The Paloma, owned by Chef Aarón Sánchez, has been opened for nearly in a year the up and coming Harbor Point area of Stamford. Their cuisine is Latin-inspired featuring a variety of offerings from whole roasted meats hot off their wood grill to an extensive raw bar, ceviche, grilled seafood, and a variety of shareable plates. The restaurant is in the former Beer Garden location with indoor and outdoor tables.
Disclosure: We were invited to a media dinner at Paloma. Your experience may be different than ours. Visit Paloma and try it out for yourself.
Chef de Cuisine Chris Bateman, a Stamford native, oversees the kitchen managing the culinary presentations of Paloma.
Something that sets them apart from other places is that they infuse all of their vodkas onsite. The list is rather long and includes a variety of ingredients. One I tried was the sassafras, which I liked as it had a nice smoky, root beer like flavor. Several of their house cocktails are on tap, which is another thing new to me. Paloma’s extensive list of classic and contemporary cocktails center around a wide selection of handcrafted spirits from Central and South America, including tequila, mezcal, pisco, cachaca, and rum.
Their signature cocktail, the Paloma Margarita, is a blend of lime and orange house tincture, hibiscus nectar, Grand Marnier, and Chinaco silver tequila.
The White Sangria combines Sauvignon blanc and chardonnay, peaches, pears, and house concoctions. Another signature cocktail is the Paloma: grapefruit creme brulee nectar, grapefruit, lime, sea salt, purified water, camarena reposado tequila (carbonated). For those bourbon lovers, there is the Bees & Honey: raw honey, lemon, ginger-tumeric nectar, el buho mezcal, maker’s mark bourbon.
We were browsing through their menu and noticed the Tres Salsa and Chips. Being chips and salsa fans, we had to give them a try. The crispy chips came with three (tres) different salsas: a grilled corn with bits of tomato, tomatillo avocado, and habanero love. Each salsa hit the palate with a different flavor, all tasty but the chips were a bit on the thick side.
As we were sipping our cocktails, we were treated to a couple of different tostados: crab and shrimp tempura. The Crab Tostados were chunks of crab mixed with a chile arbol aoli and avocado puree sitting on top of a crispy tostado. Whereas the Shrimp Tempura had a light and slightly crispy shrimp combined with cremy aji mirasol and mango salsa, also sitting on top of a crispy tostado. These tasty morsels were bite size and would pair well with a cocktail sitting on their patio enjoying a warm summer evening.
Put before us next were several delights from the appetizers portion of their menu. Up first was the Lobster Ceviche with passion fruit habanero sauce. I was expecting a bit more “heat” from the habaneros, but the passion fruit overpowered the habanero, giving it a sweeter taste. Following the ceviche was the Tai Tiradito, a snapper crudo accompanied by aji rocoto sauce and crispy hominy. Moving from fish to meat, we sampled Albondigas, a traditional Mexican meatball soup with a chipotle broth with mint and queso cotija. A veggie appetizer was the Mexican Street Corn; slightly roasted corn with chipotle crema, queso cotija, and herbs. Last of the appetizers was Queso Fundido, a small cast iron skillet filled with delightful and tasty melted cheese, huitlacoche, and mushrooms with a side of corn tortillas.
Entrees samplings spanned both the land and sea. Pictured above is the Camarones Mojo de Ajo: jumbo shrimp, cripsy grits cake, and chile de arbol butter. The jumbo shrimp were slightly overcooked, but the grits cake was excellent.
The Cuban Style Chicken was a hit at the end of our table. The highly flavorful Cuban marinated roasted chicken was accompanied by pickled salad and tamarind chicken fried rice.
The tender Braised Short Ribs had an ancho-cacao rub on the ribs with seasonal vegetables and horseradish gemolata.
The least favorite was the Garganelli Pasta. Pasta combined with chorizo, seasonal vegetables, grilled escarole, and a tamarind reduction.
Closing out the evening we sampled two desserts. A Cheesecake Parfait: cheesecake layered between salted caramel topped with crumble and cream accompanied by a cherry chunk cookie. The second dessert was light and bite size Churros with dolce de leche and agave-vanilla crema.
Paloma is open for dinner Monday 5 to 9 pm, Tuesday through Thursday 5 to 10 pm, Friday and Saturday 5 to 11 pm, Sunday 4 to 9 pm; lunch: Tuesday through Friday 11:30 am to 2:30 pm; and brunch: Saturday and Sunday 11:30 am to 3 pm. Their Happy Hour is Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 pm.
Paloma is located at 15 Harbor Point, Stamford, CT.