When chef Dezi Bonow was tapped to open the Carlile Room, he knew his culinary chops had a little something to do with it. Not for nothing had he labored 12 years across various Tom Douglas restaurants.
“But they also knew I was into music,” he told me last week. Turns out, that comes in handy in menu creation. “We build menus off what’s playing at the Paramount,” he chuckled. “It’s fun. We get a list of the acts in advance, then come up with puns for the menu. Awful to good puns.”
I’ll leave it to you to determine which are which.
When Jersey Boys was in town, a drink special was “Sherrybaby.” When The Price is Right was here, it was “Rum on Down.” For Annie? “The Sun Will Come Out Amaro.” (Okay, that one's brilliant.)
When Beauty and the Beast was here, an herby oxtail braise was “Tail as Old as Thyme.” Chance the Rapper’s show brought dishes from a dandelion greens-sage smoked cashews combo called “Weed” to a leeks, scallops, and dill dish called “LSD.” (This one also featured bright colors.)
And when Hall and Oates played the Paramount in September, a Reubenlike special featuring caraway onions, wheat toast, and dark beer fondue appeared as “Medley: Every Time You Caraway/Your Swiss is on my List/Stout of Touch.”
What lies ahead? It’s a whole new rodeo every time—though the Blue Man Group next week is sure to spark the next level of creativity. “We’ve got some pretty good ideas for that one,” Bonow hinted.