Dinner at the Paramount.

I hadn’t seen my friend Lauren in months, so I was really excited to meet up with her for dinner at The Paramount on Charles Street. Now, The Paramount is kind of a sentimental place for me — I used to live around the corner on Beacon Street during college; my friends and I used to walk over all the time for their huge breakfast plates on the weekend. Since then, The Paramount has gone through a few changes, mostly in décor, but it’s still a spot I like to visit every now and then for old time’s sake.

I was absolutely starving, so I knew that I was going to be ordering a lot of food. The nice thing about The Paramount is that the salads and the pastas come in half- and full-sized portions, so you as a diner can sample a few dishes without feeling as though you are going to explode at the end of the night.

I kept that in mind when I decided to start with the grilled apple and blue cheese salad, which was tossed with candied walnuts, mesclun greens and a balsamic vinaigrette ($5.00 for a half-portion). The blue cheese was tangy, the walnuts had just the right amount of sweetness and the greens were nice and crisp. It was a satisfying start to the meal.

For my entrée, I selected the spinach and cheese ravioli, which was served under a veritable coating of the roasted tomato and basil cream sauce ($7.00 for a half-portion). Generally speaking, I don’t like heavy dollops of sauce encumbering my food; before I had even taken my first bite I found myself eyeing my plate and determining the best way to scrape off some of the plentiful sauce. In the end, I did end up eating most of it, but not for lack of trying. I couldn’t help but think that the ravioli’s fresh flavors were a bit smothered by the overpowering sauce.

It was a hot and sticky evening, so Lauren and I decided to cool down with some milkshakes after dinner ($4.00). I chose chocolate and Oreo, and was so very pleased to see that it was served in a tall glass. (I have, on many occasions, dreamily described the perfect hot fudge sundae. It always includes a parfait glass and a long spoon; so this was very exciting for me.) After I gave my Oreo garnish to Lauren — I don’t like the cookie itself but love it smashed up in ice cream or, apparently, in milkshakes — I all but dove in. While I was incapable of finishing the drink, it was definitely the most perfect way to end dinner, and certainly worth a visit to The Paramount in itself.

The Paramount
44 Charles Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02114
617.720.1152
paramountboston.com

Paramount on Urbanspoon

Intro.

Hello, and welcome to my blog. This isn’t my maiden voyage into the blogosphere (really, is there a more ridiculous word out there than this?) but it is my first solo go of it. I’ve decided to blog because I like writing and I’m trying to get back into the writerly swing of things, which is truly difficult, I think, if you’re neither in school nor on a deadline. These both apply to me.

Anyway, I think the key to this whole blog-writing thing is to narrow your focus, which is why I’m going with three things I like to do the most — eat, read and travel. The first two happen to also be the things I do the most, aside from involuntary actions such as breathing and pumping my blood to my heart and etc, so I figure it will be (or should be) easy for me to keep up-to-date.

For example, this year I’ve already read The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion; the unabridged Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy; Comfort Me With Apples: More Adventures at the Table by Ruth Reichl; The Best Food Writing 2004 and The Best Food Writing 2005, both edited by Holly Hughes; Loverboy by Victoria Redel; The House With a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs; A Genius in the Family: An Intimate Biography of Jacqueline du Pré by Hilary and Piers du Pré; and Toast by Nigel Slater. I’m also doing something I hate to do, and that’s read two books at once. I’ll let you know more about them (such as titles and authors) once I’m done.

I didn’t think my dining out experiences for 2008 would be nearly as long as my book list thus far, but that was before I went through my calendar and tallied it all up: Evoo, Gargoyles on the Square, The Paramount, Addis Red Sea, The Blue Room, Zöe’s, Strawberry Place, Peter Luger, Tavern in the Square, and The Barking Crab. To think, that list doesn’t even include the lunches we have brought in once a week at work.

However, I can say with absolute certainty that my travels for 2008 aren’t nearly as extensive; all I’ve done is visit my parents in New York, and I don’t even know if that should count. Regardless… Travel is something I love to do, and often. And the next time I do, I’ll write about it.

Basically, that’s what this blog boils down to — eating, reading and traveling. Writing too, I suppose, so maybe I’ll write about that as well. We’ll see.

Happy eating/reading/traveling/possibly writing…!