tastywith kc

Paranza

A friend recommended I try Paranza, an Italian restaurant nestled within the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island. As a lover of Italian cuisine—my second favorite after Japanese—I was eager to indulge in what they had to offer.

Paranza, Fine Dining in The Bahamas

As we entered Paranza, the hostess was pleasant and accommodating despite it being a full house. The restaurant exuded an intimate and cozy atmosphere, enhanced by the dim lighting that cast a soft, warm glow over the space. Earth tone hues dominated the décor, creating a sense of warmth and tranquility. The overall effect was a blend of elegance and comfort, inviting diners to relax and enjoy their meals in a serene, aesthetically pleasing setting.

Paranza Menu, Nassau. Paradise Island

Cocktail for starters

We were seated and given menus. I decided to start with a drink called the Frangola Fresca, which featured Tito’s Vodka, Aperol, strawberry, basil, lemon, and Fever-Tree Sicilian Lemon Soda. The cocktail was refreshing and light, making it a perfect starter, especially given the recent humidity.

Paranza, Nassau, New Providence, Paradise Island, Ataltnis

Appetizers

Our server explained the menu to us, and based on my friend’s recommendations, we ordered about six different dishes. They also brought out some rosemary and garlic-infused bread with a side of olive oil. I tried not to fill up on it, but it was hard to resist. The bread had a perfect crunch on the top and bottom layers, while the inside was soft and fluffy. The flavors were simply amazing.

Our first course arrived promptly, showcasing the restaurant’s efficient service. I opted for the Gamberi, a warm shrimp salad bursting with fresh flavors. My friend indulged in the Polipo, a perfectly grilled octopus dish that was both tender and flavorful. Between the two, the octopus dish was my favorite. It stood out with its unique preparation and bold flavors. While the shrimp salad was enjoyable, it felt more conventional in comparison.

Entrée

For the second course, I chose the risotto, which featured a sumptuous mix of lobster, shrimp, and calamari. My friend ordered the squid ink linguini, a dish I almost ordered myself but decided against in favor of trying something new. Both dishes arrived bathed in red sauce. The risotto in a rich, creamy sauce and the linguini in a bold, chili paste sauce. While the risotto was delectable, the squid ink linguini stole the show. The handmade pasta, combined with the robust sauce and perfectly cooked seafood, made it my favorite dish of the night.

Keeping in mind that the portion sizes at Paranza were fine dining appropriate, we ordered a third course along with a bottle of wine that perfectly complemented both our previous and upcoming dishes. I appreciated that the restaurant had a sommelier on staff to offer personalized wine recommendations based on our selections. We agreed that a 2016 bottle of Chardonnay from France was appropriate for the evening. Side bar – This level of service is something more restaurants should adopt, or at least ensure their staff are knowledgeable about wine pairings. It’s frustrating when inquiries are met with “I don’t know,” a common experience at many restaurants in Freeport and a few in Nassau (yes I’m subtly calling yall out – DO BETTER).

Chardonnay Wine in The Bahamas, Wine at Paranza

My third course was a beautifully seared salmon, crisp on the outside and perfectly tender on the inside, served atop a bed of baby spinach and cauliflower purée. The standout dish however, was my friend’s Cernia—strawberry grouper paired with fennel, grilled shrimp, and heirloom tomatoes, all nestled in a creamy red sauce. This dish surpassed even the exceptional linguini, which I hadn’t thought possible until I tasted it.

Dessert

As the evening drew to a close, we were presented with a dessert menu. My friend and I decided to share the Torta—a decadent dark chocolate mousse cake accompanied by creamy vanilla gelato. It was the perfect ending to our four course meal.

Chocolate Cake, Vanilla Gelato, The Bahamas

Overview

Overall, the service at Paranza was outstanding, with attentive servers catering to every table. The food was delightful, and the drinks were refreshing. I would definitely return to this restaurant, as they exceeded my expectations with their Italian cuisine.