Day One: Pergola Does Mediterranean in FlatironBy Beth Landman
January 10, 2014
Mediterranean and vegetarian cuisines have become immensely popular, and this new Flatiron entry has offerings geared to fans of both. Live music, a hookah menu and solid cocktail program invite guests to linger, and the restaurant is open until 2 AM nightly.
The Décor: A former botanical business in the midst of the flower district, the space still has the feel of a greenhouse: The glass interior is filled with plants, and natural light shines through. A mezzanine level seats 70.
The Food: Ecuadorian chef Nestor Moina, who cooked at Remi, then Nerai, has assembled a menu with Greek and Middle Eastern influences. To start, lentil soup with chickpea gets a fragrant hit of cumin and a slice of warm pita ($8), falafel comes two ways - with fava beans, cilantro and parsley, or mint, chickpea and tahini ($9); and lamb, chicken or vegetable “cigars” arrive wrapped in phyllo ($10). Larger plates include a mixed grill of baby lamb chop, merguez kofta and kabob ($25), falafel crusted wild salmon and wheat bulgur tzatziki chopped tomato salad ($20) and grilled prawns with tomato ouzo sauce yellow polenta and spinach ($25). Pergola also has a 12-flavor hookah menu.
Drinks: Scott Fitzgerald, formerly of Mulberry Project, has whipped up libations like Jalisco Rose (Reposado Tequila shaken with amber agave, apples, rosemary and lime juice); Spearmint 75 (vodka with lemon, torn spearmint, agave, lemon rind and a splash of Prosecco) and Lavender-Lime Collins (gin with lime juice, Luxardo maraschino and lavender-violet liqueur topped with soda and a mint bushel of thyme). Each is $14.
The Desserts: In addition to ricotta cheesecake and chocolate lava cake, the dessert tray features loukoumades, fried donuts with honey, crushed pistachio and raspberry puree, each $9.
The Music: European “chill out” lounge music
The Crowd: Midtown executives, Chelsea and Flatiron residents, and a few NBA and NFL stars were in the house on our visit.
The Details: 36 West 28th St.; 212-679-4842