Paramount is a really great place to see films. It’s intimate, with not so many seats, and a good view from each of them. But it’s still a communal experience, which, if people remember they’re not watching Netflix at homes, is a fun way to watch a movie. I like hearing other people’s sounds of pleasure or surprise, or a collective silence during an intense moment. On the other hand, I don’t know why this couple talked to each other the entire way through the documentary on Alexander McQueen. I think it’s show a real lack of awareness and respect for the people around you.
Finishing the film (highly recommended, by the way), what a treat it was to wander down the block to Poly in November 2018. I think it used to be a furniture shop, and then had some pop-up clothing sales. Very little has been done to the space: it’s open, with little adornment, but they’ve lucked out with (or have designed) the acoustics so it’s not too noisy.
I’d heard about the buzz (and it’s located across the street, pretty much, from Chin Chin, so the whole street has a buzz). We grabbed two seats, without a reservation, at a counter, and were thrilled with the whole experience. It was super buzzy and fun. The wait staff are fun and efficient.
And most of all, the food was sensational. A ‘donut’ with comte cheese ($15, photo above). Shitaake mushrooms in a creamy sauce (flavoured with pancetta) where the ‘shrooms have broken apart and taste like a noodle ($12). A delicious steak tartare hidden beneath a parmesan wafer (titled raw beef and grilled cheese) ($24). Zucchini flowers and ricotta gnudi (sort of like a gnocchi) with ‘smoked whey sauce’ ($24).
Each dish was tasty and surprising, with great textures as well as flavours. The mushrooms were my favourite but I wouldn’t hesistate to recommend any of them. A humungous selection of very, very interesting wine (though the selection by the glass is smaller). We ordered by the glass so we could try more. So, yup, I could just move in here and try everything on the menu, including the wines. Maybe I should.
Returning for a Mardi Gras night meal in March 2019, the meal was just as perfect. We didn’t order a lot of dishes but it somehow filled us up nicely, matched with interesting wines (I had a Portuguese Vinho Verde). A starter of two types of anchovies surrounding, on a skewer, a blanched cherry tomato, was a perfect amuse-bouche. The salty comté donut was as good as I remember, perhaps better. Loved the beetroot and burrata dish, not only because of the alliteration.
The final dish was lamb ribs, two of them, achingly tender, yet with crispy, charred bits on top. A gorgeous dish. Poly is really impressing me.