Paprika Bistro (Trinidad & Tobago Restaurant Week 2018)
Paprika Bistro was my first spot to hit up for Trinidad & Tobago Restaurant Week 2018. Located in West Mall, it was the only venue on my list this year that I had never patronized before. Excited, I invited my friend Dana, to come along (some of y’all may know her from 95.1FM’s Mid-Morning Mix). The more menus sampled, the merrier!
Cozy and intimate, the location blends a pastiche of Eastern (both Far and Middle) styles, whereas the dishes lean towards Southern Mediterranean (Spanish, French Provencal and Italian).
I started with this rich full-bodied red wine sangria. Cold,fizzy and redolent with fruits and cinnamon I made sure to nurse it through the courses that would follow. If I hadn’t already arrived in a celebratory mood I would definitely have been in one by now!
Next up was the “Vegetarian Soup of the Day”. It reminded me strongly of a Tuscan Bean Stew (Pasta e Fagioli) so that’s what I’m calling it! It was rich and flavorful, and the presentation was spot-on!
Dana ordered the Paprika Special Pâté. Topped with raspberry jam, this offering is sure to change the mind of even the most committed pâté boycotter. It’s high on my list for my next visit and the artisanal garlic bread that it was served alongside was divine!
By now I was quickly realizing that the flavor profiles at Paprika Bistro were nothing like the sportsbar style-fare that I had been expecting. This vegetarian-friendly Goat Cheese and Parmigiano Baked Melongene was intense and smoky in flavor, the tomato sauce and arugula garnish both providing a spicy, acidic counterbalance to the otherwise “creamy” components. And the vegan meat stuffed in the eggplant? Definitely the closest vegetarian alternative to steak that I have ever had in a local restaurant environment.
Talking about steak. Dana had the Skirt Steak with Béarnaise Sauce and its accompanying Grapes, Strawberries and Goat Cheese salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette. She said it was perfectly cooked and flavored! I may or may not have sneaked a few bites to see if I agreed… (I did! 🙂 )
Dessert time! Well everyone who knows me knows how intense my sweet tooth can be, so it should be no surprise that my attention turned to the Caramelized Torrija on the menu. A decadent caramelized toast served on a bed of Amaretto cream. It was divine, the warm vanilla and almond notes leaving me stuffed at the seams, but happily so.
If you aren’t clutching at your waistline by now you are definitely stronger than Dana and me. By the time it was try to taste her Red Wine Poached Pears I could only muster a few spoonfuls of the sweet soaked fruit!
From start to finish my first experience at Paprika Bistro was one that exceeded my expectations. Food servings were generous, balanced in flavour and beautifully styled. The service was attentive without being overbearing, and requests were attended to in a timely manner. I’ll definitely be back, and this time I”ll be starting with the pâté!
Paprika Bistro Trinidad