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Aarón Sánchez’s Paloma In Stamford, Connecticut, Puts A New Spin On Latin Fare


While the guacamole was velvety and the house-fried chips crispy, these ubiquitous items might not impress sophisticated Latin food lovers.

But maybe the hamachi tiradito—a Japanese twist on Latin ceviche—will tug one eyebrow. This raw bar item features yellowtail sashimi that melts on your tongue, brightened by the coral-colored pool of aji rocoto sauce. Hominy adds a crunchy contrast. These are the workings of Chef Aarón Sánchez’s Paloma in Stamford, Connecticut that opened July 21.

Hamachi tiradito.

Co-star of the Food Network’s hit series Chopped, among other cooking shows, Sanchez is a two-time cookbook author, cookware product designer, and restaurateur, opening Crossroads at House of Blues nationwide and Mestizo Leawood in Kansas City. He has plans to open Johnny Sanchez in Baltimore and Alegre in Manhattan.

Dinner guests have spotted the celebrity chef frying chicharones and whipping up chipotle remoulade for cactus fritters in Paloma’s open kitchen. Such sightings allay any suspicion that he’s lending his name only to the restaurant.

The three story, 250-seat restaurant at the new Harbor Point development is a short trip from much of lower Westchester County. There’s also the free Harbor Point Trolley if parking is a problem (which wasn’t a problem whatsoever on a Friday night three weeks after opening). The all-glass enclosure at the entrance leads to a ceiling made of branches lined side by side, melding the modern and rustic. At peak dining time, conversations echo against the red walls on one side and the glass wall on the other that offers full view of the harbor. There are two outdoor seating areas, including the roof decks.

Sip a cocktail infused with the spirits of Central and South America—including pisco, tequila, mezcal, cachaca and rum—while you wait for a table. Paloma’s dinner menu offers that raw bar, plus small plates, entrées and steaks-for-two.

Paloma’s bar and dining room.

Spoon out some umami-rich essence cradled in the roasted bone marrow small plate, which hardly needs the pickled mustard seed dip, but goes nicely slathered on the accompanying tortillas. The chorizo empanadas are overshadowed by a mole sauce that charms with cocoa spiciness.

The entrées, however, are where those kitchen skills shine, particularly anything that needed grilling. The grilled strip steak’s smoky, charred crust encases a flavor-packed tender middle, and the braised short ribs might have an anchovy-cocoa rub, but its no-fork-necessary tenderness accompanied by whole carrots and potatoes conjure the cooking of an Irish pub on a cold night.

Camarones mojo de ajo.

Braised short rib

Dulce de leche churros.

Ask the servers if they have dulce de leche churros for dessert, which resemble doughnut holes more than the long, ridged fried-dough pastry of Spain. No matter. Rolled in sugary cinnamon with a sweet milky dip, this fried dough is a delight.

15 Harbor Point Rd
Stamford, CT
(203) 998-7500; palomagrill.com


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