Peska Seafood Culture
Fresh seafood with subtle touches of coastal Mexico, Latin America and the Mediterranean packs this handsome room with Galleria power players and well-heeled residents. Peska is the first U.S. outpost from the Mexico-based Ysita family, who opened four critically acclaimed, upscale seafood restaurants with locations in Mexico City and Acapulco. At the entrance, patrons eyeball the glass seafood display with anticipation. Red snapper and branzino glisten. Yellowfin tuna, Atlantic salmon, oysters, mussels, clams and Alaskan king crab entice empty stomachs. On the other side is a wall lined with gourmet dry goods, lush olive oils and canned seafood. Lunch starts off with a tomato broth in a quaint demitasse cup – a warming teaser for the adroit seafood preparation to come. Pristine seafood is the star here, and talented chef Omar Pereney is wise in his restraint of sauces. A popular item is the jicama taco with fried coconut shrimp on a thin jicama "tortilla" stuffed with mango pico de gallo, nori sauce and chipotle mayo. The whole branzino roasted with olive oil and Turkish seasonings is among the top sellers here. At lunchtime, the $25 two-course special is a great way to test drive this elegant, yet approachable restaurant. Our waiter recommended Chef Omar's daily special, which features the freshest catch of the day. On this particular day, the amber jack arrived perfectly cooked on a bed of quinoa fragrant with finely minced bell peppers. The most popular dessert is the fried Vietnamese doughnuts filled with rich caramel cajeta, but the miniature paleta ice-cream pops are equally delightful and complimentary with the lunch special. A pleasing palate refresher, they come in chocolate, strawberry and corn flavors. Try the corn. It's at once familiar and distinctive.
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