This past Friday evening I finally made it down to Pera Mediterranean in Mt. Lookout Square, less than a mile from home. My wife and I actually tried earlier in the day for lunch, but found their doors still locked at the advertised opening time of 11. Since we had a Groupon that was expiring, we decided to head back later in the day for dinner, bringing along our toddler aged son and one of my wife’s brothers. We arrived at 5:30 to find the restaurant empty aside from one other table.
I’ve read reviews stating that the restaurant is BYOB, but they actually have a liquor license now. Also happy hour is offered from 4 until close with $1.50 domestic beers and $19 bottles of wine. Our server was quick to get our drink order and had our selections to us in no time. We put in an appetizer order, an appetizer sampler plate, while we looked through the rest of the menu.
The small appetizer sampler plate is recommended for 2 people but easily can be shared with more ($12.95 for the small). This included tabouli, hummus, stuffed grape leaves, eggplant puree, ezme and falafel. The hummus was smooth and creamy, just as it should be. The tabouli was also good, though not quite as delicious as I remember it being at Andy’s. The eggplant puree is essentially baba ghannouj and was fine. The ezme had a nice kick to it, which I used in conjunction with the other spreads. I loved the falafel better than Andy’s, easily my favorite from the sampler plate. And the stuffed grape leaves were average at best. Overall the sampler is worth getting.
For dinner I went with the chicken kebab served with basmati rice and steamed vegetables ($13.95). The chicken was well seasoned and perfectly cooked. I thought that the veggies were slightly over cooked and under flavored. For what you get, the price tag is a little high, I think.
My wife had the penne Mediterranean with chicken, green onions, chili pepper, Parmesan cheese, tomato and romano cheese sauce ($10.95). The menu indicates that mushrooms are also in the pasta dish, but none were present in my wife’s serving. I had a few bites of this and found the chicken to be overcooked and tough. It’s a shame that the chicken wasn’t cooked as well as the kebab was, otherwise this could have been a better dish. However as it was I would definitely skip on this one.
My brother-in-law had the gyro kebab ($13.95). The thinly sliced seasoned lamb and beef served was served with tzaziki sauce on the side. I did not sample any of the gyro meat, but he really seemed to enjoy it. He commented that it was his first time having lamb, so he didn’t have anything to compare it with, but he said he would order it again.
Dinner for the three of us exceeded $65, which again seemed a little steep for the portion sizes. With that said I definitely will not return to Pera again for dinner, but will consider it for lunch in the future. I’m eyeing the chicken kebab wrap with tzaziki, lettuce, tomato, and onion served inside a pita ($5.75). And I would likely get the appetizer sampler plate again.