We live in this neighborhood, and we were dying to find a good, solid restaurant whenever we were in a lovey dovey mood. So it's not very surprising we liked Pair, since it fit the bill quite nicely. People are right - yeah, it's not spectacular, jaw-dropping food, maybe the maitre d can be friendlier, but that didn't discourage us and we'll be back for more.
The place is cozy with nice warm ambiance - candles, dim lighting, mixed wooden benches and antique kitchen tools. The red French Toile curtain into the kitchen is a nice touch. We sat at the bar, which is highly recommended if you are a couple - the server/bartender was very friendly and knowledgeable, and you don't have to wait for your server to come around to ask questions or place additional order.
The wine selection is sensible and appropriate for the kind of laid back food they have. This is not to say their food is not worth nice wines, but they wouldn't go with pretentious wines. Besides, new studies indicate that having cheese with wine numbs the part of your taste buds that decipher subtleties in the wine taste. So if you are having their yummy Cambozola Fondue with apples, pears and bread (highly recommended), their reasonable wines are just fine.
Their bread is a good traditional bread with good creamy soft butter. This is important to me, since one of my pet peeves is fancy restaurants serving too cold, not-serving-temperature generic butter. This shows they care about the food. Their warmed olives were nicely flavored, although it may have needed a bit more warming (the big ones were a bit cold on the inside). The special of the night, rack of lamb with fingerling potatoes, were nothing but excellent with I think apple and dates chutney. I'm not usually into too much lamb except in Indian food, but this was very good. We were also very happy that the Sautéed Vegetables had Swiss Chard in it - good nutritional value, and the earthy flavor compliments their down-to-earth cuisine. We wanted to try more things, but run out of room in our stomachs. Nothing was disappointing.
I don't remember the exact name of the dish, but the dessert we had was a pot of chocolate/coffee creme, which was excellent with one of the dessert wines (again don't remember the name - sorry - but it's the one from Australia). The server/bartender let us taste a couple of ports and dessert wines to see which one may go with the dessert best, which was very nice.
We spent about $75 with wines and food, and were comfortably full. We observed that some single customers would wander in from the neighborhood, sit at the bar, and enjoy their meal with newspaper or a book. This is always a good sign - that people don't need social excuses to come here and enjoy food - they just come because they wanted to eat.
We decided this is a solid, good comfort food restaurant which we would come back to again when we want something pleasant and one notch up from our home cuisine (meaning food with more preparation and ingredients than we care to do or stock in our kitchen). As others mention they don't take reservations for parties under 6, so there would be a little wait if you don't go early, but you can sip wines and chat - don't go there starving, and it'll be worth the wait.