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Parea, anyone?

Has anyone tried Michael Simon's new place, Parea? Originally from the Cleveland area, I was a fan of his at Lola, which was opened ten years back in that town.

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  1. Do a search for the restaurant name. There have been some very positive posts within the past few months. As a former Lola-lover myself, I'm looking forward to giving it a try sometime soon.

    1. i went to friends and family and we have been back several times. you gotta go, PAREA is great, from tapas to mains to desserts. it's also a beautiful, well laid out space.

      get the house cured meat platter, it's similar to LOLITA's in tremont in clev and is a fav of mine. another super thang is the greek wine by the glass selections.

      ps -- when the heck is LOLA going to re-open downtown in cleveland - anyone know? i heard next month?

      1 Reply
      1. re: mrnyc

        Whoa whoa whoa, are you saying the he is reopening Lola??? When and where in C-Town do you know. Ok, I can read. Do you know what the location is?

      2. I went to Parea a couple of weeks ago. Quite a very intriguing concept -- a tapas-style Greek restaurant. I love small plates because I find restaurant portions too large. We ordered a bunch of mezthes, no entrees.

        Some positive points ... The crispy goat dumplings were very well prepared. I also liked the lobster grape leaves. Nice contrast after the goat dumplings. I did enjoy the yellowtail spinalo with blood orange. Very refreshing. Very refreshing. Probably my favorite course. The Greek fries were filling. Note: the portions are very small.

        Now for the negatives ... I found the sweetbreads too musky and dry. It needed to be soaked prior to cooking. I was also disappointed by the cured meat platter. I thought it lacked dimension. Everything tasted very one dimensional. I also did not care for the textures of some of the meats. Thought it was too rubbery. The lamb brain salad was very grainy as well. The worst thing was that we also hit the porcelain toilet pretty hard later that evening. Not sure what it was, but we both had extremely painful cramps and diarrhea throughout the entire night.

        While I wanted to really like Parea, I don’t think I’ll be going back.

        1. went to Parea this Saturday. Mid sized group of six of us. We ordered a an array of mezes, entrees and deserts to give us a better understanding of the kitvhen and cause we were HUNGRY!

          Great, great ambience and very polite hostesses.

          Our server was slightly above average-paid attention but, didnt really go out of their way.-7/10

          Mezes-had the zucchini, goat, lobster, and lamb dishes. All were very well done with the goat and zucchini being the favs-9.5/10

          Entrees- had the steak, lamb, skate and tuna. Here is where the was a divurgence of opinion. The Tuna was well tunaish.The Steak was good but, it's steak. The lamb and the skate were amazing. Consesus is that you have to order the more creative dishes. 8.5/10

          Deserts-Ordered of them. The loukoumaddes and the ice cream were the most popular-8.5/10

          Overall Parea was a VERY good experience and we highly recommend it. A must visit.

          1. Went there Friday night. Beautiful room. Extremely friendly staff. Sat at the bar while the rest of our party showed up and the bartenders could'nt have been nicer or knowledgable. We got to sample some of the wines before we made our selections. In terms of starters the scallops and crispy pork were standouts. All 5 of the entrees were outstanding. Skate, Veal, Lamb and the Large Bass (shared for 2) were a joy to eat and share.

            1. New Restaurant Review in LI Newsday: http://www.newsday.com/features/print...

              Although the reviewer says she doesn't "stand in the way of Greek culinary progress?", her comments on this restaurant and some other reviews of Greek food show otherwise. In particular a past comment about feta cheese foam. Whatever that is.

              I haven't tried PAREA yet, but ONERA, on the upper west side, NOT mentioned in this review, is a standout Greek place that serves an exceptional taste of Greek cuisine. Why not mention this among the ubiquitous “grilled fish” tavernas listed in the second sentence? When even that horrible excuse for a Greek taverna Pylos is mentioned. Hell, Parea, to the reviewer’s dismay, serves ONE whole fish, for TWO. DAMN! What a concept! Actaully avoiding a cliché, and getting reamed for it. Popular take from reviewers these days, unless it’s an Italian place that serves non-traditional “Italian” food.
              Michael Psilakis, owner and executive Chef at ONERA, has been featured on FTV as a contestant being judged by Cat Cora in Florida and as a challenger on Iron Chef against Cat Cora. He lost both times. Surprise! Perhaps he should have featured a broiled whole fish with a squeeze of lemon and drizzle of olive oil instead. He may just have won. (Instead he tried to deal with a "main ingredient" of puff pastry by making cliche dishes of mousaka and souvlaki and VERY traditional dish Diples and also a savory baklava). Just appearing on these two programs shows that the "pioneers of the post-moussaka era" have validity amongst the overorchestrated non-Italian or 'Italian-inspired' (just to mention one “Mediterranean” cuisine popular in NYC) concepts of food stuff service in the culinary realm of having an opinion (or a 'take' on it) and expressing it through tradition and hyperdeliciousness.
              Jargon. Yes. That is what I read, that is what I report.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Gastronomos

                Is Parea still open?? I just ate at Lola and had an orgasmic (sorry for the lack of a better term right now) dining experience. (hello crispy bacon with pickled tom-A-toes...) Michael Symon was en casa and he stopped to talk to every patron. I love Lola and Lolita....I was hoping to hit Parea next time in NYC...I think it may be closed. I love this man!

                1. re: chinacat1969

                  sad to say PAREA closed some time ago.

                  but hey you got LOLA and LOLITA so you are still money. and bonus is you also have PAREA'S other heralded cleveland chef jonathan sawyer and his new venture BAR CENTO as well.

                  hopefully, being the new iron chef does not take ms away from the cleve too much (i doubt it will).

                  1. re: mrnyc

                    Oh yes! Bar Cento - I saw this opened the last time I was in Cleveland in November. I will give a try. Thanks for the great tip.

                  2. re: chinacat1969

                    Yes, Parea, with Michael Symon as chef, closed earlier this year. However, the owners of Kellari Taverna, in midtown, took over the space and just re-opened as Kellari's Parea.


                    P.S. When we ate at Parea, Michael Symon stopped at our table, so we had the opportunity to chat with him. A thoroughly nice guy!