Restaurant Week is back in NYC. It started a couple weeks later than last year, but it came just in time, as we have all worn thin with the freezing cold and need an excuse (any excuse) to brave the cold for good food.
The first stop this year was Pera, a Mediterranean restaurant near Grand Central and the Library/Bryant Park that I have passed many times, but have never had a good excuse to try. Restaurant Week provided as good an excuse as any to have a meal there with my sister.
It was quite crowded, but not at all loud.
We were provided with two Restaurant Week menus as well as the regular menu. How these were different, I am still not sure:
We started with the Crispy Portugese Calamari, which also came with sliced sausage. It was also supposed to come with a paprika yogurt and hot peppers, but since both my sister and I share the same peppers allergy (capsaicin to be exact), we had to forego those parts. But it was quite tasty without, both the calamari itself, which was fried a bit heavy but not at all greasy, and the sausage slices.
My sister chose to go with the pan-roasted Atlantic salmon with grilled vegetables and eggplant ragu. I think the ragu was kept off due to the peppers allergy, but she enjoyed the dish. I tried a bite, and even though I’m not a salmon fan, this was pretty good.
I got the Wild Mushroom Bucatini with porcini cream sauce, swiss chard, oyster mushrooms, and parmigiano reggiano. While it photographed quite poorly, it was actually quite tasty. Nothing too memorable, but it’s hard to go wrong with bucatini and mushrooms. I did have the distinct feeling, however, that I could have just as easily made this myself.
Dessert was a sampler of 4 treats (even though the menu listed it as a trio). We had a piece of baklava, a mini apple tart, dark chocolate mousse in a dark chocolate cup, and I think a coffee mousse. All were good, but nothing outstanding.
Overall our meal here was pretty good, but I wasn’t really blown away by anything. This Restaurant Week experience didn’t give me motivation to want to come back again, but it’s a solid choice.
Total Nom Points: 6.5 out of 10