If you want to experience one of the finest and most affordable French cuisines in Manhattan, Paname Restaurant is the place to be.
This meal was part of a press dinner meet and as always, all opinions are mine.
Located in midtown Manhattan, Paname Restaurant offers classic French dishes along with its own twist to many of their dishes.
The restaurant is owned by France born Chef Bernard Ros who has been in the food industry for more than 40 years. Being someone who has such a huge experience, you can certainly expect the best to be served at his restaurant.
Chef Bernard is a humble soul with a desire to present the best to his customers and his passion for food is reflected in all his dishes.
While we chatted with the Chef, he said that he loves to infuse his dishes with different flavors as it caters to modern and refined palates. Rightfully so, Paname’s menu has classic French dishes as well as dishes that have a modern twist to them inspired by Chef Bernard’s many travels to various countries all over the world.
The first thing that caught my attention about all their dishes is the impeccable presentation. It’s almost as if you’re looking at a fine piece of art.
It’s not often that you come across French restaurants with moderately priced dishes and Paname with its affordable prices will leave you truly satisfied.
In my opinion, if you are looking to get a full experience, the best way is to do that is by ordering their Prix Fixe Dinner Menu ($43) which is a 3-course meal and also includes a couple of amuse bouche like the salted anchovies and the creamless cauliflower soup.
If you are here during the day, you can also try their 3-course Prix Fixe Lunch ($26) or Brunch Menu ($25)
Here’s what we had –
We started with a glass of wine. While some got a glass of red wine, a couple of us opted for a glass of Rosé.
Each of us ordered one appetizer and then shared it with everyone. That way, everybody got to taste more dishes instead of focusing on just one or two appetizers.
Pate Maison ($13)
We started our meal with Pate Maison which was served with some fresh salad and a side of French bread. This was by far everybody’s favorite.
Baby Octopus with Haricots Blanc ($16)
If you are a fan of octopus and have never tried baby octopus, this dish is a definite must-try. It was tender and succulent and was liked by all of us.
Tuna tartar with light sesame chili oil ($16)
This dish was not only beautifully presented but tasted fantastic as well.
Artichoke Pesto ($11)
Having tasted all the above delicious appetizers, the artichoke pesto was a bit underwhelming for all of us.
Along with the appetizers, we were also served some bread with a stylish presentation of butter on a black stone. It was a pretty unique presentation and we were left quite impressed by it.
For the entrees, we once again ordered an entree each and shared it amongst ourselves. All the entrees were beautifully presented and were not just a visual treat but also a treat for our palates.
Bouillabaisse with Shrimp, cod, Clams, Mussels, and Seafood in Saffron Broth and Garlic Aioli ($28)
We were told that this dish is one of the chef’s special, so of course, we had to get it. It is a seafood lover’s paradise and is inspired by Mediterranean flavors. The saffron broth was flavorful and fragrant and I loved dipping the French bread smeared with garlic aioli in the broth. It was definitely one of my favorite dishes.
Oven roasted Duck with Barley and Mango Coulis ($30)
To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of duck, but this dish changed my perspective. The duck was crispy on the outside yet tender on the inside. It hits all the right notes especially when paired with the mango coulis.
Sauteed Cod Fish a la Nicoise Tomato Fondant ($26)
Sitting on a bed of mashed potatoes, the codfish topped with the tomato fondant tasted unbelievably delicious and fresh.
While this classic French dish is not on the menu, it is available for nine months during the year and is one of the chef’s special dishes. It’s quite a labor-intensive dish and Chef Bernard begins the preparation for it 1-2 days beforehand. A true meat lover’s delight!
To finish off our wonderful meal, we chose four different desserts. All four of them were rich and indulgent and left us truly satisfied.
Violet Sorbet (included in their Prix Fixe Menu)
If you order the Prix Fixe Menu, apart from the amuse bouche, you will also be served Violet Sorbet before your choice of dessert. Now I’ll be honest and say that I had never tried Violet Sorbet before and was quite curious to taste it.
And it’s safe to say that it managed to exceed all my expectations! When it comes to ice creams or sorbets, I rarely fall in love with a particular flavor, but this Violet sorbet was totally out of the world. Honestly, I could easily have a couple of more scoops.
Creme Brulee ($9.75)
No meal at a French restaurant is complete without a classic Creme Brulee and the one served at Paname was pure perfection.
Thin crust Apple Tart ($9.75)
Beautifully presented but in my opinion, the other desserts outshone their apple tart.
Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream ($9.75)
Flourless Chocolate Cake ($9.75)
Last but not least, this was one of my personal favorites amongst all the desserts. Creamy, rich and truly indulgent. Don’t miss this if you’re here.
If you’re looking to enjoy a fabulous yet moderately priced French restaurant in midtown Manhattan, Paname is definitely the place to be. I am sure you’ll love it as much as we did.
Website: Paname Restaurant
Address: 1068 2nd Ave. NYC, 10022
between 56 & 57 Streets.
Timing: Noon – 3 pm for Lunch
5 to 10 pm for Dinner
The restaurant is available for Private Dining and Corporate Events.
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