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Monday, November 25, 2013

Perry St.

If you were Jean-Georges, you would build a gorgeous restaurant in the bottom of your apartment building, wouldn't you?  And then you would make your son the head chef, right?  I certainly would.  It's the epitome of convenience.  Well, it is for him.  For me, it was less than easy to get a cab all the way over on the West Side Highway.  I didn't really care, though.  I was hoping that while waiting for a cab I would spot one of the building's other famous residents, like Hugh Jackman, Calvin Klein, or Nicole Kidman.

I need to stop talking about celebrities.  Onto more important things: the food.  I loved the amuse bouche - a mini french onion soup.  It warmed us right up on the first really cold and windy night of the year.  Everyone at the table started with the burrata...except me.  Dare to be different.  I got the grilled octopus with hibiscus romesco, potatoes, and pickled peppers.  The spice came from the sauce and since that was sort of off to the side, you could dial the heat up or down to your liking.  Sauce is something they do very well at Perry St.   I went splitskies on two entrees with a fellow diner and both had amazing sauces that really made the dish.  The first was grilled lamb chops with olive crumbs, black olive oil, and artichokes.  I am not sure what the brushstroke of sauce was, but it was delicious.  Brushstroke of genius.  It toned down the saltiness of the olive crust so you could really appreciate how the chef had turned them into crumbs.  The fried chicken was served with Brussels sprouts and a Brussels sprout puree.  It was not too much sprouts for one plate.  It was just enough.  The chicken had a honey chipotle glaze, something I'm sure most diners will think is nouveau but that I recognize as a nod to how Southerners like to eat their fried chicken, with a drizzle of honey.

Perry St. is a fancy place.  One look at the menu, which features an entire section for truffles and you would figure that out on your own.  Not a ton of young people, but I don't need to see young faces to enjoy my food.  This is the kinda place you take your parents or work colleagues (if you have an expense account).  With so many restaurants under his belt, you would think Jean-Georges' food would start to become tired, but it's almost the opposite here.  There are still many components to each dish so I wouldn't call any of it simple, but both the flavors and ambiance of Perry St. have calmed down from some of his other restaurants, like Spice Market, and the simplicity is refreshing.


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