A coworker of mine proposed a Girl's Night Out this week. She chose Palomino restaurant in Greenwich. I don't often go to coworker outings because I don't live that close to the office and many of my coworkers do. But Greenwich is on my way home (on the NY/CT border) and I hadn't been out in a while. Besides, the owner of Palomino's (whose name is actually Palomino) also owns Sonora and Pacifico in Port Chester and I'm hoping Kevin will take me to Sonora for Valentine's Day.
It took a little while for the five of us to assemble, so while we were waiting, I had a margarita at the bar poured by a smiling bartender. This was just the beginning of one of the biggest alcohol frenzies I've had in quite some time. Most of my coworkers are younger than I am and it was Friday night. Let's just say I managed to keep up. Once enough of us had arrived, we were shown to our table and our waiter introduced himself.
It was Curtis our waiter who really made this a topnotch experience. He seemed to get the Girl's Night Out vibe and really made an effort to take care of us. We dined at our own pace (we were at that table probably from 7-10:30) and was at our beck and call all night. He was very good at recommending things to try and describing dishes in detail.
We ordered a bottle of cabernet for the table and began with the meal. Instead of a traditional bread basket with butter, we were each given a roll and there was a plate of a tomato sauce-type condiment to dip them into.
We all ordered appetizers. Two of us ordered shrimp and asparagus tempura. Another one ordered the buffalo mozzarella with cherry tomatoes. That cheese tasted as if it had been made that very morning. "Melt in your mouth" is a bit if a cliche, but it was completely true here. I also thought the tomatoes were extraordinarily good considering we were eating them in January. I had the macaroni and cheese. This was not the stuff in the blue box. In fact, it wasn't even close to your average casserole-like homemade macaroni and cheese. This was pasta shells in a light and creamy sauce, made smoky by the chunks of pancetta. I was a little worried that that wild mushrooms in the dish might overpower it, but they didn't. I could have had that as a meal.
For my main course I had duck breasts. These were thin, succulent slices of duck that tasted as good as rare slices of filet mignon (and just as tender). I was not overwhelmed with the sauce they came in. It was a good (maple-peppercorn), but it didn't blow me away. I also thought the sweet potato puree on the side was a little too sweet. I like my sweet potatoes to have some salt, some spice, or something fiery to counteract the sweetness a bit.
When dinner was completed we all had more drinks instead of dessert. When I told my mother yesterday that I didn't order dessert she began inquiring whether or not aliens had possibly kidnapped her child. I was just too full and the table felt like drinking some more. I indulged in a shot of Frangelico (one of my favorite alocholic indulgences). When we received our bill, we noticed that the waiter seemed to comp a few things. He rolled up some of the drinks into the cost of the wine, but the total cost was less than it should have been. We tipped him well. He had taken good care of us that night.
We departed. I was done for the night. Three of us went home (one of us had a very long drive back north and it was a very rainy night and the other was even older than I am). Two of us continued on to another bar to keep the party going. There was no way I could drink more on that rainy night and get home without being arrested or killing myself or someone else. I'd chalk it up to the youth of my coworkers, but I don't think I could ever drink like that even when I was in my twenties.
I would defintely go back to Palomino if given a chance and recommend it to others. I'm really very excited about trying Chef Palomino's other restaurants.