it was not quite a medium rare (that’s unfortunately not rare), it was not dry. But the fries were crispy and well seasoned.
Bajus said in Paramour he is trying “to give people a different experience other than same old same old.”
The location and atmosphere of the hotel already accomplishes that. As I stated before, I will indeed return there. But whether it will be for a special occasion or as a new Wayne hang-out is to be determined.