Thursday, July 19, 2007

Farewell to Jenny (and Happy Birthday to Kim)!

Last weekend, we went to dinner at Pazo to bid Jenny farewell (she has since moved to LA-- miss you already Jenny!), and to celebrate Kim's birthday. Pazo is a fun, hip tapas place in the Harbor East area of Bmore, who's kitchen is run by Cindy Wolf, renowned Baltimore chef of Charleston Restaurant and Petit Louis Bistro. As with most tapas places, it's more fun to go with a big group (so as to try as many dishes as possible!), and that's exactly what we did with our party of 8.

We started out the evening with a few cocktails at the bar. Erin got a mojito which was quite delicious, and Xani got her latest favorite drink: extra-dirty Grey Goose martini. She's so hip (read: pretentious).

Once we sat down we took a look at the extensive menu. We decided to order the Grand Table for Six, and then bulk it up with a few of our favorite individual tapas and another main dish or so, plus a LOT of red wine.

The Grand Table included:

  • Mixed Olives
  • Calamari Fritti
  • Wood Roasted Red Pepper Bruschetta
  • Manchego & Manzana
  • Shrimp & Green Apple Pinchos
  • Jamon Iberico-aged Spanish Ham with Peaches
  • Romain Hearts salad with sweet peppers, reggiano, and vinaigrette
  • Ribeye with grilled spring onions and romescu
  • Grilled Sea Scallops with cherry tomatoes and a spicy "mojo picon"
  • Grilled Asparagus
  • Chocolate Cannoli

We added:

  • Empanadas with salsa verde
  • Pappa Frita
  • Pugliese (a "rustic bread of purgatory")
  • Pizza Bianca with pine nuts and yellow zucchini
  • Pescado a la Brasa (fish of the day, which was bronzini)

We also added our own desserts but we'll get to that in due time...

For the most part, everything we had was FANTASTIC. While there were a couple of things we could have done without (e.g., the romaine salad, the scallops which are not a BCD favorite, unless served raw), all the dishes were delicious and beautifully presented.

Olives with sea salt

Shrimp and Green Apple Pinchos

Manchego & Manzana

Asparagus and Bruschetta

Romaine Hearts Salad

Scallops with Mojo Picon

Bronzini fileted tableside

Xani's date...

We of course had our favorites of the evening. The calamari was perfectly cooked, tender and crunchy, and was served with lemon and aioli, and little rings of hot pepper mixed in. Also good was the very fist course, the ham-wrapped peaches - it was an interesting (and delicious) take on proscuitto e melone. The ribeye was also great - it was perfectly cooked (medium-rare) and served with a romescu, which had loads of yummy toasted sliced almonds. The asparagus were tender-crisp with a bit of a charred taste from the grill.

Calamari Fritti

Proscuitto and Peaches

Ribeye with Romescu and Spring Onions

Empty plate from the Ribeye...soooo good

Of course, everything WE ordered in addition to the Grand Table was awesome, especially the pappas fritas, which are just about the best fries EVER! Well, the best fancy fries ever. We could have a whole post about fries, actually... but these are a must-have if you are visiting Pazo!

Empanadas and Pappas Fritas

The pizza was delicious with a delicate crust and lots of cheese, topped with toasted pine nuts. The empanadas were crispy and spicy and very yummy.

Pizza Bianca

Here's where we should talk about the wine. Yeah. The thing with wine is, the more you drink, the more likely you are to totally forget what you were drinking! We had 4 bottles of red throughout the dinner. We mixed it up between some Italian and Spanish bottles. Pazo has a very good, very user-friendly wine list which you can study here if you are so inclined. UPDATE: Matt has a better memory than any of us and was able to recreate our wine menu by reviewing the wine list online! We had:

Round 1:

  • La Mancha, Campos Reales "Joven" (Tempranillo) Spain, 2005 (the softer red)
  • Nero d'Avola, Firriato "Chiaramonte" Sicily, Italy 2004 (the spicy one-- and the crowd favorite?)

    Round 2:
  • Rioja Arbanta (Tempranillo) Spain, 2005 (again a softer wine)
  • Monastrell, Diego Fernandez (M1) Valencia, Spain 2005 (described as having bacon and beef jerky notes-- actually quite tasty!).

Thanks Matt!

For dessert, we got cannoli which came with the Grand Table, and we also ordered some other desserts. Matt got the drunken cherry cake, Kim and Ben got an almond cake, and the two of us split the trio of ice creams: a lemon granita, a strawberry sorbet, and espresso ice cream. YUM. It was a great end to a fantastic meal!

Cannoli

Drunken Cherry Cake with Pistachio Ice Cream

Almond Cake

Trio of Ice Creams

It is so sad to think of Jenny being so far away, but this just gives us an excuse to visit her (and eat very well) in LA! In n Out Burger here we come!

Check out the rest of the photos in the album:

Pazo!

Happy Celebrating!

X & E

4 comments:

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  3. aww, this post was so interesting you attracted the spambots! This place looks lovely, maybe if I am ever back in MD I will have to put in on my list. After the Crab Shanty, if that place is even still around.

    PS - love the dress Xani! Erin, I'm sure your dressed to the nines as well, but the green is very visible in the dark resto.

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  4. Girls, I am becoming more convinced that our taste in alcoholic beverages is hereditary and comes through the podolny bloodline. (Johnny Walker Black, hello?)

    One of my favorite beverages is a vodka martini. However, instead of taking it "dirty" I ask for a lot of olives. (3 if they're huge and 4 if they're medium) Try it!

    Also, Grey Goose used to be my "go to" but if you haven't tried it yet you MUST try Effen. It's fairly new on the market and o so smooth. you will love it!

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