Pesca Mar & Terra Bistro
Cocotte's sister restaurant takes a Mediterranean seafood route.
Cocotte's sister restaurant, Pesca Mar & Terra Bistro, ditches the farmhouse for the Mediterranean seaside and serves up imported seafood alongside hefty slabs of meat within a sprawling blue and white house. Inside, the open kitchen bustles with all the action of a fresh seafood market. A few steps away you'll find a market-esque deli counter and a small wine room.
Mediterranean seafood specialist Pesca comes from the same team as Phrom Phong’s flashy, smash-hit bistro, Cocotte. That lineage is already playing well in its favor, with a dining room that, on the last Saturday we visited, was fully booked bar the outside terrace.
With the group head chef, Jeriko Van Der Wolf, stalking the dining room (a space whose deli cliches and lounge-bar lighting don’t mess with the Cocotte formula) and personally checking plates as they make their way to diners, it’s clear this is the doted-on baby of the group.
You can taste that attention in the dishes of new head chef Marco Pacetta, an Italian national formerly with Issaya, Sensi and Enoteca. The beef and oyster tartare (B250/piece) may only be the size of an hors d’oeuvre, but its seafood-rich sauce and fresh ingredients make it worth ordering. A starter portion of trevally fish ceviche (B290) is leagues above much of its now-ubiquitous competition—sharp, fresh and moreish.
Mains, for the most part, are a no-nonsense and satisfying bunch that take their Mediterranean billing loosely: lobster rolls (B990), fish steaks (B480 for 200g of Tasmanian salmon), burgers (B590) and the all- important tomahawk (a B3,450-6,690 feature of most tables). Their mussels pan-fried in butter, garlic and parsley (B690) are excellent—both rich with all the described flavors and fresh—as are the accompanying skin-on, slim-cut fries.
With its artful plating and swooshes of sauce, the cheese gnocchi with morel mushrooms and serrano ham (B590) is a more flamboyant act, but the flavors are there: soft, doughy gnocchi, mouthfuls of salty ham, earthy morels and plenty of gooey sauce. Refined? No. Tasty? Definitely. Nor can we fault Pesca on its wine menu, which starts at a B990 bottle of Concha Y Toro Chilean Chardonnay (you may know it as the cheapest drinkable white in Villa) and has plenty to choose from in the B2,000-3,000 bracket.
Pesca does occasionally slip up with the little stuff, like chewy, sub-par table bread, but our only other complaints are down to personal taste. The fiercely green bar, the Long Table circa 2008 lounge beats—none of it really makes for a space where we want to dine. Judging by the crowd, these prejudices are our problem and not Pesca’s.
This review took place in February 2018 and is based on a visit to the restaurant without the restaurant's knowledge. For more on BK's review policy, click here.
|Address:||Pesca Mar & Terra Bistro, 39 Ekkamai Soi 12, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Cuisine:||International, Italian, Seafood, Spanish|
|Price Range:||BBB - BBBB|
|Open since:||September, 2017|
|Opening hours:||daily 10am-2pm, 5-11pm|
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