Lively Greek Flavors, Far From Classic, at Parea

Greek newcomer Parea offers some appetizing-sounding entrees, but it may take you a while to get that far into the menu. Hounds are stuck on its inventive mezethes, like crispy pork with beets and pistachios, and goat dumplings with manouri cheese and mint. Also nice: pickled octopus with beans and tomato; sausage kalamaki with orange peel, yogurt, and chile (which “delivers a really gratifying smack of heat,” reports Deb Van D); and ceviche-like spinalos of tuna or yellowtail, with sprightly accents from olive, almond, fennel, and blood orange. “Very innovative, delicious, kind of sparkling food,” sums up djk.

The menu, developed by Cleveland chef Michael Symon, also includes a section of don’t-miss house-cured meats, highlighted by venison and lamb with notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, and saffron. Among the entrees, reports djk, are pan-roasted skate wing (with pickled cauliflower and blood orange) and halibut with fava beans and green peas in lemon broth, subtle and full of flavors of spring. Recommended desserts: blood orange tart with chocolate ice cream, and rhubarb-stuffed pastry with sesame ice cream.

The small plates are indeed small, advises Deb Van D, “but at $7 per you feel you can add in without toppling the budget.” The space is smart, airy and comfortable, she adds, and service is warm and helpful.

Parea [Flatiron]
36 E 20th St., near Park Ave. S., Manhattan
212-777-8448
Map

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