Paradiso in an upscale Mediterranean eatery with classical roots; located on the corner of Pine and Martha in the heart of downtown Burlington this eatery has become a foodie staple.

brushchettaHaving undergone a recent face lift and menu re-working the newly minted Paradiso is still the same neighbourhood staple it has always been.  The atmosphere firstly is very inviting.  Having never been there before, my wife and I decided to give Paradiso a try for our anniversary.

In the summer I’ve seen the quaint patio seating that creeps its way around the building full and bustling.  But in the winter its curb appeal is very misleading.  Yet, take no time in entering the front door and you’ll be overcome with warmth and relaxation.  Not to mention the aromas coming from the open kitchen close by.  Open kitchens that are in view of the dining room are a very polarizing feature.  You’re ether entranced by the way the chefs methodically move, or spend your time wondering why they rarely smile.

I find people read too much into that.

We were sat by a very friendly hostess at a table in clear view of the kitchen.  I’ve that Paradiso can be quite the popular spot through the weekend and its Monday Date Night feature (Three Courses and two glasses of wine for $60).  So I was grateful we were there on a Thursday.

Appetizers

The wine list is immense and refined to the very best of Europe and local wineries.  Though

I could eat this phyllo wrapped brie for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
I could eat this phyllo wrapped brie for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

my wife and I aren’t big drinkers, I recommend it for any wine lovers reading this.  For our appetizers we had the bruschetta and phyllo wrapped brie.  I’d have to give the win to the brie in this course.  Being a soft, rich cheese it paired well with the crunch of the phyllo and tartness of the blackberry honey and cranberry compote.  I could’ve eaten two servings of it!

The bruschetta was good, but not the best I’ve had.  I found it to be a little on the peppery side; a nice drizzle of balsamic would’ve hit the spot. Pair it with the brie though, and it’s a winning combination.

Main Course

Onto the main course; my wife picked the braised beef short rib and I, the seafood bouillabaisse.  While Paradiso is known for its fantastic pasta dishes, we decided to steer from the beaten path that night.   A bouillabaisse is a type of seafood stew.  Paradiso pairs it with a gremolata (an herbed condiment) and roasted potatoes.  A gremolata is something between a pasta sauce and Pico de Gallo salsa.  It has hints of sweetness from the tomatoes combined with bite from the herbs.  For anyone

This was the best dish of the meal!
This was the best dish of the meal!

unsure of seafood, I’d highly recommend this dish; it made my night.

The short rib was extremely tender; fall off the bone, melt in your mouth kind of tender.  It’s paired with mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables.  The potatoes were good but the vegetable choice was interesting.  You would thing that a more heart vegetable like a carrot or zucchini would be chosen but alas, it was grilled peppers and onion.

Desert

For desert we shared the crème brulee trio and orange, cranberry cheese cake.  There isn’t a single bad thing I can say about these dishes.  The crème brulee were rich, creamy, with that perfect crunch on top. And the cheesecake was light and fluffy, yet somehow rich and decadent at the same time.

cremebrulee main

 

 

 

 

 

Though I thought some dishes fell short, I would still recommend Paradiso. It’s a great place for a night out with someone special.