Rated a Top 5 Newcomer by Zagat 2008, Pera Mediterranean Brasserie brings an authentic taste of eastern Mediterranean cuisine to Manhattan. Located at 303 Madison Avenue, Pera is the first venture from Burak Karacam of BK Restaurant Partners, LLC. Pera has enlisted Sezai Celikbas of internationally renowned Kosebasi restaurants in Turkey and Jason Avery, previously of the Regent Wall Street, as the restaurant’s co-executive chefs.
Pera derives its name from an elegant neighborhood in Istanbul that has served as the melting pot for many cultures and cuisines since the 17th century. The executive chefs lead a team of specialty cooks from Turkey and are collaboratively introducing lesser known mezes and meat preparations to a New York audience. Pera features numerous mezes, specially prepared and marinated cuts of grilled meats and seafood, traditional and modern Mediterranean side dishes and regional breads baked a la minute.
Signature mezes include warm hummus, beef and bulgur tartare, mini shish trio of marinated lamb, harissa shrimp and soujouk with fresh lavash and fresh baked pidettes (mini Turkish flatbreads) topped with a choice of traditional options such as eggplant, ground beef and soujouk (spiced Turkish sausage). The main courses focus on delicately marbled grilled meats that are cooked on a 10-foot-long open flame grill. Guests can choose from a variety of different cuts of lamb, beef and chicken, or opt for the traditional chefs tasting menu featuring assorted successive servings of house specialities.
Designed by Melissa Brown, Pera’s interior balances warm earth tones and natural materials with the vibrant colors of Mediterranean cuisine. Cranberry, forest green and eggplant accents, rich yet mellow woods - walnut for the walls, and exotic decorative zebrawood for the bar - onyx and alabaster panels and ceramic tiles are among the standout design elements. A long communal table sets the stage for larger parties and gatherings. The furniture is also designed by Brown and similar in spirit to the restaurant's cuisine - inspired by the east but adapted for New York. Each piece is handcrafted and sits low to the floor, creating a relaxed eastern aesthetic.