Tuesdays with TT: Perry St.
Recently, CT & I celebrated our two year anniversary. As such we had to find a nice restaurant to celebrate the occasion. We have found that Jean Georges does a fine job with his various restaurants to celebrate a variety of occasions whether it be CT’s Birthday or even Restaurant Week. We have heard some good things about Perry St. and decided to check out this restaurant in the far, far West Village. Jean Georges’ son is actually the chef de cuisine of the restaurant. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree?
The restaurant is located in the ground floor of the Richard Meier apartment building on the West Side Highway. While the decor is clean and modern, it has a very “hotel-restaurant” look to it. The place was mostly full, but felt empty at the same time. It did not feel like a Saturday night out. I was ok with this since I don’t like super loud and trendy restaurants. Also, service was very good throughout the meal, which is always a good thing.
After ordering, we were presented with an amuse of shrimp fritters. This was a tasty little bite to whet our appetites. Fortunately the deep frying didn’t cause the shrimp flavor to disappear.
Surprisingly enough we decided to forgo the five course tasting menu for a reasonably priced $68. CT & I have been trying to eat somewhat healthier and a major part of that includes not stuffing ourselves completely during a meal. Manolo Caracol in Panama may have been our last super excessive meal for a long time.
CT started with the Rice Cracker crusted tuna with Sriracha-Citrus emulsion ($19.50). Yea, Perry St. isn’t by any means economical dining, but this is one of their signature appetizers. You may remember that Yvo had a taste of this at the City Meals on Wheels event a couple months ago. Fortunately, the tuna was prepared better at the restaurant than at the event. Look how deep red it is, so fresh! The rice cracker was nice and crunchy. I was intrigued by how the chef prepared this because it seemed as if it was deep fried, but the tuna was still completely raw. CT was generous and shared some with me. I could have used more Sriracha in the emulsion since I barely detected any heat. Regardless, it was still a great appetizer.
CT says: This was fabulous. I was impressed at how crunchy the outside was, while still tasting very light. And it was a generous portion so while it was a bit expensive, not terrible. Plus, the tuna was so fresh. While I’m usually a fiend for spicy food, I though it was fine that the mayo wasn’t too spicy as it would have overpowered the tuna.
I started with the NZ Red Snapper Sashimi with lemon, olive oil, crispy skin ($17.50). Once this plate was put down in front of me, it immediately reminded of the one of the ceviches I had at Nuela. While it didn’t have any leche de tigre, it had a nice balance of acid from the lemon and richness from the olive oil. Those small sliver of chilies were quite deceiving as they had a nice amount of heat to them. The chef showed a lot of restraint by only using three slices of the chili. The crispy skin was my favorite addition to the sliced fish, nice and crunchy!
CT picked her entree ahead of time. Crispy Fried Chicken with Scotch Bonnet sauce and creamed local corn ($25). Yes, most of you would probably leave the restaurant immediately at the sight of a $25 plate of fried chicken. Though, this was really good fried chicken. I am guessing they sous vide the chicken then finish it off in the deep fryer. Although it was boneless, it was quite juicy and consisted of one piece dark meat and one white. Like her appetizer, the Scotch Bonnet sauce was pretty tame in terms of heat. The server poured the sauce tableside, which was a nice bit of theatrics. The corn was quite tasty and had just the right amount of creaminess. I usually don’t like creamed corn since it is usually hard to see any corn, just mush. While I wouldn’t put this on the list of great fried chicken to try in NYC, it was good.
CT says: This wasn’t you typical fried chicken, but it was very delicious! So succulent and flavorful – both the chicken and the crisp skin. Plus, not greasy at all. Now, this sauce definitely could have used a bit more heat. It was labeled “scotch bonnet,” so I expected a lot more. But it wasn’t a deal break. Plus, as TT mentioned, the corn was awesome. Juicy and sweet.
I chose what I found to be one of the more interesting menu items; Crunchy Rabbit with Green Chilies, Millet, Lima Beans, and Oven Dried Olives ($29). Like with CT’s, I also had a sauce poured tableside, but this was a rabbit jus. CT and I had a conversation about rabbit and how offputting she finds it. I happen to find it similar to pork. As you can see, it even looks like pork. This was an excellent preparation. Juicy meat, spicy green chilies, and crunchy outside. The millet, lima beans, broccoli, and oven dried olives was a fantastic side dish. I was pretty confused what I was eating, especially since I didn’t know what millet was, but it was delicious. It was fun to eat with its various textures and flavors. The little black specks were the dried olives. While they looked like “something” associated with rabbits, they had a nice mellow kalamata flavor. The millet tasted like a rice and cheese hybrid. Not something you find on many menus in NYC. I enjoyed this dish very much.
We also were presented with a small dish of rice. We weren’t sure who it was for though. I had a little and it was perfectly cooked. Full Disclosure: CT & I have been off our rice cooking game at home and have managed to turn out some pretty bad pots of rice recently.
Since the entrees were quite substantial, we decided to share dessert. After consulting with our waitress, we decided on Perry St.’s Candy Bar ($10). It was similar to one of Milk Bar’s Compost Cookies; it had just about everything in it. From what I remember the waitress telling us, it had a layer of chocolate cake topped with a salted ganache then topped with various goodies such as candied peanuts and popcorn. They also gave us a little candle to mark our anniversary. Aww!
CT says: This was no joke. So delicious! I can understand why this is their signature dessert and tasting menu choice. Not too heavy, nor too sweet, but just chock-full of goodies for every taste.
All in all, Perry St. ended up being a great choice for a special occasion meal. The food was very good and the service was even better. I was impressed by Cedric Vongerichten’s cooking and would love to see how his career progresses. Happy Anniversary CT!