This post is in collaboration with Pergola.
Back in April, I was invited to sample the new spring menu at Pergola, a flower shop turned Mediterranean restaurant and hookah lounge. The loft space is stunning, blending inside and outside with vines and plants throughout. Pergola also happens to be located in the famed Flower District, which makes it even more fitting for a springtime gathering.
While the spring tasting event was happening upstairs, the main ground floor space was packed. I could barely squeeze through the crowd to get to the restroom in the back. Pergola seems like a cool spot to get together after work, and I imagine it’ll continue to be popular during the summer as it has a great garden lounge, club vibe.
The evening started with four of Pergola’s house cocktails: Bright Lotus, Jalisco Rose, Bangkok Banger, and Santorini. The Bright Lotus was sweet and refreshing. The other cocktails were on the strong side, but the tequila-based Jalisco Rose wasn’t bad.
The feta and tomato crostini was a standout appetizer. Pergola knows how to make good feta, and it was creamy perfection on the garlicky crostini. If you visit Pergola, you must get an order of the crostini for your table.
The watermelon feta salad with arugula and balsamic vinaigrette was good too. I enjoyed the combo of refreshing watermelon and creamy feta. Pergola may not be a vegetarian restaurant, but like many Mediterranean spots, the veggie offerings were quite solid.
The lighting on the upper level of the restaurant wasn’t the best for photos, so we decided to take the mezze for a walk. The hummus, babaganoush, and kalamata tapenade look a bit like ice cream, huh? Goes perfectly with the spicy fried peta. Another a good dish to order and share with friends.
I normally don’t eat fish and seafood anymore, but I did have a little taste of a couple seafood dishes. We were served two different versions of the crab cakes. I preferred the crab cake balls as they had a creamier texture than the patty-shaped crab cake. I regret tasting the salmon as it was too dry. The root vegetable puree that came with salmon was sweet and tasty though. I did not taste the grilled prawns, but fell in love with the parmesan asparagus risotto! I would say that the veggie dishes and sides were the most impressive of the evening.
When the entrees came out, the servers also brought out hookahs for each table. I decided to pass, but found the idea of hookah and food pairings instead of wine and food pairings slightly amusing. It makes sense though… flavored hookah and Mediterranean cuisine.
And then it was time for dessert… the fruit salad that was decent, but nothing remarkable. The addition of mint was a nice springtime touch. The baklava cheesecake was the most interesting dessert. I enjoyed the flaky baklava pastry, but it seemed overpowered by the rich cheesecake. The chocolate cake was quite nice, but not very distinctive or spring themed.
Note: This post is in collaboration with Pergola. I was invited as a guest to this event and received a complimentary meal. This was not in exchange for a positive review and all opinions expressed here are my own.