Review: Pershing Square Cafe & Restaurant, New York City

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | June 30th, 2010 | Restaurant Reviews

Some days feel surreal.  A recent Saturday was one such day.  After a fabulous breakfast at a diner in Portsmouth, NH, a meeting, a quick stop by home, and a 5-hour car ride, I found myself having a very late lunch/pre-dinner snack at Pershing Square in Manhattan.  Of course, surreal doesn’t mean anything about the trip was bad.  I mean, how bad can a combination work/fun trip to NYC be?  Based on my experience, not bad at all.

We arrived at Pershing Square about 4:00.  As it was between meals, the restaurant was fairly quiet, and the bar was half-filled.  With a friendly bartender, Gary, and World Cup soccer on the tv, we had chosen a great place.  Gary brought waters for us and asked for our drink orders.  From our conversation, he seemed well-versed as a bartender, so I decided to have him create a drink for me rather than choosing my specific drink.  My requests were that it be slightly sweet and not have citrus.  What he created was a fabulous peach martini.  It had a pleasant amount of peach flavor without being cloyingly sweet. My husband ordered a rusty nail, one of his favorites of late.  This drink was made perfectly, and my husband enjoyed every sip.

As we hadn’t eaten since 8:00 that morning, a round of drinks would not satisfy our stomachs.  Their bar menu alone was fabulous.  With fourteen different items from which to choose, it was hard.  Even as we played our “eliminate what we don’t want” game, there were so many hard choices.  After a little debating, we got our order down to two: Shrimpscargots and Mediterranean Hummus.  Although we were going to order only those two, we noticed Grilled Green & White Asparagus on the appetizer section of the dinner menu.  How could we refuse?

After watching a little soccer, enjoying our cocktails, and chatting with Gary, our order arrived.  The first item we both sampled was the Shrimpscargots.  Baked with lemon, parsley & garlic butter and served in a heavy escargot pan, they were absolutely divine.  The shrimp was tender and perfectly flavored.  It was the sort of dish where one would contemplate licking the dish if no one were watching.

The next item to try was the Grilled Green & White Asparagus.  Topped with béarnaise, soft poached egg & sea salt, the egg was particularly endearing to my husband.  As I am not a fan of soft poached eggs, he graciously served my portion to me before slicing into the egg.  Regardless to my dislike of the egg, I found the rest of the dish to be fabulous.   The béarnaise was applied with a gentle hand, so that the asparagus still had a presence of its own.

The final item that we enjoyed was the Mediterranean Hummus.  This delicious dip was served with marinated olives & griddled pocketless pita.  The saltiness of the olives gave a nice contrast to the garlic flavor of the hummus.  The pita bread was a fabulous treat, as it was slightly thicker than regular pita bread.

With content stomachs, it was time to leave the cafe and continue our day’s journey.  Being New York City, we didn’t have plans for dinner until much later.  Now it was time to walk off a few of these calories before getting ready for a night out.

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