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Oct 11, 2010 05:58 AM

Ambience / Feel @ Perlas...

Hi all - I want to get a feel of what Perla's is like. I'm 'paying my accountant' his annual fee for doing my taxes (taking my mom and dad to dinner). They're from Ft. Worth and fit the old school definition of foodie - gourmand. I'm branching out from the previous spots we've been going annually (Wink, Olivia Fino, back in the day it was Demiepicurious, Sardine Rouge, and Emilia). We want to try out Perla's

Dad is a 'coat at the restaurant' kind of guy, mom pretty much the same genre. This doesn't mean that they scoff at 'Austin casual', but I wouldn't take him for this dinner to Foreign and Domestic - too loud and too closely packed (I had a great dinner at the bar there).

So - how's the feel of Perla's? I've not been through the door but have a reservation for this Saturday... are we in for 'culture clash'?

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  1. I would call ahead and make reservations specifying an indoor 4-top table. They have that set up that I hate where it's one long bench with two-topper tables along the bench. I typically don't like to sit outside there because it feels too casual. I'll sit at the bar if I'm just going for oysters and drinks. They do have some quieter seating, it just probably fills up quickly.

    1. Perla's is more open & airy than Foreign & Domestic and more preppy than hipsterish; last time I was there, a couple weeks ago, I thought most of the clientele wouldn't have looked out of place in a late 80s J. Crew catalog. I think a sport jacket would be fine but a suit would feel like overkill.

      1. Thanks for the notes - much appreciated...

        1. I don't consider Perla's "dressy" at all. Seen several people there in flip flops.

          For dressier probably: Perry's Jeffrey's Eddie V's, Driskill Grill, III Forks

          4 Replies
          1. re: amykragan

            Ditto... although I think you could be dressy and not stand out.

            1. re: drdelicious

              Thanks for the advice - the clothing thing was just a touchstone for how they approach a restaurant - they don't have to have old school ambiance, but if it is tight and loud, they'll have a hard time enjoying it... all in all - I'm probably over thinking all this.

              I called and had a nice chat with staff - we're set up @ a 4 top and are looking forward to it.

              By the way, speaking of clothing - for my daughter's 8th birthday a few years ago, she asked if she could go to a nice dinner the way mom and dad do. We said sure! She's a developing/developed foodie on her own. She asked if we could dress up as well... we said why not! I have an inherited tuxedo/white dinner jacket which I put on only once in a long while, so I went in that, and she went in a flower girl dress... we had an outstanding time @ Zoot.

              1. re: cpencis

                Dude, wife and I went to Perla's once and probably will not go back solely due to the noise level(deafening) and racaus atmosphere. If you father is of the old school, I think he will find the clatter and chatter very offputting. I tend to be conservative about restaurants myself, probably not as much as your father, so I think I have a pretty good feel for this. Go by some night, if you can and just stand in the place and see what you think. Sorry to be such a spoilsport.

                1. re: singlemalt

                  Well we went last night and had a corner banquette seating. Yes it was loud*, yes there was a guy wearing shorts at the table next door, but the wait staff was attentive, directed us appropriately through oysters and mixed drinks, let us be a little complicated on our ordering, brought us just the desserts we wanted how we wanted them. The food was very very good and all in all, at the end of the evening, we agreed we had a great evening. We had a great time. I was definitely over-analyzing it.

                  * I personally found the music selections cool and hip (I noted 'The Shins', Crowded House, and Death Cab for Cutie'). Perla's will go into rotation for us.

                  Perla's Seafood and Oyster Bar
                  1400 S Congress, Austin, TX 78704