Mid-town Midday Mezze :: Pera, Manhattan

It was hard to choose where to meet my Greenwich, Conn. girlfriend for lunch since she was schlepping in on the train to see me and with the wet weather insisted on staying with in a one block radius Grand Central. Although I chose Pera first for it’s location, and then because I really wanted to try one of the new Greek restaurants that had recently sprung up all over the city, it turned out that Pera really is a Turkish restaurant.

But it so doesn’t matter, because the new bistro, with it’s soaring ceilings and zebrawood bar looks cool, the waiters are adorable, and the food was terrific…which is not easy to find around the train station.

My roasted beet salad with a hot mini-souffle dish piled high with fluffily feta cheese souffle made a perfect lunch, when slathered on the fresh-baked bread. The crispy air dried beef with the warm hummus added just the right salty crunch.

Dinner offerings offer a few unusual items. You can order a Pidettes (the Turkish equivalence of Pizza) on either white or whole wheat bread and the toppings (each $4.00) include Kasseri Cheese, ground beef, mixed pickles, etc. But what really sounded tempting, and the perfect choice if you are on a low-carb diet, was

The Pera Tradition, hot from the char-grill: marinated mini lamb shish, chicken brochette, lamb loin or filet mignon brochette, lamb riblets and your choice of hand chopped meat preparation, brought successively to preserve ideal serving temperatures. (substitutions possible upon request) $45

Pera Mediterranean Brasserie, 303 Madison Avenue, between 41st and 42nd Streets (212-878-6301).


By Vagablond’s Token Redhead.

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