My visit to Pescatore Restaurant could not have come at a better time- it was a Saturday night during MBFW. Fashion Week is something that I genuinely enjoy but I'd be lying if I said that I don't get tired going back and forth from Lincoln Center to Chelsea all day for six days. With that said, I was considerably looking forward to eating actual food (trail mix, chocolate covered pretzels, mediocre beer isn't filling at all). It was the day after the blizzard and I was thrilled to see that Pescatore was open for business. Immediately, I was drawn to the vibe of the restaurant- it was lively without being too loud and the overall atmosphere definitely had a touch of refinement without being snooty. The staple Italian colors that covered the walls took my mind off the cold. The people who were there seemed to enjoy their conversations and food. After assessing the general feel of the restaurant, I hoped that I'd like the food just as much.
Roxanne, who was the manager for the evening, was helpful with the menu. I follow the foodie rule of thumb when dining at a restaurant for the first time- I asked for the manager's recommendations (from appetizers to dessert).
Pescatore is an Italian restaurant and it is in New York City. It was fitting that I try one of the pizzas they offer. My dinner began with the Arthur Avenue Pizzetta (with sausage, broccoli rabe pesto, cherry peppers, smoked mozzarella & tomatoes). The pizza was delightful- savory, sweet, salty and had a bit of a kick. The layers of flavors was consistent with every bite.
From the Antipasti menu, I was recommended to try the Mushroom Risotto Balls, Clams Casino and Fried Calamari. The Mushroom Risotto Balls (with truffle aioli) was my favorite of the three items. It had a crunchy exterior and I really enjoyed the creaminess and flavors of the risotto. The Clams Casino (with oven steamed pork belly, Pecorino, garlic & lemon) comes a close second. The clams were well prepared and precisely cooked. It was quite a revelation- at that moment, I realized that all the clams I ever had prior that night were overcooked. I liked that pork belly was incorporated with the clams- I thought that the pork made the dish hearty and warm. The Fried Calamari wasn't bad but it wasn't groundbreaking either.
From the Pasta menu, I tried the Linguine Pescatore (with lobster, scallops, calamari, shrimp, clams, mussels & San Marzano tomatoes). I was really happy with my decision to give it a try. It was everything that a good pasta dish should be. All the ingredients worked well and I was able to taste each component of the dish. It made me feel as if I was dining beside an Italian shore.
My four course dinner ended with the restaurant's Homemade Cheesecake (as suggested by the manager, "I never let visiting relatives leave without trying it!") and Homemade Tiramisu. Roxanne was so adamant about the cheesecake that I just had to try. I have this to say- if she hadn't recommended it, she should be fired. Pescatore's Homemade Cheesecake (with vanilla custard sauce and berry coulis) is absolutely divine- it's soft and ethereal and melt-in-your-mouth kind of good. It isn't overly sweet or tart. I really liked most of their food but if there was one thing I'd go back to have- it's the cheesecake. No one should walk away from the restaurant without having eaten it. The Homemade Tiramisu was also fantastic- it's actually the best I've had in a long time. It's soft and the flavors were there- each adding to the overall taste of the cake without overpowering.
The only thing that was unfortunate was not being able to really devour the cheesecake because I had another show to go to at Lincoln Center.