I am not a big TV watcher, actually I rarely watch at all but my kids do.  Top Chef is one of their faves.  I believe Harold Dieterle won Top Chef in its second season.  I did catch a few of those shows.  We cheered for Harold.  Nice guy, team player and good chef.  At least it seems like he is a good chef from the show. 

Harold grew up on LI and after his win, returned to NYC and opened a restaurant on Jones Street which is between West 3rd and Bleeker in the West Village.  The restaurant is named Perilla.

Our of sheer curiosity, I wanted to check it out.  It has taken me a while to get there but I finally made it last night. 

The restaurant is a nice size.  18 tables and a nice long bar in the front.  There is a nice vibe in the place.  Feels like a neighborhood place.   The menu is seasonal which I am a big fan of.  The menu has a lot of variety with a mixture of flavors. 

I was watching the food come out of the kitchen.  Everything was really well plated.  Do I sound like a judge on Top Chef? 

I started out with a spinach salad.  Baby spinach mixed with feta, and spicy red peppers.  The feta did not make its way through the entire salad.  It was clumped.  More like an okay home made salad.  I also tasted the tagliatelle that had a beef cheek sauce.  Again, nothing great.  Someone else had the other salad which was similar to mine in presentation.  Too much, too bulky. 

For the main courses, I had the duck.  2 long slices of duck, served medium rare.  The skin wasn't crispy enough and a bit too thick on the skin, fatty actually, although the meat was quite delicious.  It was served over a mixture of basmati rice that was running through the mustard greens with a garam marsala sauce and tiny gooseberries.  The sauce had a strange flavor and so did the gooseberries.  I tried the Striped Bass which was well cooked with a nice crispy skin over a mixture of bulgar wheat, mushrooms and a sweet and sour eggplant sauce.  Again, okay, didn't rock my world.

The restaurant sort of reminds me of Cafe Loup which is a neighborhood restaurant that has been open for over 20 years.  I think the food happens to be better at Cafe Loup but perhaps it just depends on the night.  Although I was thoroughly underwhelmed at Perilla he might survive because of size, feel and location.

 I usually don't toot my own horn live but there wasn't a thing last night that I haven't made better myself.  Although I am not cooking at a restaurant so it isn't fair to judge on that note.   I have certainly cooked for 24 people at once but not over a course of an evening at a restaurant.  Maybe I should try it.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Banet

    I’ve eaten there 5 or 6 times and always had fantastic food. I encourage you to give them a second chance — everyone has an off night now and again.Peterhttp://www.FlashlightWorthy…Recommending books so good, they’ll keep you up past your bedtime. 😉

    1. Gotham Gal

      Thanks Peter. I will do it.

  2. marshal sandler

    It is time for an add page on to your blog-Gotham Gal recipe register- a page devoted to featuring recipes by your favorite chef’s and where they are located- I am sure Petersteinberg is a good guy but at the price of restaurant meals today when you can not control food quality for 18 tables – no second chance- great restaurants don’t have off nights- Let’s get serious Katz’s Deli serves tons of food never and off night-I don’t like to being negative in this economy no return policy works-you have to run your business-

  3. peter

    Check your grammer…it makes your point more valid, if you have one!!!

  4. The Burg

    You couldn’t do it. A cook in a busy restaurant will prepare over 100 plates on a busy night from one station in a restaurant serving 250-300 dinners. And that is after a long day of prepping vegetables, proteins and sauces. And then there is the cleaning after service. 10…maybe 12 hours of hustling at high speed and timing your dishes with all of the other cooks.Home cooks and “foodies” are clueless about what restaurant cooking involves. It is hot (like 120 degrees), humid, everything you touch is 500 degrees and you are touching a dozen pans in less than 30 seconds.You also must manage cooking temperatures (rare, etc…) and special requests (gluten allergies, sauce on the side, no garlic, halibut with the steak prep and so on).Give it a shot if you think it is fun. It ain’t a dinner party for 24….

    1. Gotham Gal

      I’d like to try. I have read numerous books and talked to many people inthe industry. There is no doubt that the industry is really hard hard work.As someone once said, you better love it because there is no reason to likeit.

      1. The Burg

        Hey…if it sounds like something you would like to try give it a go…by all means! “Someone” is absolutely correct in their assessment of the business. The gym is a cakewalk compared to a grueling 12 hour kitchen shift in a really busy and meticulous restaurant.

  5. Uli

    Come work for me!, were opening soon, ill start interviews next week for all line cook positions!!!! Do you like Latin food….?

    1. Gotham Gal

      I do like Latin food. I’d love to do it but gone for 2 weeks in March, havea major event in April for my son and a couple others things that would notbe fair to you or the staff. But, the offer sounds quite appealing.

  6. eric

    No, you don’t sound like a judge on Top Chef. They actually know what they are talking about. You clearly do not.