Paname is French slang for Paris, and could not be more fitting for this cozy bistro on the Upper East Side. Chef and owner Bernard Ros has created a dining room that acts as an extension of his living room, from the nibbles of amuse bouche sent to each table, to the carefully chosen art nouveau that adorns the walls. It is a welcoming place to catch up with friends, try new takes on old French classic dishes, and sample undiscovered wines. It is the kind of place where you can sit down at 6pm for a drink and a few snacks and quickly realize you’ve spent several hours chatting and enjoying the wonderful fare Chef Ros sends out from his kitchen.
Baby Octopus with Haricots Blanc
These squiggly, sautéed sea creatures were a wonderful way to kick off this meal. Perfect for all types of weather and accompanied by fresh haricot vert, the octopus were springy and delectable.
The rich, herbaceous saffron broth was warm and inviting, and all four of the different fish were expertly cooked. Each slurp was satisfying and showcased a variety of Ros’ skills: the technique necessary to cook the mussels, shrimp, clams, and cod; the innovation of adding saffron; the thoughtfulness of serving it in a crooked bowl to provide the dish some movement. This was an absolute stand out dish.
In a French restaurant? Yes. Chef Ros does it all. While I probably wouldn’t have ordered this if I wasn’t a guest of the restaurant, the ingredients were fresh and high quality, and it was an exceptionally satisfying mid-course.
Due to its labor-intensive preparation, this is an off the menu item that is worth asking about. Stacked like a delicate tartare and crowned with assorted mushrooms, the beef is earthy and robust, like a rich Bordeaux, and is so tender it melts in your mouth. If it’s in house, order it.