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Jun 16, 2007 09:26 AM

What to eat at Perilla?

Going to Perilla for dinner tonight, and was hoping to get some help deciding what to order. From previous reviews it seems that the beef carpaccio and meatballs/gnocchi might be the way to go for apps, and fiddlehead ravioli for entree -- but any and all suggestions are much appreciated. Thanks!

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  1. Definitely save room for dessert

    1. If they have the softshell crabs, get them. They're excellent.


      Oh, and if you order the wrong thing, you won't have to save room for dessert--you'll be hungry enough for it.


      1 Reply
      1. I'm a fan of the crab salad (kind of like a crab cake) and the meatballs with gnocchi for app's and the Langoustines and chicken with sausage for mains. Husband LOVES the ravioli, and the risotto side.

        The 9 Jones cocktail is addictive.

        What did you end up having?

        7 Replies
        1. re: BW212

          Well, I had just spent a solid 15 minutes writing out a long review of our fantastic meal last night -- only to have my computer restart. Alas -- my review is lost somewhere is cvberspace. I will try to make this one a bit briefer. We loved our meal at Perilla. Everything was perfect, from the long narrow understated room, to the service, to the wine, and most importantly -- the food. We had four courses: duck meatballs with yam gnocchi to start, followed by a midcourse of the fiddlehead fern ravioli with morels and truffle oil, followed by both the duck entree and langoustine entree and two desserts -- the coconut cake and the donuts. By far -- the fern ravioli was our favorite of the evening. Definitely a must! In order, we then enjoyed the duck meatballs (perfectly spiced albeit not "spicy" as the menu so-describes), the duck entree (a hefty portion of perfectly cooked duck breast with just the right amount of fat and skin, foie gras morsels and rendered/fried duck fat), and then the langoustines. While we enjoyed the langoustines (they literally melted in our mouths and were accompanied by a delicious thai curry flavored crispy rice and eggplant), they seemed out of place when compared with the rest of the meal. It was like: one of these things is not like the other. Every other dish had delicate and complex flavors, local ingredients, and the stamp of the chef. And then there was the langoustines -- really tasty, but it was nearly impossible to have a bite of the duck and then a bite of the langoustines because they just didnt go together in any harmonious way. I want to stress that they were VERY good, just not quite right in the course of our meal. For dessert: I LOVED the coconut cake with basil icecream and some kind of spicy honey drizzle with watermelon. The flavor combinations were so unexpected and out of the box, and worked SO well together that I would go back just for the dessert (and maybe the ravioli too, if I was already there). Kudos to the chef for his pastry chef find!

          All in all, our meal at Perilla was one of our favorites of 2007, if not our favorite. Highly recommended.

          P.S. -- thanks Nosher for your review on your blog (it led us to the Italian Rose, which we loved)!

          1. re: kiworan79

            < duck meatballs with yam gnocchi to start, > Harold made those in the Team 1 vs Team 2 challenge, and Tom said he was "underwhelmed." I thought they looked and sounded delicious, so I'm glad to hear you say you really liked them.

            I'm looking forward to getting to Perilla sometime this summer.

            1. re: ChefJune


              thanks for the detailed review. It's totally making me want to go back to Perilla soon. I'll have to try that duck.

              I don't think that the duck meatball dish Harold made on TV was the same one I had at Perilla (which is great). For the one on TV they mentioned had mint, the one on the Perilla menu did not. (unless they've changed it since I've been there). Sounds like the TV version might be a modification.

              1. re: BW212

                I forgot to mention -- there were a number of changes to the menu last night. The meatballs did have mint -- so they may, in fact, be the same ones from the competition. I was definitely not underwhelmed -- although the description "spicy" is a bit misleading. They are spice-filled, but not "spicy", per se.

                Also -- I believe the Skate dish has changed in the last week. The old Skate dish was served with watermelon, and the new one is a different preparation altogether (with pastrami). We overheard our server suggesting it to the table next to us -- saying that it was a great improvement over the prior preparation, but we did not order it. If anyone goes and orders the Skate, I would love to hear about it!

                1. re: kiworan79


                  I went back to Perilla with friends the other night and had that skate dish you mentioned. (your description got me curious!) Oh man it's so awesome ~ but very unusual. A very large piece of skate served with bits of warm pastrami on top and a cabbage cole slaw type dish under it. I wasn't sure if would work, but it sounded so intriguing that I thought "what the heck, I'll try it." Yum!. It was really delicious. I don't know when we'll be back there next, but I'd definitely try it again. They also had some new vegetarian pastry pie dish on the menu. (Husband is a veggie, so I'm more aware of these things). He loved it.

                  1. re: BW212


                    Thank you so much for the update! I can't wait to go back and order the Skate now...

            2. re: kiworan79


              My pleasure. That rosé is really lovely--I am glad you agree!



          2. I went to Perilla for dinner last night. It was my second time in...the first being when they had only been open about a week and were still working out the kinks.

            We had a great dinner last time, but acknowledged a few issues with the desserts and the Octopus appetizer.

            Last night they showed us that they had worked out the kinks. Everything we ate was awesome - definitely in the top 5 dinners we've had in the last 12 months or so. Started with the crab salad which I loved (but eerily similar to the peeky toe crab salad at The Harrison), along with Market Green salad for others at the table. We all remarked how interesting the use of Nuts in every dish was. Others also ordered the Hamachi which was spectacular (although I didn't try personally). Dinner was the Black Cod which just flaked out so well and was perfectly prepared, served with spaghetti squash with roasted almonds. Addition of fresh almonds (not roasted) on the top of the Cod was a nice touch. Date had the Langoustines which I agree with the above reviewer...melted in your mouth, fabulous, but were a departure from the style - a little more beany. But, really great and would order again.

            Had 4 desserts...cheese plate (good, but a cheese plate), strawberries (excellent), fennel donuts (a favorite of one other at the table but not mine), and chocolate cake (solid and I loved it, but not all that different from other flourless choco cakes out there).

            It was one of those dinners where every single bite of everything you ate was awesome. And we walked out full, but not "too full". Get here before the reviewers do. Big fan.

            1 Reply
            1. re: randymac88

              i literally just got back from dinner there. i sat alone at the bar and the food was awesome. the only hitch was the dessert. i had the coconut cake with watermelon and basil salad and perilla sorbet. the flavors just really didn't seem to have any harmony. my app (pork belly) was really nice and had great flavors and textures. the duck was really good too, with little chunks of foie and some sort of cracklins sprinkled throughout the dish. the service was eh... i sat at the bar and felt like i wasn't part of some club that everyone else was. also, i didn't like my glass of wine (gamay, totally insipid), and when the bartender asked if i liked it, i shrugged and said "eh..." i left about half of it, but nothing was said/done. i know that i probably could have said something, but didn't want to be a complainer... overall though, food was really great, and i probably will be back

            2. so tell me.. is perilla a decent place to get a drink after i have dinner. i want to meet a date for a drink. shall i stay here after i eat?