Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar in the Eton development on Chagrin Boulevard in Woodmere has always intrigued me. I've heard many rave reviews over the years, but I just never seemed to make it in there for myself. It's hard when Pacific East is just next door, and they have some of my favorite sushi. However, the other night "R" and I tried to get into Pacific East for dinner, but the wait was going to be too long. So we found ourselves wandering over to Paladar.
Since it was my first time dining there, I let our server help guide our menu selections. We started with the Cuban Braised Beef Ropa Vieja with shredded skirt steak braised with tomatoes and spices, served with sweet plantains, pickled onion slaw, and aji pepper aioli ($11.95).
For my entree, our server suggested the Jalapeno Spiced Lamb Stew with lamb, hominy, and spices in a jalapeno-cilantro broth with cinnamon rice, crumbled queso fresco cheese, pico de gallo, and fresh herbs. Served with flour tortillas on the side. ($16.95)
"R" ordered the Ocho Hora Braised Short Rib ($18.95), and to put it simply-- it was the blandest piece of meat that I've personally ever had. It was also tough, and didn't fall apart like a good braised short rib should. The smokey grits and spinach served with it were both really good, but even they couldn't save the dish.
Overall, our meal was decent (minus the short rib) but nothing that I'd want again. We felt that the meal was a little pricey for what we received, and that the whole restaurant has a "chain" atmosphere that just isn't what we tend to go for when dining out. If I'm in the area again, I'll stick to Pacific East.
Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar
28601 Chagrin Boulevard
Woodmere, OH 44122