Perla

In full transparency, we are investors in Perla which is why although it has been reviewed all over NYC, I have yet to write anything.  We went there again for dinner on Mothers Day and I took the pics and grabbed the menu.  What is wonderful is that this week not only did the Village Voice RAVE about Perla the NYTimes gave them 2 stars. The chef, Michael Toscano is hitting the high notes.

I am a huge fan of Gabe and his wife Gina who own Joseph Leonard, Jeffries, Fedora and now Perla.  Guaranted this will not be the last of their empire.  Here is a piece i wrote about Gabe's first place, Little Owl, years ago.  Kind of funny to read it now.  My assessment is at least consistent.  Here is what I wrote at the end of the blog post.  Gabriel is the perfect groovy host of the front room.  He still is. 

Snappeas perla
Perla is located on Minetta which is a tiny street off of Sixth Avenue.  The restaurant has been around for years and they have just made it better and cozier..and have taken full advantage of the wood burning fire place it came with.  We began the sugar snap and snow peas salad.  A mixture of peas and pea shoots with slices of pickled rhubarb and underneath a goats milk ricotta.  Mix it up and you have a hell of a taste combo.

Salmonperla
Cured king salmon over asparagus and a chopped egg vinaigrette.  The salmon is delicious and asparagus is tis the season.

Crabperla
Crispy soft shell crap with a nice piccata aioli and pickled finger chiles.  I have also had a few other appetizers when we were there and highly recommend the vitello tonnato and braised octopus.

Greenpastaperla
If you love pasta, this is the place.  Honestly could be the best pasta in the city right now.  Just perfect and beyond sublime.  Orechhiette with crumbled sweet italian sausage and ramp pesto. 

Gnocchiperla
Gnocchi with a spicy tomato sauce and ricotta.  Wow.  I'd also recommend the cavatelli with duck ragu and foie gras.  How amazing does that sound?   It is. 

Wholefishperla
I am a big fan of a whole branzino particularly in a wood burning oven.  This is served with a broccoli rabe vinaigrette and caponata.  The fish falls off the bone.  They will filet it for you.

Chickendiablo
This is chicken for two, could be three after having the appetizers and pasta courses. Cut up pieces of chicken cooked in the wood burning oven with a spicy red sauce and the skin is almost barbequed.  It is a diavola sauce and it is finger licking good.

On the way out they always give short bread cookies with fennel sprinkled over the top.  A nice light touch.  We were too full to eat dessert.  The other thing that can either be endearing or over the top is everyone who works there goes over backwards to make you feel at home.  Sometimes it is too much but most of the time I feel like everyone there is the guest of honor and that doesn't feel so shabby.