So this was the beginning of a truly Fab night out with Gretchen. I met her and her Fab friend Sally Kellerman at Paley (pronounced pay-lee) for an early dinner at around 5:45pm. At that time, there were a few people seated outside and several people at the bar, but no one in the dining area. This was Gretchen and my second visit to Paley and we were hoping for a better night. Honestly, our first visit wasn’t all that bad. We had gone for lunch and it got a bit loud and I vaguely remember getting the ceviche, which was so so, but Gretchen’s burger was good.  She wasn’t crazy about the fries though.

Anyway… the restaurant and bar are beautifully modern with funky huge brass chandeliers (similar to those at Vernetti) and creative silverware holder.  It’s has a comfortable bar area, a spacious dining area adjacent to an open kitchen and also has a large section for outdoor seating, including a lounge area.  A nice surprise was finding that the wine I had at the bar while waiting for Gretchen was half price.  I didn’t know they had a Happy Hour. Perhaps they should have a small sign or a Happy Hour menu… just sayin’.

So once Gretchen and Sally arrived, we were seated in a booth in the corner. I had the Bonaccorsi Syrah initially, then switched to the Fortress Cabernet Sauvignon which I liked much better.  Gretchen, true to form, got Pinot Grigio (Giocato) and Sally the Argyle Reserve Pinot Noir.  For starters, we shared the Crispy Calamari Salad and the Tuna Tartare. I look for tuna tartare on every menu and while I’m still in search for the Fabest, this one was pretty Fab.  Personally, I would have prepared it without the crispy rice and added some type of chip like pita chips. As for the calamari, I typically don’t care for it. I find it too chewy and I’m not a fan of fried, breaded food.  This one, though, was FAB! And I didn’t mind the breading at all.  It was actually quite good and the salad was also very good. I’ll certainly order it next time.  It actually sounds good right now.

As for entrees, Sally had the Spaghetti Arrabbiata, Gretchen the Roasted Chicken and I had the Seared Branzino. I didn’t try the spaghetti, but Sally really liked it. Both Gretchen and I loved her chicken as well as my branzino.  My side of spinach, though, was not my favorite, but that’s not their fault.  I just don’t care for cooked spinach, except for the one I had at Pace.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have time for dessert as we were headed next door to see the premier of a short about Gretchen’s friends, Barbara Flood and Stanley Dorfman.  We’ll be back though!

Celeb Sighting: Sally Kellerman, the legendary actress who, among her other work, played Hot Lips in the original MASH movie, and whom we got the pleasure of dining with.

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