New York is a city so defined by the nuances of each of its individual neighborhoods that expanding a restaurant to a different part of town means a lot more than just opening another outpost. Such is the case with Pera Soho, the newly opened sister restaurant to the popular midtown brasserie and fine dining New York restaurant, Pera. The two share a similar menu concept, upscale Eastern Mediterranean food, as well as a name, but the experiences are as different as the neighborhood each sits in.
As much as the original restaurant caters to business lunches and client dinners, Pera Soho welcomes a fashionable downtown crowd with an equally discerning eye and palate. Located at 54 Thompson Street, Pera Soho straddles the border between Soho and South Village, and the restaurant embraces the sensibilities of both neighborhoods. The modern space and edgy décor pays homage to Soho’s fashionable and design-centric vibe while the authentic Turkish cuisine fits right in with the area’s multi-dimensional bohemian food scene.
Easy crowd-pleasers on the menu include a selection of mezes, or Mediterranean small dishes ranging from familiar favorites such as smoked eggplants with garlic yoghurt and warm hummus, to more unique offerings such as fried ‘Silverfish’ anchovies with olives and grapefruit. The menu changes seasonally and focuses on the traditional Mediterranean diet rich in seafood and vegetables. Prawns, mussels, oysters, octopus, and a variety of fishes are plentiful on the menu and prepared in every way, including raw or incorporated into soups and salads.
The restaurant menu recently added a selection of hearty signature shashlik, or traditional Turkish kebobs with meats such as beef, chicken and lamb. This month, Pera Soho also unveiled an expansive 2,000 sq ft outdoor patio in addition to opening its private rooftop deck. The patio space seats an added 90 guests for all three meals and is open for cocktails until 11 pm on weekdays and 12 am on weekends.
Try the restaurant's refreshing specialty cocktail recipes, such as the namesake Pera Rickey, composed from rum, sour cherry, rosemary and lime. The service is attentive yet unhurried and the drinks are innovative and varied, inviting guests to try a couple at least. After all, there’s no need to worry about business here, in Soho, the Pera experience is just about enjoying an evening out.