Friday, July 22, 2011

(Chow Down: Paradiso 37)

One of the newest additions to the up-and-coming revision of Pleasure Island is Paradiso 37. A large space with plenty of energy to spare, the 37 in its name has two special meanings. First and foremost, there are 37 different cuisines offered on the menu, spanning from North, South, and Central America. The second, and the pride of many who love to drink, are the 37 varieties of tequila offered at Paradiso's fantastic bar. 

The restaurant gives off a feeling of high-energy from the second you walk in the door. Be sure to observe the awesome chandelier, made from tequila bottles and martini glasses.

Dining there on a perfect-weather evening in late May, J and I opted to sit outside on the patio, which wraps around one side of the restaurant with gorgeous views of Village Lake. The inside of the restaurant, which we were led through to the outside patio, had an open, airy feel and a beautiful bar. While I did not slow down to get any pictures, I definitely plan on making a trip back to that bar, even if just for a drink!

I will admit that initially, I was a bit nervous to try this restaurant due to its poor reviews. It had only been open for a few short months before we made it there, and it may have needed to work out the kinks. We ventured on nonetheless, mostly because I'm a sucker for an interesting menu. Our pleasant waiter brought us our water and we started to peruse the menu. Paradiso 37 offers a "Taste of the Americas" in the form of street foods. This includes anything that would find from a street cart, festival, or market throughout the Americas. The menu consists of everything from North American Corn Dogs and Caribbean Crab & Fish Fritters to Colombian Style Crispy Hen and Baja Fish Tacos. 

J started with a Dos Equis (one of his favorites), while I opted for a specialty drink, the Mingled Margarita; Sauza margarita layered with red sangria. By the way, Paradiso claims to have the world's coldest beer; served at 29 degrees F, it's "too cold to hold." J loved his beer, while I found my mingled margarita to be a bit on the sweet side. It was refreshing nonetheless. Our appetizers didn't take too long, and within about 10 minutes we had our Central American Crazy Corn and our P-37 Nachos. You will learn this about me quickly; I have never met a nacho I don't like. If it's on the menu, it's on our table. The descriptions of our appetizers are as follows:

Central American Crazy Corn - Fire roasted corn on the cob topped with a spicy yellow pepper sauce and imported cheeses $8.50
P-37 Nachos (serves 2) - corn tortilla chips, queso fundido, chili, queso fresco, sour cream, pico de gallo, jalapenos $13.99

The nachos were nothing to rave about, but again, any nacho is usually a good nacho to me. If it hadn't been for the spicy yellow pepper sauce, the Crazy Corn probably would have just been corn on the cob covered in cheese and served on a stick. The sauce did make a difference though, and it made for an interesting appetizer. It was nice to have something that wasn't fried, and it felt like a good clean meal.

Since we didn't order any entrees, we just had to try one of the desserts. Immediately catching both of our eyes (and appetites) was the Mini Ice Cream Cones: four mini waffle cones with vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and cookies & cream ice cream, topped with....sprinkles! (Oh yeah, I'm also a HUGE fan of sprinkles - more on that later). Now comes the showdown: who gets the chocolate cone? 

Adorable husband eating adorably-sized ice cream? Check.
I guess I lost that battle. It's a good thing that I actually prefer cookies & cream :) Oh yea, one other thing. While we're enjoying our food & drink, there's a highly-entertaining, lovely man playing cover songs for us. He did everything from Bob Marley to Jason Mraz - the kind of stuff that makes you feel great to be eating outside in the Florida heat. Even after we paid our check, I just had to stay and watch him a little longer, even if J made me leave the table!

So, would I recommend Paradiso 37? Absolutely. While I may not have done enough research (sorry!) to comment on their entrees, I can certainly say that this is the place to come for drinks, a light nosh, and great entertainment. Our next venture into Paradiso will certainly be for some tequila sampling, and maybe some late-night entertainment. Also, the Mac & Cheese Bites. Yum.

Have you been to Paradiso 37? I'd love to hear about it!

Happy Dining!

No comments:

Post a Comment