Peska Seafood Culture
I love to fish and I really love fresh seafood. The taste of a freshly caught fish that is simply prepared is quite heavenly. In Houston, it can sometimes be difficult to find seafood that is not fried or over sauced. So I was very excited to hear about Peska Seafood Culture. Peska is more than just a restaurant; it is a visually stunning seafood utopia. When you first walk in, you will notice a fresh seafood market to your left and specialty pantry items on your right. The bright and airy dining room is beautifully decorated in coral with touches of turquoise. Schools of silvery fish swim above you and sea creatures dance along the video display cleverly built into the wall.
Created by Chef Omar Pereney, the food at Peska is truly a work of art. At just 20 years-old, this Venezuelan native has designed a unique menu to tantalize your taste buds. The simple, yet beautiful flavors found in the fruit and flower salad are just a hint of what the rest of the menu offers. Dishes like Onion Ash Tuna, Braised Pulpo (octopus), as well as six different ceviches await you at Peska. There is an option to completely customize your own entree by choosing the cut of fish, preparation style, and sauce. Just in case you are overwhelmed by the many choices, Peska has a "seafood sommelier" to help guide you along your culinary journey.
Speaking of sommeliers, what about the wine? Peska has you covered in that area as well. You can't help but notice the beautiful wall of wine inside the restaurant. General Manager Pete Contaldi has selected over 115 wines to compliment the extraordinary food and 25 of those are available by the glass. He has also made sure that cocktails are simple and not over thought. In addition to a unique list of specialty cocktails, they have put their own spin on classic drinks. You can choose an OriGINal cocktail, which of course includes gin, or a tequila/mezcal based beverage from the When Life Hands You Cactus menu. My favorite was the Roasted Slope. It uses Bar Hill gin, Crème de Violette, bacon syrup, and a peppercorn tincture to mimic the earthy, peppery flavors of a glass of Syrah. The detail and thought behind their beverage program is very impressive. You may not notice that special herb infused simple syrup used to make your drink, but trust me, Peska has worked hard to make your overall dining experience enjoyable.
I can't wait to return and have some ceviche and a drink on their magnificent patio. It has a unique louvered system that can allow in full sunlight or close to make it impenetrable to undesirable weather. That's a good thing because we all know how Houston weather changes by the hour!
Peska is currently open for dinner nightly from 5pm - 10pm. Lunch and happy hour will be phased in over the next few weeks. Reservations can be made by calling (713) 961-9229. Be sure to like them on Facebook at Peska Seafood Culture.
Just below the elegant Radio Milano restaurant, you will find Milano Bar. It is located at Citycentre Houston inside the beautiful Hotel Sorella. Milano Bar is sleek, sexy, and has a vintage feel to it. Behind the bar you will find sharply dressed barkeeps in old school Italian outfits. Seating options, which include bar stools, table tops, lounges, and a patio, are purposely designed so that the staff can keep their eye on you at all times to make sure your drink doesn't stay empty for too long.
Peter Clifton, barmaster extraordinaire, makes sure that Milano Bar is on the cutting edge when it comes to craft cocktails. He accomplishes this with help from barkeeps, Chris, Jeremiah, Jordan, and Sam. The cocktail menu may be overwhelming, but just tell any one of these talented bartenders what you like and they will steer you in the right direction. I told them I like bourbon. Their recommendation of the Tra L'adera, made with bourbon, lemon, yellow chartreuse and creme de mure, was spot on!
The attention to detail here is impressive. They make their own bitters, tonics, and ginger beer. The bar is outfitted with butcher block work spaces where drinks are expertly crafted. Some of the best bar ware in the world was specifically chosen to make sure each drink is perfectly executed. Who knew that the shaker used when mixing a drink affected the shape of the ice? I'm going to have to start paying more attention to the ice in my drinks. Of course they have copper mugs for Mules, but they also have special cups for classic Mint Juleps, and beautiful stemware for delicious Manhattans.
To keep things fresh and exciting, the cocktail menu changes every 4 months along with the seasons and each barkeep gets to add their own unique twist to it. If cocktails aren't your thing, don't worry, they also serve wine and typically have six craft beers on tap. Executive Chef Jose Hernandez has created a classy bar menu for you to indulge in along with your luscious libations. However, if you find that you've had a bit too much, then pour yourself an Underberg. They are located along the bar with special fluted glasses. This German bitter digestif is intensely herbaceous with a hint of licorice, but it will have you right as rain in no time.
Happy Hour is everyday from 4pm - 6pm and on Thursday - Saturday from 10pm - 1am they kick things up a notch by turning the music up and the lights down low. Be sure to like them on Facebook to find out about drink specials and upcoming events. You can also catch Peter Clifton at Yellow Rose Distillery on May 7th for their Thur Mix a Lot weekly cocktails for charity event.
About the Author
I like eating, traveling, and enjoying liquid libations. I'm all about great wines, signature cocktails, and local brews.