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You don’t need to spend more than two minutes at Pescada, a chic Brooklyn eatery located on Avenue P in Flatbush, to realize that you are about to embark on a remarkable culinary journey. The open and airy room with its ultra-modern white decor gives off an upscale vibe, echoed by the enticing six page Italian menu with an array of amazing selections. Despite its name, which roughly translates to fish in several languages, Pescada offers an intriguing assortment of salads, pizzas and pastas, in addition to over a dozen truly fantastic fish dishes.

We began our meal in Pescada with warm crusty French bread, the kind of bread so addictively good that you have to stop yourself from overindulging because you won’t have any room left for the rest of the meal. Accompanying our bread were three small dishes with two types of olive tapenade as well as a small bowl with oil and garlic cloves. All wonderfully prepared, this was definitely a harbinger of the extraordinary edibles that were yet to come.

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Our sampling of appetizers began with stuffed champignon mushrooms, loaded with a mouth watering blend of feta, mozzarella and parmesan, swimming in a pool of phenomenal Alfredo pesto sauce. Light, delicate and ridiculously good, it took us less than two minutes to devour them completely. The tropical egg roll, filled with portobello mushrooms, mango and avocado was full of flavor and seemed to radiate sunshine. Daintily crunchy and perfectly cooked, the egg rolls were accompanied by two excellent dipping sauces that imbued the dish with a pair of distinctively different personalities. Pescada pizza, my first encounter with a fish topped pizza, was delightfully addictive. Comprised of a grilled flatbread topped with spicy mayo, capers and slivers of seared tuna, and beautifully accented by a drizzle of olive oil on the plate, it was creative, unique and felt like there was a really exciting party taking place in my mouth.

But no matter how much we enjoyed the first three plates to arrive at our table, there was no doubt that it was the pumpkin carpaccio that stole the show. This extraordinary appetizer actually featured butternut squash, not pumpkin, but who wants to debate technicalities with anything so innovatively artistic and insanely delicious? Our large plate featured paper thin slices of butternut squash, topped with feta cheese, pomegranate arils, crushed pistachios, micro greens, olive oil, salt and pepper. The interplay of flavors was nothing short of brilliant as the gentle bitterness of the greens was balanced by sweetness of the pomegranate, the creamy saltiness of the feta and the crispness of the squash. A wonderful symphony of flavors and textures, the pumpkin carpaccio is a must try on your next visit to Pescada.

Each one of our trio of taster-sized soups were both delicious and packed with personality. The mushroom barley soup had the unexpected benefit of cumin, adding an intriguing flavor, while the carrot soup featured a kick of chili powder. Last, the lentil soup was hearty and packed a touch of heat, giving it just a hint of attitude without being overwhelmingly spicy.

We enjoyed two fabulous fish entrees, each one expertly prepared and exuding flavor. The whole St. Peter’s fish was flavorful and moist, the kind of entree that makes you seriously consider giving up meat forever just so that you could eat fish every night for dinner. The exquisite sunrise sea bass was a fish lover’s dream, complimented perfectly with a mango pineapple salsa. We also sampled a small serving of cheese ravioli in chestnut cream sauce, another wonderfully conceived dish that was gently flavored and truly inspired.

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Sandy Eller is a freelance writer who has written for websites, newspapers, magazines and numerous private clients in addition to having written song lyrics and scripts for several full-scale productions. She can be contacted at sandyeller1@gmail.com.