The newly renovated landmark 1928 Paramount Hotel in the theatre district has a lobby so cutting edge, it includes a built-in booth for a DJ. And off that lobby you will find a very good restaurant with a quiet and understated steakhouse vibe with dark woods and comfortable banquettes—and an exceptional chef. Jason Kallert, 34, who has served in Le Cirque 2000 and other four-star restaurants, offers some new takes on American classics.
You can get excellent steakhouse fare like the jumbo shrimp cocktail, the slow-roasted prime beef, and perfect fish, such as the perfectly grilled signature whole branzino with roasted fennel and old-style salsa verde, but try something new—and old. Kalbert grew up cooking with his grandmother and be glad he did, for he has made some old-fashioned fare very exciting. The Chicken Pot Pie with mushrooms, peas, and leeks in a flavorful cream sauce and topped with flaky pastry dough is truly sublime comfort food. Made fresh daily, this is so popular, the printed recipe is available for the asking. Another hit is Very Tender Meatballs, slowly cooked in tomato sauce with a dash of oregano aged white cheddar. If you are lunching, try Kalbert’s Old School Chicken Salad Sandwich with herbed mayo on whole grain bread.
And how about Ice Box Cake for dessert? This was invented around the time that refrigerators were becoming part of every home. Five layers of dark chocolate cake, whipped cream and a few other goodies are stacked in a deep bowl and put in the fridge to set. Very cool! Lunch daily noon to 5 pm; dinner 5 pm to 11 pm. -- Marian Betancourt