Palomino Restaurant & Bar

I recently went to Palomino for dinner for the first time, and it quickly became one of my new favorites spots downtown! Palomino Restaurant & Bar is a local, European inspired spot with Italian, Spanish, and Mediterranean cuisine influences.

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It’s located only a couple of blocks off the circle right by Circle Centre Mall. The ambiance and decor make it the perfect spot for a date night (especially with Valentine’s Day coming up!) or a special occasion. The ample amount of bar seating makes it the perfect spot to grab drinks. The menu consists of a variety of options such as seafood, steaks, artisan pizzas and more.

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We started dinner out with drinks as always, and I was thoroughly impressed with each of the cocktails I tried. I’d heard great things about their Lavender Cosmo so it was the first thing I tried. It’s made up of Absolut Mandrin, Giffard Creme de Violette, Cointreau, fresh lime sour, cranberry juice and lavendar sugar.

Next we tried the Italian Manhattan, which is made up of Templeton rye, Amaro Nonino, Antica Formula vermouth, orange bitters and a Luxarado cherry. I also sampled the Blueberry Smash, which is a house specialty and is made up of blueberry vodka, blueberries, and fresh sweet and sour. This was such a fun all around drink that I think anyone would enjoy, no matter their preferences.

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You really can’t go wrong with any of their appetizer options, but I highly recommend trying out the Crab & Artichoke Dip. This was probably my absolute favorite thing I ate, but I’m a sucker for any type of artichoke dip. The brick-oven flatbread crisps that it’s served with are a game changer.

We also tried out the Sicilian Meatballs which were delicious, and enjoyed some bread. They have a variety of other classic appetizers including calamari, bruschetta and more. After hearing great reviews about the Portabella Mushroom Soup, I knew I had to try some. If asked if you’d like a soup with your meal, definitely get a cup of this.

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On to the entrees! For dinner we ordered the Boneless Rib Eye, which was served with a variety of potatoes and sauce options, along with the option to make it a surf ‘n turf by adding garlic shrimp. I ordered the Asiago-Almond Crusted Scallops. I’d never had almond-crusted scallops, but almond-crusted anything typically sounds good to me! They were served over a lemon asparagus risotto, and they were absolutely delicious.

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Now I may have gone a little overboard when it came to dessert, and I definitely didn’t even have much room left for any, but there were too many good options and I just couldn’t decide. We tried out the Almond Crusted Limoncello Cake, and it may be my new favorite dessert around. I’m always a fan of any lemon dessert, and as a bonus it matched my Blueberry Smash cocktail perfectly! Next we sampled one of the desserts on special, the Warm Pear Bread Pudding. Bread puddings are also a big favorite of mine, it’s like they were reading my mind here to be honest.

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Overall, I had such a great time dining at Palomino. The service was fast and friendly, and it felt like a truly upscale experience. The best part? The food is all FANTASTIC. I know I’ll be back soon for dinner and to grab another cocktail at the bar.

You can find out more about Palomino and check out their full menu here.

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