My wife and I went to Pasion for our Valentine's Dinner last night. Here's the scoop...
Reservations for 6:30, hostess took our coats and seated us in the back room. As we sat, I noticed a setup for a party of 10 to our right (more on that later). My wife asked where the ladies room was and the hostess directed appropriately, saying it was the door marked "bon-yo" (imagine that pronounced in the most nasally Philadelphia accent possible). As my wife is a native Spanish speaker, we found it amusing.
On to the menu. We decided against the Chef's menu as we didn't realize going in that it was pre-set and we would both be receiving the same items. At Vetri, we each received different items (except for our entrees) and we were hoping for the same experience as my wife and I rarely order the same things so we can share. We just prefer it that way. Plus, the entree on the Chef's menu was halibut, and it just wasn't calling out to us.
We decided to share a trio of ceviche, order an appetizer each and an entree. Dessert was negotiable based on how full we would be at the end of all of that.
The three ceviches we received were tuna, lobster, and shrimp. I kept meaning to ask our server for the complete list of ingredients in each one so I could report it here like a good Chowhound, but it slipped my mind (especially at the end of the meal, when the food hangover was beginning). But suffice it to say that each one was excellent. My favorite was the tuna, my wife's, the lobster.
For apps, my wife had the arepa (Colombian corn cake, rock shrimp, corn tomatillo relish, aguardiente spiked sauce) and I had the fritura (Brazil nuts and vanilla crusted Jamaican conch-crab fritter, citrus coconut dressing, papaya ceviche). I found that the sweet papaya cut through the citrus dressing nicely, almost like the pickled ginger that accompanies sushi. Wife was also happy with her arepa, which I had a taste of, but can't really give detailed comments on.
Entrees were the smoked ribeye for me and the braised baby goat for my wife. The ribeye was a bit past the requested medium rare, but man that is a tasty piece of meat! Wife was also very satisfied with the goat, which I found to be tasty as well (and for $23, quite a bargain).
By the end of all of that, we decided we had enough room to share a dessert. My wife chose the Torta de Chocolate (Venezuelan chocolate cheese cake, blueberry almond sauce, chocolate salad). It was good, but it wasn't the most "WOW" dessert I've ever had.
Dessert also came at the right time, as the previously mentioned table for 10 began to arrive and turned out to be a business meeting/dinner (I'd like to work for that company!) I'm glad we were finishing up by then as that would have been a real mood killer to have to listen to people discuss work throughout our entire meal. Not that they were really loud, but the voices of 10 people as a group tend to carry.
Total (including a glass of wine each) with tip was $162.
As for the promised comparison to Alma de Cuba, I think I might have to reserve that until we go back to Alma and order off of the entire menu. Since we went for Rest. Week, our choices were obviously limited. However, I will say that we did prefer the shrimp ceviche we had at Pasion over the one we had at Alma.
Thanks for reading!!
P.S. Dish descriptions were lifted from the menu on Pasion's website.