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Perry St -- best $24 lunch in town

If you haven't been to Perry St Restaurant yet, but still think, "three N.Y.Times stars for Jean-Georges Vongenrichten's second-best restaurant, it MUST be overrated" -- well, a $24 prix-fixe lunch there is a delightful way to change your mind. The prix-fixe is all they serve at lunch. You're presented with a menu listing twelve courses, and you can choose any two plus dessert for $24, and each additional course costs $12. (I'm not sure if you are allowed to choose both the veal and the beef tenderloin as your two courses, but there's no division between appetizers and entrees.) Here's what my $24 got:

Amuse-bouche cup of borscht made with apples, beets and horseradish.

First course Five huge, luscious shrimp rubbed in spices and grilled, served atop a mustard-yellow mild puree to one side of which, poured tableside, was ain intenseley-flavored chorizo broth.

second course A grilled sea bass filet, crispy skin on, atop a green puree laced with fennel. Atop the bass were caramelized radishes that tasted like yummy sweet potatoes. On one side was a tiny lake of tangy ruby grapefruit coulis.

Dessert -- goat cheesecake, macerated cherries with celery leaves, purple sorbet and caramelized nuts.

A lovely modern space a lot like Nougatine, great service, river view. And for most of the time I was there, the place was empty except for me and the waiters. You'd expect a line out the door.

176 Perry St, entrance on West St.

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  1. Thanks for the great tip!

    1. Wow - this sounds amazing...thanks for the heads-up!

      1. That's interesting as the dinner we had there (four of us and we tasted everybody else's food) was a curious combination of too much salt and too little flavor.

        1 Reply
        1. re: tsiblis

          My lunch was bursting with flavor and had just enough salt. Even the crispy fish skin, which an inexperienced cook would smear with salt, was just right.

        2. I have to try it again. I thought the food was all fluff and the service scattered when I ate there last year. Maybe they sorted it out.

          1. In case readers don't know, the same lunch deal is available at Jean Georges. I had the exact same experience there - an absolutely incredible meal for a ludicrously reasonable price.

            I've wanted to try Perry Street for a while now - thanks for the tip that the lunch deal is available there too.

            2 Replies
            1. re: binkis

              Actually, at JG it's $28 for 2 courses, $12 for each additional course. Seems at PS you get 3 courses for $24.

              1. re: Lucia

                I think binkis is thinking of Nougatine. That's the lunch deal there. But Lucia is right that in Jean-Georges proper, the "formal dining room," it's just 2 courses for $28. Which, I might add, is a fabulous deal. Don't miss the enormous puck of foie gras!

            2. 24 bucks for a three courser meal, does sound good for the quality. i presume this is not that restaurant week garbage is it?

              1 Reply
              1. re: kevin

                Not sure what you mean cause some of the Restaurant Week meals are pretty good. But if you mean, is it a deal where you can get an excellent lunch for $80 or a salad and crummy chicken breast cooked by the dishwasher for $24, then the answer is no. The only option offered at lunch is the $24 menu.

              2. How is the $35 early dinner like? Is it off the regular menu or a different menu with limited options?

                1. I finally went back again and it was as good as the first time. I thought it might not be, since it's the day after Thanksgiving, but it was. The first course was a raw filet of a white fish, topped by shavings of skin fried until they were crispy as potato chips, in a lake of a creamy, sprightly lemon sauce. After that, grilled filet mignon (about 5 or 6 oz)that had been marinated in what I thought was Chinese fivespice but turned out to be several separate spices, some of which are used in fivespice. Alongside were pumpkin-stuffed ravioli and chanterelles with thyme. Yum! Dessert was chocolate pudding topped with crystallized violets and cream. And all for $24!!!

                  1. damnit that sounds exceptional is this going to be year round?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: kevin

                      As far as I know, it is year-round. The first time I went the place was completely empty. Yesterday it was two-thirds empty. Hard to believe there isn't a line out the door.

                    2. It's still the best. And yes, it is year round. Today I returned for my first visit since 2006 and found the food as good as ever. My $24 got me

                      Strawberry gazpacho amuse bouche

                      Three crunchy asparagus stalks topped with a risotto made with bits of white asparagus that had been macerated in something tart, and a savory sauce that looked just like whipped cream but sure didn't taste like it.

                      A breast of chicken with mint put under the skin was grilled, then place atop a stewed spiced tomato on one side and a cake of polenta stewed in bacon on the other, with a little green lake of cucumber mint yogurt sauce.

                      Chocolate pudding with violet dust and whipped cream.

                      It was slightly more crowded than last year. Maybe it's catching on. I had a table in front and watched the cars zap by alongside the Hudson.

                      Perry Street
                      176 Perry Street, New York, NY 10014

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Brian S

                        That was my experience last week, and I'm going back tomorrow for birthday lunch. I had that dessert, too, which was FUN, right? I forgot about the violets. I love the light coming in through all the glass in the Meier tower.

                        1. re: simetrias

                          I liked your post and you described what was under the chicken more accurately than I did. For me everything good tastes like bacon.


                      2. Couldn't agree more, I haven't had a bad thing there. Atmosphere is unpretentious and beautiful as well. One of the best values for a "nice" lunch with a good friend.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Nick F.

                          Just went there today. On weekends they have brunchy items as well as the regular lunch items. It was all excellent again, and i love that they offer two decent wines at 5 per glass or 20 per bottle. It was fairly full, low key, elegant and cooling on such a hot day. Yup, my new fave place for lunch.

                          1. re: simetrias

                            Can you describe what some of the brunchy items on the menu were?

                            1. re: kathryn

                              They have an exquisite spinach and goat cheese omelet and some pancakes as well. Well, at least they did when I was there. The omelet was, in a word, fantastic.

                              1. re: Nick F.

                                Yes, these two items... Also a dish with gravalox that looked to have LOTS of lox.

                              2. re: kathryn

                                They also serve excellent pancakes, or at least they have in the past.

                          2. I agree! Best $24 lunch in town. Went there recently and although the service was a little confused (two orders wrong), the food was visually stunning and tasty. My personal favorites were the Shrimp appetizer (dusted and grilled succulent shrimp, served with butternut squash puree and pumpkin seeds) and Peekytoe Crab Salad. Their Chocolate Pudding was not very exciting... but the White Chocolate Mousse was good, particularly the yuzu sorbet on top. My friend is in love with their mozzarella appetizer (I thought the pineapple overwhelmed the subtle cheese), but to each their own!

                            The pics are 1) Amuse bouche of celery root soup with cranberry foam, 2) Shrimp, 3) Chili oil poached red snapper.


                            1. Just got back from lunch. OOOH, this was so good. After an amuse-bouche of pea soup with parmesan, we had shrimp, crabmeat salad, striped bass, and chicken sandwich. For dessert the bread pudding with bananas. A really good cotes du rhone for $20. Superb bread. The food was gorgeous to look at and full of flavor, with wonderful and forceful spicing. You really get the sense of Jean-Georges here, but at a bargain price.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: rrems

                                It sounds like they've updated their menu. Time to go back again. Great price for an excellent lunch.

                                1. re: eatfood

                                  Does anyone know if the $35.00 early dinner special is a separate menu or can you order off the regular menu/

                                2. re: rrems

                                  Do they still offer the $5 glass of wine for lunch? We're going in a few weeks for saturday brunch. After reading all these posts...Can't wait!

                                  1. re: fayth

                                    I thought $20 for the bottle was such a good deal, I didn't even look at the by-the-glass prices, but I expect they would have some reasonable ones. They also have some good beers listed.

                                    1. re: fayth

                                      yes--torrontes, cotes de rhone, pinot blanc

                                  2. I wonder if it's my warped interpretation of your dining experience or it really says it that way on the menu: Goat Cheesecake. I'd rather not have to chew on that one.

                                    1. I so disagree with the title of this thread. When I had lunch at Perry Street I was so disappointed. The flavor profiles were weird, not tasty. There were three of us, we all ordered different choices but tried each others dishes, and we all were stunned and let down by the dishes we had.

                                      Also, even though the restaurant was 2/3rds empty, they initially seated/squeezed the three of us (two of whom are tall) at a table for two.

                                      I love Jean Georges, but Perry street--even for 24 dollars-- was a big let down.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: BW212

                                        Sorry to hear that. I just went for lunch last Sunday and my friend and I both enjoyed our meals--crab salad, hanger steak, chocolate cake (me); mozzarella and tomato salad, tuna burger, chocolate cake (her).

                                        1. re: BW212

                                          I'm really surprised by your response. Every time I've been there, our experience has been great if not phenomenal.

                                          Perhaps you caught the restaurant on a bad day.

                                          The tuna burger and the hanger steak are both excellent!