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Pera

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Think of Pera’s Picnic Baskets As Reproductive Spores

Pera’s plan to sell picnic baskets may seem like just another sop for Hampton-bound swells; really, it’s part of the restaurant’s master expansion strategy. Executive chef Jason Avery tells us that “Pera was never intended to be a one-shot deal; we’re looking to expand in the city, and across America.” Pera hasn’t found the right space or lease yet, but when it does, it will follow the lead of what Avery is already calling “our flagship restaurant.”

Nobody Truly Loves Varietal; Pera and Dennis Foy Only Marginally Appealing

Bruni one-stars two restaurants, damning both with the faintest of praise: “Pera is a restaurant good enough at what it does best to argue for at least a moment’s consideration,” he says, carefully calibrating the knocks everyone else has given the place. Dennis Foy is too,” he throws in. [NYT] Meehan is downright enthusiastic in his praise for East Village mini-chain Chickpea, which he considers the epitome of cheap eats, if not the final word in falafel and shawarma. [NYT] Alan Richman reviews a more or less random steakhouse, Harry’s in the financial district, and delivers the news that the sides are lame, the steaks are fair to good, and that the place isn't especially pretty or pleasant. Who'd have thought? [Bloomberg]

Kobe Club Nadir of the Genre; Pera’s Kebabs as Good as Street Meat!

Bruni gives the Waverly Inn one star in a review that parodies a high-powered editor’s blathering about how cool the place is. But like most everyone else, he seemed to enjoy the food. [NYT] Meehan, meanwhile, finds a barbecue trailer parked in front of an auto body shop in the Bronx. This even beats his review of that taco stand in a garage. [NYT] Paul Adams likes the new Turkish restaurant Pera well enough, but in a Meehan-esque twist, suggests street kebabs are just as good. The place is big and elegant, but the Turkish specialties are largely “watered down for non-Turkish tastes.” [NYS]

Bruni Meets Neroni; Another Blah Review for Ramsay

Making sure to mention chef Jason Neroni's desperate call for Beard nominations — the one revealed on Grub Street — Bruni gives Porchetta a single star and calls Neroni “overly insistent.” [NYT] In all-tofu dessert spot Kyotofu, Meehan finds a pudding paradise. Though he issues some of the most enthusiastic praise we've heard from him lately, he also cautions that the savory dishes are just “perfunctory.” [NYT] Wobbly tables don't get in the way of Paul Adams’s appreciation of new Soho Moroccan joint Babouche. [NYS] Cuozzo loves Pera, makes it sound as if it's the first-ever high-end Turkish restaurant. Orhan Yegan of Divane and Beyoglu must have steam coming out of his ears. [NYP] Sietsema rarely meets a barbecue he doesn’t like, and Brooklyn's Smoke Joint proves no exception. The evil Cookshack smoker, condemned in our 2006 wish list, makes a cameo appearance. [VV] Randall Lane delivers yet another approving but ultimately unenthusiastic review of the “impeccable, if clinical” Gordon Ramsay. The Brit just can't win! [TONY] Related: Gordon Ramsay, Gay Icon