|Chakra in Paramus specializes in 2-pound lobsters available three ways, and on Friday night, we split one stuffed with jumbo lump crab meat, a $12 supplement.|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
We chose a quiet celebratory dinner at Chakra, an oasis of calm on Route 4 in Paramus, over greeting Halloween revelers at our home on Friday night.
The restaurant, which calls itself "Modern American," recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, but this was our first visit.
We were seated in a spacious booth, with large, fluffy pillows supporting our backs, and enjoyed a sumptuous meal of risotto, roasted beet salad, crab meat-stuffed lobster, wine and three great side dishes -- red cabbage, bok choy and pureed sweet potatoes.
The menu offers sushi, lots of other seafood and naturally raised meat and poultry.
A side dish of Braised Red Cabbage with baked Lady apple transformed the familiar vegetable, which melted in our mouths ($8).
Sweet Potato Puree with apple, cashews and yuzu, an East Asian citrus fruit, was truly comforting ($9).
|Wilted Bok Choy Chinoise with garlic, ginger and sesame ($8)|
I ordered the Roasted Beet Salad for an appetizer and was pleasantly surprised by the small scoop of grapefruit sorbet and the navel orange vinaigrette ($13).
My wife chose an appetizer special of creamy Pumpkin Risotto with Duck Confit and Parmesan, and really loved the lemon-juice accent ($16).
A couple of minor gitches
After we were seated, Patrick, our waiter, came over as we looked over wine and specialty cocktail lists, and I said I would like my food prepared without butter or cream.
He took our order, and another server brought us bread and a large disc of butter, and I started eating the crust of one of the rolls.
Still, I wanted extra-virgin olive oil for my bread, but for several minutes couldn't find anyone except the man who greeted and seated us to bring a small dispenser.
He offered to crack black pepper into the oil, and it was a great combination.
And I thought our entree could have been hotter, but it was beautifully cracked to make the delicious lobster and crab meat easily accessible and good enough to eat some of the shell.
The dinner at Chakra was a great choice as the first in a series of restaurant meals I have planned to celebrate my birthday.
|The lounge, above, and dining room both have comfortable benches and big, fluffy pillows.|
I didn't miss windows in the restaurant, and the brick walls completely shut out the roar of Route 4.
Wine by the glass is available from $8. I chose a glass of pinot noir ($12), and my wife drank merlot ($10). Both glasses were poured from the bottle after the waiter showed us the label and offered us a tasting.
A wall relief above one of the booths. In Indian thought, chakra refers to each of the centers of spiritual power in the human body, usually considered to be seven in number.
The restaurant entrance is off of a parking lot at the end of Acadian Avenue in Paramus.
Web site: 'Embark on a Culinary Journey'