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Nearby alternative to Perilla?

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I'm meeting a friend for a late dinner on Friday night (around 9:30) in Soho or the Village. I'm looking for a quiet place with good food, one where we won't be rushed despite the late start. I was thinking Perilla, but they're pretty much booked until 10:15. American or French would be best, but perhaps considering Italian would open up some additional options. I'm guessing Balthazar and Blue Ribbon are probably too loud.

We're meeting around Prince and Sixth, so I'm focused on that area right now. I don't eat in that neighborhood very often, so I'm interested in your perspective.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Bar Blanc

    1. Little Owl might have a table for 2 avaialble by that time..

      1. 10 downing fts the bill. Or Mas, if you want to spend more.

        1 Reply
        1. re: simetrias

          Have you been to 10 Downing recently? I have not heard anything about it since the last chef change. If it's as good as it was a year ago I would like to try it again, as I felt it was very similar to Perilla.

        2. How about La Sirene? It's BYOB though so don't make sure you bring a bottle. No corkage.

          www.inbundles.com

          1. Le Pescadeux on Thompson btwn Prince and Spring is excellent. Also, Perilla usually has a table or two open for walk-ins and dining at the bar there is also a nice option. We do it very often when we haven't thought far enough ahead to make a reservation.

            1. Thanks for the great ideas, everyone.

              After taking your suggestions and researching them on this board and elsewhere, I decided on The Little Owl, which looked perfect. Unfortunately, they are completely booked!

              Mas will be great for a more special occasion. La Sirene is high on my list for another time, too, especially after reading Bruni's light-hearted review. Thanks for the tip on Bar Blanc -- it looks interesting, but it doesn't seem to be getting a lot of love from others here. Maybe some can comment if they feel differently?

              Conclusion: I have a very late reservation at Perilla but am on the wait list for an earlier time. If that doesn't pan out, I'll either show up a bit early and take my chances/have a drink, or cancel the res well beforehand and try 10 Downing. Thanks again, all.

              3 Replies
              1. re: thousandrobots

                What negative reports have you seen about Bar Blanc? I did a search and though most of the posts were recommendations I made, of the few other mentions I could not find anyone who did not like the food. And just a warning regarding 10 Downing, I liked it when a previous chef was there, but my dinner last summer was disappointing. Haven't heard any recent reports. I am also a big fan of Perilla, and I have to say my meals at Bar Blanc have been every bit as good.

                1. re: rrems

                  Thanks for the tip on 10 Downing, rrems. Re: Bar Blanc, like I said, it wasn't so much negativity as it was a lack of others weighing in here. The reviews on OpenTable are mostly positive, less so on Zagat. I will check it out some time for myself though. :-)

                2. re: thousandrobots

                  You chose the right restaurants.

                  Just to let you know, if you go to Little Owl at around 7ish and tell them that you'll be back by 930ish-10ish, they may be able to keep a table for you.
                  It's a great place for a nice late quiet dinner

                3. Just wanted to report back on how this ended up.

                  The day before, Perilla said they could make my reservation 30 minutes earlier, so we went there. All in all, the food, atmosphere, and service were very good. Some details:

                  - We got there a few minutes early for our reservation, but they weren't able to seat us for 15 minutes *after* our reservation time. No one offered anything besides a quick apology. But when we did get seated, it was in one of the booths, so that was nice.

                  - We started with the Baby Lola Rosa salad. They split it in the kitchen for us, which was pleasing. When it came out, the portions were so big, I thought they had accidentally given us two salads -- but they hadn't. So this is a great salad for $11. (Faustina could learn something from this -- I had the beet salad there for the same price a few weeks ago and it was paltry by comparison, to say the least.) The salad had some great individual flavors in it. I'm not sure they all came together very well, but the ingredients were so good it was tasty nonetheless. We had the parsnip puree side, too, and it was delicious and also a good size.

                  - For an entree, my friend had the roast chicken, which comes with a sausage and something we couldn't identify at first, which turned out to be raw chickpeas. She liked this dish quite a bit, although she described the sausage as just "ok." (I'm not sure how much she eats or likes sausage in general, though.)

                  - I had the ravioli, which were excellent and creamy, and the portion size was just right.

                  - For dessert: chocolate-topped cream donuts (3 per order) were warm, sweet, and outstanding. And we had one scoop of chocolate chili ice cream, which we both enjoyed.

                  The atmosphere was pleasant, although the noise level is quite energetic until the place starts emptying out later on. (So I probably wouldn't do got there for an early first date, for example.) Service was warm enough and professional, and we didn't feel hurried (even when our server left for the night).

                  We both agreed that the food was excellent and thoughtfully prepared.

                  So the bill with tax and tip came to $100 -- one app, one side, two entrees, two soft drinks, one-and-half desserts, no wine.

                  I enjoyed it and will definitely be back -- once I get a chance to check out some of the other places mentioned in this thread.