Wine should be served in the proper glass to bring out its aromas and flavors, just as coffee should be served in a mug, and Kool-Aid in a gilded chalice. Enjoy well-paired wine with today’s Groupon: for $49, you get a three-course meal for two at Pescatore (up to a $117.80 total value). The meal includes the following:
- Two salads, bruschettas, flatbreads, or antipastos (up to a $14.95 value each)
- Two entrees (up to a $24.95 value each)
- Two desserts (up to an $8 value each)
- Two glasses of wine (up to an $11 value each)<p>
Led by Kenneth Johnson, whose blades will soon fly in an episode of the Food Network’s Chopped, the chefs at Pescatore infuse Old World Italian cuisine with creative, diverse flavors. Four varieties of bruschetta, from eggplant and toasted almonds to chicken-liver pâté, anchor the menu, tantalizing palates along with bite-size portions of grilled Spanish octopus or clams casino. For entrees, a black-truffle-artichoke vinaigrette drizzles over pan-seared striped bass, spinach, and artichokes, and berkshire pork chops stuffed with fig, taleggio cheese, and chestnuts belly flop into a pool of port-vinegar jus. To comfort bereft tongues mourning their departed entrees, the dessert menu delivers sweet eulogies such as cheesecake with vanilla custard sauce and berry coulis or vanilla-rosemary panna cotta. Throughout the meal, servers top the white tables lit by candles and jars of violin-playing fireflies with glasses of selected wines, which range from an Oregon pinot noir to an organic riesling from Germany.
At Pescatore, chef Kenneth Johnson and his team honor the deceptive simplicity of Italian cuisine's commitment to culinary fundamentals. The restaurant's menus showcase the importance of using a base of simple, vibrant ingredients, then adding flair and complexity. This is evident in dishes such as the eatery's ricotta appetizer, which is accented by chives, hazelnuts, clover honey, and mint, and its roasted red- and yellow-beet salad, dotted with pickled shallots and dressed with champagne-honey vinaigrette.
Competing on a National Stage
Whether he's cooking for a crowd of diners or competing on national television, Johnson uses basic techniques to craft delicious dishes. So, when faced with the daunting task of preparing a dessert using spiral ham, spiced rum, green plantains, and water chestnuts, he created a traditional streusel. Sticking to a straightforward dessert netted Johnson a first-place finish on the Food Network's Chopped—his second victory in as many appearances.
Key Ingredients at Pescatore
- San Marzano tomatoes: Italy's most iconic heirloom tomatoes lend their refreshingly tangy, slightly sweet flavor to everything from the spaghettini's pomodoro sauce to the margherita pizzas.
- House-cured pancetta: Standing in for traditional bacon, this tender sliced meat adds a Italian charm to an otherwise standard Black Angus burger.
- Handmade pasta: The restaurant's freshly prepared strands of linguine and tubes of rigatoni demonstrate the importance of starting from scratch whenever possible.
- Artichokes: Adding artichokes to a traditional pesto allows the sauce to complement the slight acidity of its lemon- and rosemary-tinged grilled chicken breast.
- Nutella: The dessert pizza's crushed hazelnuts, bananas, and salted-caramel gelato balance out the chocolate-hazelnut spread's richness.
955 2nd Avenue
Manhattan, New York 10022