Located dockside at Stamford Landing Marina, Paradise Bar & Grille is traditionally a summer destination because of its ambiance, happy hour, and relative seclusion on the waterfront. While specializing primarily in overpriced seafood and bar fare, they also have pizza.
Establishment. Paradise Bar & Grille is a beautiful, spacious, reasonably clean establishment that truly lives up to it's name with a unique, open air dining room overlooking the Sound marina and the fleet of private boats docked within. The breeze off the water is conveniently squelched by strategically placed propane heaters, making for a very comfortable outdoor dining experience regardless of the weather. Paradise makes up for lost patio space in the wintertime with a large, indoor fireplace, although waterside dining is far less charming when it's 17 degrees outside. In any event, the service was quick and relatively personable, but inattentive and more characteristic of the restaurant's full bar than of a table service restaurant. Paradise's (exceedingly pricey) menu consists primarily of seafood with some salad and sandwich options as well as a comparatively limited selection of specialty and traditional pizzas.
Pizza. The pizza at Paradise Bar & Grille didn't really wow us, but it still wasn't half bad. The crust was rather tasty, with a hearty, yeasty bite, but really disappointed in the texture department as it was lifelessly devoid of crispness and felt undercooked. However, the cheese seemed to be cooked to perfection with a wonderful golden brown color and above average flavor. We were less than enthusiastic about this pie's sauce as it was about average quality with an interestingly tangy, well-seasoned flavor, but appeared in such excess on the pizza that it was overwhelming. This mass of sauce made for a pie that fell apart quite easily, the cheese sliding clear off the crust at every opportunity. Our topping of choice, sausage, was also interesting and rather divisive amongst our judges, with some of us deeming it weird and borderline inedible due to the overpowering taste of fennel seeds, and some of us appreciating its uniqueness. Overall, this pizza was about on par with the bar pies we've had with some extra touches that could go either way as a matter of preference.
The bottom line. Paradise Bar & Grill is a great place to eat out if you've got some money to burn, especially during the summer, but its pizza is just about average at best, albeit interesting and somewhat unique.
Hits the Spot: 6.0/10
Large Cheese: $9.95 (12")