Be warned: if you’re not specifically looking for Pergola on 28th street, it can be tough to locate. And if you haphazardly Google search for it, you may be sent to a deli on 39th street. The space was formerly a flower shop, and since you’re in the heart of the flower district, you could easily walk right past it and not even notice that it's actually a restaurant. Once you’re inside, though, you’ll be glad you found it. Brought to you by the same owners of the West Village hotspot Veranda (now closed, unfortunately), Pergola’s twenty foot ceilings and beautiful new wood work creates a spacious yet cozy environment. The main dining room is enormous, and we can easily see clearing the tables and chairs to make even more room for the dance floor once the restaurant closes up shop for the evening.
Though restaurants that double as clubs (and vice versa) always leave you unfulfilled because of their inability to commit fully to either genre, Pergola shows potential to deliver on both fronts. While the service left room for improvement (it was the soft opening, after all) the food was absolutely on point, and the hookah was the most delicous we've ever tried.
The Mediterranean salad and mezze platter we had to start was flavorful, colorful, and so well-seasoned that we forgot we were eating healthy. The Pergola Grill entrée we ordered was also noteworthy, complete with spiced lamb chop, kofta (spiced ground beef) and some of the most amazing spicy lamb marguez we’ve had in a while. The extensive options on both the cocktail and hookah menus did not upset us one bit, either.
If you're looking for new spots to kick off your 2014 social calendar while simultaneously fighting off the winter doldrums, Pergola is definitely worth checking out.
Photos courtesy of Efrain Duenas