Eating out pre-theater can often be a hassle. While there is a huge selection of excellent restaurants especially 9th Avenue, they are often overcrowded and overpriced between the hours of 6-8pm. So imagine my delight when I found a rather large restaurant with an affordable and variable menu (not to mention a $25 prix fixe with a glass of wine) right on 9th Ave and 54th Street.
Pier 9 Restaurant specializes in both American and Mediterannean cuisines, boasting especially fresh fish and innovative flavor combinations. I was invited with a friend to try out their restaurant last week and we were thoroughly impressed.
|Back part of the dining room|
We each started with a glass of wine ($10), although I was very tempted by some of their unique cocktails. For bread, we were brought a very hot iron pan of cornbread. Honestly, I could subsist on good cornbread, and this stuff was delicious! It was lighter than your average recipe, but that just made me feel like I could eat more of it...teehehe!
For appetizers, we tried the Shitake Arancini ($12), risotto balls stuffed with shitake mushrooms and mozzarella cheese with spicy tartar sauce, and the Spicy Roasted Mussels ($12), mussels in a lemon, chili oil, garlic, white wine and crispy basil broth. The arancini were heavenly and one of my favorite parts of the meal -- perfectly cheesy and crispy, yet not oily. The shitakes really added a nice earthy flavor as well. As for the mussels, these were some of the most giant mussels I've ever seen in my life! Good thing they were also perfectly cooked and pretty tasty. Ten extra points for grilled bread to sop up the broth once the mussels were gone.
For entrees, we both took our waiter's suggestion and ordered fish. I had the Big Eye Tuna Au Poivre ($28), sushi grade tuna seared to perfection served with spinach puree of roasted onion, carrots and au poivre sauce, and my friend had the Horse Radish Crusted Scottish Salmon ($22), golden crusted horse radish salmon served with melted "holland" leeks, black lentils and finish with ver jus. Both dishes were great, if not rather large (though is that really a problem?). Mine was served with sauteed spinach and I loved the sauce. The baby carrots were a little weird for me, but only because cooked baby carrots are weird for me in general. I absolutely loved the salmon as well. I was thinking of ordering it but was turned off by the thought of something covered in horseradish. It is in no way overdone, and the horseradish actually makes the fish pretty dynamic.
|Big Eye Tuna Au Poivre|
|Horse Radish Crusted Scottish Salmon|
You would think we were too full for dessert, but good thing we left plenty of time for digesting. We ended up ordering the Caramel Rice Crispy Treat ($7) layered with chocolate mousse and mascarpone and served with maple ice cream and papaya. The papaya was a little out of place, but I just got back from Hawaii so it worked on my palate.
Now more about that prix fixe...from 6-8 you can get a 3-course meal with a glass of wine for only $25. That is an especially great deal since the salmon alone costs $22 and that is one of the options on the deal. If you don't feel like eating that much food, I also noted that Pier 9 is on Scoutmob with a 50% deal, so you should definitely check that out. Pier 9 is definitely a solid option for a good meal, and they are constantly running specials (like their upcoming $60 themed Valentine's Day dinner that comes with a cocktail and live music) so pay them a visit and let us know what you think!