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2nd time at Paprika

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Michael L. Mar 8, 2001 03:19 AM

My friend and I went back to Paprika (St. Marks near A) tonight. We had some type of prosciutto-like beef (forgot the name: last item on the appetizer portion of the menu) with fennel - delicious. Our other appetizer was warm octopus with arugula and diced potato, which was a simple dish. I liked it better than my friend, who was somewhat underwhelmed by it. This time, they gave us not only the very salty bread but also some excellent focaccia as a freebie. For our main dishes, my friend got what I had gotten last time - the sea bass with (grilled? broiled?) vegetables, a very good dish. The sea bass is cooked until crunchy and layered on top of carrots, snow peas, and parsnips. I got fresh fettucine in a cream sauce with shrimps, little slices of asparagus, and, I think, artichoke hearts (tired; don't remember for sure). I still think the sea bass is a better dish than the fettucine, but my friend liked the fettucine a lot.

We did not get dessert this time. The only desserts available were the tiramisu we had the last time and panna cotta.

We got wine with the meal this time. My friend ordered a special selected by our waitress. We both agreed that it was terrible, and she sent it back and got an acceptable rioja instead. I got an acceptable chianti. Neither of us thought much of the wine we drank tonight, though I have to say $4 and $7 is not too bad even for forgettable wines.

The menu at Paprika is a short one. I recommend considering not ordering wine (I spent more money this time, $64 including tip vs. $50 last time).

The restaurant is small, so some smoking from the bar seeps into the restaurant area, but it wasn't a problem like it is at a place like Dok Suni.

We noticed that there were something like 10 people waiting for seats at Dok Suni's, and a number waiting inside Mogador, but hardly anyone was at Paprika. A 3-star restaurant it's not, but I am surprised and somewhat disturbed that more people aren't eating there. Their ingredients are good, and their cook - who we found out today is also the owner - really knows what he's doing. If you go, do get the sea bass. Its cruchiness and the use of sliced parsnips in it really help make it not only good but imaginative.

If anyone else goes, please post your own review, pro and/or con.

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