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Aug 20, 2008 12:21 PM

Red Cat or Perilla on a Saturday?

My boyfriend and I are coming for a short visit to NY soon and I can't decide between Periila and Red Cat for that one special meal on the Saturday. What would you recommend, which restaurant is better in terms of food, atmosphere, decor, service? Thank you!!

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  1. I like Red Cat, but Perilla is better.

    1. Red Cat is larger and closer to the gallery district -- all the way over on 10th ave. Perilla is in the heart of the west village and smaller.

      Red Cat has been around for much longer and the food has always been consistent. You get an older more sophisticated crowd (in my opinion) and i believe the menu is much more varied than Perilla. Red Cat has excellent apps like foie gras and their zucchini appetizer but Perilla has their spicy meatballs that are quite good.

      Perilla is younger and rides off of Harold Dieterle's win on Top Chef. While I found the appetizers to be good, my friend and i didn't love our fish mains. They were a bit undersalted.

      If you asked me, id say Red Cat as I've yet to go there and have anything i did not like. If you like Town or the Harrison, you will like Red Cat

      2 Replies
      1. re: banjolinana

        that's odd because i found my fish dishes at Perilla somewhat oversalted. still loved them though. I guess it varies.

        1. re: jeanki

          I think there may be some inconsistency because I thought mine were undersalted as well.

      2. Have been to Red Cat only once over a year ago and enjoyed it.
        We have been to Perilla twice. Once for dinner and recently for brunch. I am not that impressed. Go to Red Cat.

        1. perilla hands down.

          red cat is a beautiful room and i like the service and the place is great for drinks but the food is just lacking.

          perilla's food is top notch...i always find myself split between several items to get. service is surprisingly excellent and the place has a good vibe.

          ive eaten at perilla maybe 6-7x in the last year...everytime i leave totally impressed.

          1. Okay, so not unanimous feedback at all! This will be a hard decision.... just thought i'd add (in case it helps!) we're coming from the UK and last time we were in NY our faveourite place was Gramercy Tavern (the Tavern bit). This time around we're looking for something similar and all reviews point to either Red Cat or Perilla - good food, comfortable, unpretentious, popular. Perilla sounds quite "in"- would you say that's the case and that it has a good NYC vibe? I've never heard of Harold or watched Top Chef, so that wouldn't be a good enough reason to go there! But then Red Cat sounds like it might be better overall... So confused! Thanks everyone.

            4 Replies
            1. re: belma79

              I'm going to go with Perilla on this one. My last experience at Red Cat was disappointing in many ways. Perhaps it was just an off night, but it was enough to make us not want to go back.

              Perilla is a favorite -- the flavors are consistently delicious.

              1. re: belma79

                I think they're both good restaurants, but they are both no Gramercy Tavern (at least the main room). You'll probably be happy at whichever one you choose. It's true that Perilla does have more of a buzz because of Top Chef and that the crowd is a lot younger.

                I would look at both menus and just pick the one that appeals to you more based on the food selections.


                1. re: Miss Needle

                  I had the same initial thought when I saw Gramercy Tavern--that it was in a different league. However, I think Perilla and Red Cat are comparable to the Tavern Room, which is where OP's been.
                  You might also consider Little Owl.

                  1. re: Lucia

                    Lucia, you beat me to it. I agree with the LO recommendation.