Pierre Loti is a wine bar with multiple locations across New York. In fact, I discovered that fact the hard way... We were supposed to meet for dinner in Chelsea where we had our reservation. I admit that I completely forgot it was in Chelsea and, before leaving work, simply entered the name of the restaurant in Google Map to get the directions. I ended up Irving Place, ten minutes earlier.
So I texted Jodi to let her know I was there and proceeded to take photos of the exterior of the restaurant. Soon after, I received a text from Jodi telling me that she would soon arrive, as she and our friends were across the street. I could not see them...Weird...I kept looking around wondering where they were, and, on her side, she went inside the restaurant to find me as I told her I already arrived and she could not see me outside. That is when we realized we were not at the same place! She was in the correct one, in Chelsea! It took me approximately 15 minutes to go there, promising that next time, I'll take the time to check the address.
The name of the restaurant is a tribute to the French novelist and naval officer (1850-1923), who published many novels throughout his travels around the world.
It is a wine bar, so it is not surprising that they have an impressive wine list made of bottles not only from France, but also from Mediterranean countries such as Turkey, Italy and Spain. They also propose some American wines from California, if you prefer drinking local...
The menu is mediterranean inspired, with a bunch of small plates to share, cold or hot, making it a perfect place to dine with friends or for a quick bite and a glass of wine. That is where we met with our friends Livia & Georges and Letizia & Scott for dinner.
We first ordered bottle of Bordeaux - Chateau Les Rambauds 2009:
As we were waiting for our appetizers, they served us some olives and pita, that are, I guess, a reference to Greece.
Then, we got our appetizers. The first one was the phyllo cheese rolls:
As we were six people, we ordered two. They were filled with feta and blue cheese. Although I barely tasted the blue cheese (probably because its taste was neutralized by the feta), I really liked it, the shell being crispy and the filling, a bit hot, being delicious.
The second appetizer was zucchini pancakes:
Served with a thick Turkish yogurt, it was delightfully greasy, a bit crispy and comforting.
The last appetizer was the grilled octopus that was sautéed with baby potatoes and carrots in olive oil.
I did not like it at all: it was mushy and tasteless. So sad, I love octopus and was so happy to find people willing to share that dish with me!
Then, we all got our entrees:
Jodi went for the pan seared salmon. It was crusted with shredded wheat and served with sautéed vegetables (in that case, beets and carrots).
That was delicious, the crust adding some texture to a perfectly cooked salmon.
On my side, I got the grilled quail with mushroom risotto:
Cooking a quail is tough because it is so small that it is easy to overcook it and it will be awfully dry. At Pierre Loti, they succeeded in cooking it properly, the little bird being moist and succulent. However, I did not like the risotto. It was as if it was made with beer...weird!
Last, we decided to share some desserts. The first one was a chocolate cake that I recommend if you love chocolate.
The second one was a berry tart that was very refreshing:
We had a good time at Pierre Loti: the food and wine were good, and the service welcoming. We stayed there a while, chatting, and they did not even make us feel we had to leave. For all these reasons, I recommend this place.
Enjoy (I did)!
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And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!