9 Jones St. New York, NY 10014 • (212) 929-6868 • perillanyc.com
Been trying to go here for a while now, not that it’s that hard to get into, which is a HUGE plus in NYC, but plans just kept falling through for various reasons. As a result, perhaps the hype grew a tad too great.
That said, Perilla really does have its sterling moments. After all, it is a Harold Dieterle (Top Chef) restaurant. Unfortunately, inconsistency is its cross to bare and with such steep misses, I find it hard to give this place anything above 3 knives.
Service is okay. The hostess is virtually non-existent and the waitress adequate. As for decor, it’s nice, but nothing to speak of. Simple, but lacking in vibe or character. However, I’m not docking knives for either.
For the food, let’s start off with the aptly named starters, which got things off on the rightest foot possible. Everything was superb. The tortellini in that broth? Heaven. The scallop carpaccio? Incredibly flavorful and complex for something so thin. And the foie gras/squab terrine? Just awesome. Literally the best FG terrine I think I’ve ever had, and I’m not such a fan. I’m much more partial to the seared variety. But if the terrine always tasted like this, I’d be a changed man.
Sounding pretty damn good right about now, right? Well, the chef shoulda pulled a Costanza and said “I’m outta here!” Going out on top. But noooo… We just had to order main courses. Of the lot, only the monkfish was on par with the apps. Both the pork chop and the lamb-two-ways fell firmly in the mediocre camp, which is especially annoying when you drop 40 bucks a plate on a dish!!! I’m sorry, but if you are going to break the $4o stratosphere for an entree, you had better stick the landing. That alone is an offense punishable by one knife in my book.
As for the sides, both the brussel sprouts and the cauliflower were excellent. So, it would seem perhaps this place would be better suited to do small plates.
That said, dessert is most certainly something they are not suited for. Not one thing they served was worth the calories. The dark chocolate souffle, while a respectable good, paled in comparison to dozens of restaurant souffles before it. And the lemon cake, that was intended to be a refreshing tit for our chocolatey tat, proved to be dry and terrible. Even the little chocolate salted caramels that came with the check were dry and off balance. So, you guessed it- down goes Frazier (along with another knife).
All in all, I’m still glad I went, but I can’t say I’ll rush back unless someone else is paying.