26 April, 2007
Parizade (Erwin Square, Durham)Posted in : Dining in Durham - NC, Restaurants on by : The Gourmez
2200 West Main Street
Parizade, one of the Giorgios Hospitality Group of restaurants, is warm and whimsical in design. The walls are a mixture of green, red, and blue, and accented with an occasional swirl of copper plating. There is a ceiling mural o,f perhaps, angels in love, and another is against the back wall of the kitchen but you can’t get a good look at it. That’s a shame as the colors looked quite vibrant.
The baked goat cheese and crustini appetizer was luscious, especially when eaten with the accompanying grapes. The crustini was not fancy, just simply toasted, which made it a great vehicle for the cheese. However, there were no walnuts on the dish, though the description claimed otherwise.
I had the paella for my meal, which featured all sorts of meats including roast chicken, sausage, clams, and calamari. The clams were the stars of the dish while the calamari was too rubbery and the chicken and sausage lacked flavor. I can’t speak too well of the rice and peas in the broth, either. If I didn’t know better, I’d say they were left over from a fried rice dish. I liked the dish all right, but I’ve definitely had better paella. Mr. Gourmez greatly enjoyed the red snapper special.
For dessert, I chose the Gran Gala Chocolate Torte, as I love orange and chocolate. Of course, I also love spice and chocolate, nuts and chocolate—you get my point. It was presented with a lovely chocolate powder stencil of a heart. Overall, there was chocolate in excess and it was thick as fudge. I felt like I was eating a slightly melted snickers bar without peanuts. The whipped cream was essential for cutting through the richness of the chocolate. If you try it, definitely stick with the petite cut. Even the smaller slice was almost too much for me.
The food had moments of excellence and of mediocrity but the atmosphere was just right. If my eyes are entertained, the meal doesn’t have to stand out.