Trying to find a delicious yet affordable meal in Midtown can be a frustrating trial-and-error process for New Yorkers. I recently stopped by Pescatore in Midtown East, however, and am happy to report a trial-and-success experience. Although Pescatore has been open for over 20 years, they recently revamped their menu to give the restaurant a fresh concept, and it shows in the quality of both their food and service.
Immediately upon walking in Pescatore, my friend and I felt right at home. Soon after we were seated, owner Charles Devigne and chef Kenneth Johnson stopped by to introduce themselves and explain the menu, which includes new items, lower prices, and options of half portions, great for those who want lighter fare or for splitting multiple dishes. Before we ordered, I dropped a bit of a surprise on chef Kenneth: my friend has a myriad of unfortunate food allergies including gluten, dairy, and eggs. He assured us he would be able to whip up many tasty options for us, and oh did he ever! He started us off with a variety of veggie dishes as well as tuna tartare for my friend and meatballs for me.
We followed that with pasta dishes: linguini nero with black linguine, shrimp, arugula in a spicy tomato sauce for me and a gluten-free dish for my friend. Even though we were filling up fast, we also had entrees: Whole Branzino Alla Plancha with fingerling potatoes & sauteed broccoli rabe ($22.95) and the slow roasted veal shoulder with polenta and forest mushrooms ($20.95). I can’t say a bad thing about anything on the table, but the veal shoulder was the winner for me with the meatballs as a runner up, which were even better than some places in New York that specialize in them (like the Meatball Shop). My friend was thrilled with her pasta dish and had great things to say about the branzini.
I can never say no to dessert, so I finished off the evening with Pescatore’s famous cheesecake ($8) (which is definitely famous for a reason!), and my friend, who rarely is able to eat dessert, sampled some delicious raspberry and dark chocolate sorbets. With plates cleared and full stomachs, my friend and I agreed it had been one of the best meals we’d had in a while, and the great service made it all the better. I’d definitely encourage anyone who lives and works in the area (or commutes through Grand Central Station) to stop by!
955 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10022