Paragon is situated on the ground floor of the Montgomery Hotel, newly refurbished and very quiet looking, on First St. in downtown San Jose. The restaurant is cited as proof that San Jose is on a roll, with urban restaurants making the scene in rapid succession.
The look is generically urban ...square fabric fixtures, backlit bar with colorful infused vodkas, austere ornamentation with dark woods but you could be in Cleveland or Tampa and find the same thing.
The food was OK..not memorable or distinctive but pleasant. A goat cheese and tomato tart was delivered a bit on the cold side. It was mounted on a thick pastry crust that took some effort to crack. The filling was a yummy salty creamy blend of good quality cheese.
The fennel sausage were cut lengthwise, revealing too much of the pink interior of the sausage. I tend to think that really good sausage yields easily to a fork and should not be too tough or put up a fight when cut. This one was a little too firm but the red cabbage underneath it was cut long and thin was very good.
The caeser salad consisted of whole baby leaf romaine dressed lightly with a forgettable dressing.
The crab cake was wonderfully plump, soft and yielding to the fork. No question this was the champ of the evening.
We got two desserts. The rhubarb/raspberry cobbler was very citrusy and tangy but eating rhubarb kind of grossed me out (red celery for dessert--yuck). The ice cream sandwiches were perfect for sharing..two delicate wafer shaped choco-chip cookies with vanilla bean ice cream between them. It comes with a warm chocolate dip.
The bar is great. An open design, it allows for easy socializing amongst differing clusters of patrons. Live jazz was played and appreciated.
211 South First Street
Located at the Hotel Montgomery