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Jan 28, 2011 12:45 PM

Favorite dishes at Perilla

Have reservations on Tuesday at Perilla for a belated birthday with co-workers. Looking at the menu, there is a lot that peaks my interest. I would love if some might hare your experiences and favorites with specific dishes. Thank you!

9 Jones Street, New York, NY 10014

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  1. The original comment has been removed
    1. They revamped the menu very recently (like a week ago). I do see the spicy duck meatballs remain. Don't miss those!

      4 Replies
      1. re: kathryn

        Seconding the duck meatballs. Also the brussels sprouts side dish and coconut pavlova. If they have chocolate souffle as a special, get that as well. I also liked the cod and the butternut squash ravioli but don't see them on the current online menu.

        1. re: fm1963

          Thank you both! Sounds wonderful, especially the duck meatballs!!! Yum

          1. re: fm1963

            Another vote for duck meatballs and chocolate souffle. I also recall liking their pork belly app, but this was at least a year and a half ago.

          2. re: kathryn

            I walked by Perilla tonite. I like the location, on quiet Jones St. THe menu seemed interesting and many of the dishes discussed here, are still on the menu. i.e. spicy duck balls, calamari watercress . dorade, etc I see they have a tasting menu. The menu sounds good. I'm not reading "rave" reviews. Is this place really good? I hope so, I plan on going there this week. Next week St Barths and Anguilla :)

          3. I really enjoy their farro risotto side. Very rich but I like to rationalize that farro is good for you:-P

            5 Replies
            1. re: poutinelover

              What did you thnk of the duck meatballs? I am going on Saturday - 2/12/11 - and am trying to get a sense of any must have items. Lots of really good looking fish on the menu, anything in particular stand out to you?

              1. re: edible n

                i recommend the duck meatballs and calamari and watercress salad as must have apps. the entrees change relatively frequently, but you can't go wrong with the hanger steak. I also highly recommend the grilled dorade with rice cake and dukboeki sauce. desserts are also amazing - from the doughnuts to the chocolate souffle!

                1. re: edible n

                  The duck meatballs have been a signature dish since the restaurant opened, and if you have never been there before I think they are a must. Aside from that, just order whatever appeals to you. I have never had a disappointing dish.

                  1. re: rrems

                    Perilla is that oh so fragrant leaf that plays in the sandbox well with many. Chef Harold Dieterle of Top Chef S1 notoriety brings his creativity to this flagship restaurant. Since, he has recently opened Kin Shop, a Neo Thai restaurant concept that has received mixed reviews. We're not here to talk about Kin Shop though. No fault of theirs, Perilla located in the West Village in an area difficult to navigate, as one minute you're on W4St and before you know it, you're on W11ST and realize that you've been mindf*cked. To the left of the Florence Meat Market (a yelp beast at 5/5 stars) where a sexy pig lies, Perilla lies adjacent, welcoming you with a low key entrance.

                    They accomodated our early arrival with no hestitation. Loaded with 2-tops, the feel is a bit cramped but warm. You are served what we think is bread from Sullivan Street Bakery w/ EVOO dip, salt and pepper mill on the side. The burnt edges on the bread are a dead giveaway, but we could be mistaken. As the apps arrived, we were greeted by a huge waft of something in the air upon inhalation of the rabbit dish. It tasted so amazing but what could it be? Then it hit us. It was a sh*tload of butter. This dish is one that will make your eyes roll back, a worthy signature dish even. The aroma of the edamame falafel was much more subdued. At first we were afraid that the 'edamame' part was only in the green sauce, but breathed easier after cutting into a fried mini cylinder of chickpea/soy heaven. Much talked about, this dish is genius and should be ordered as well. 8 big ones, count them, is the number you will get.

                    The mains, however, were quite average, under par even. The duck we ordered was borderline bloody and had to be sent back. The line of sinew down the middle didn't help matters. Two rectangular duck breasts were given, sans crispy skin. The leg was wrapped in a tasty mini crepe and we came to discover 'Indian Flavors' meant Turmeric Marshmallow and lentils under the duck. Not to be overlooked, the creative Turmeric Marshmallow gave the dish not only sweetness, but provided depth of flavor. The two small pieces of seared foie gras had some crushed nuts (pistachio?) over it and tasted like one would expect. The lamb neck looked like a stick of salami, was served breaded with two lines of eggplant puree and some cran walnut sprinkled over stew. The shredded lamb neck tasted like a lamb on the brink of croaking, we kid you not. No contest vs our baby lamb neck at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, but they are in a different league of their own. Plus, baby anything always tastes better. The walnuts did nothing other than provide textural balance, whereas the cran did cut into the gameyness of the lamb.

                    In terms of Dessert, the gingerbread cake was a winner. Again, thick and juicy rich cake that was reminiscent of Chinese ginger candy from childhood. The half sliced pear was served warm and played a nice sweet contrast to the subtle creme fraiche ice cream. This dish was well conceived and executed so kudos for that. Service was average and inobtrusive. Sometimes it's better that way.

                    2011 WINTER RESTAURANT WEEK MENU:
                    -Braised Rabbit Legs w/ spatzle, escarole, tarragon & riesling cream sauce
                    -Crispy Neck of Colorado Lamb w/ harissa splet stew, green garbanzo beans & eggplant,
                    -Gingerbread Cake w/ honey roasted pear & creme fraiche ice cream

                    Also ordered:
                    -Tasting of Long Island Duckling ($31) - w/ roasted breast, leg confit, seared foie gras & indian flavors
                    -Edamame Falafel ($8) - w/ lemon tahini sauce

                    Far from meager, the portion sizes at Perilla are substantial, especially on the apps and desserts. Entrees, while a decent size, are expected when you get around the $30 price range. Most importantly, love is tasted in the food and that matters most. The cutlery could use some rework, as we hard a hard time cutting into our duck. All in all, we felt it was overhyped and underdelivered. The entrees were the biggest weakness for us and we left underwhelmed with those. We feel that having other dishes outshining your mains is a culinary sin. That said, 4.5/5 start on yelp skewed us to believe one thing, when in reality Perilla is only a 3/5 in our humble opinion. We are indifferent about returning.

                    Total came out to ~$50/pp after everything

                    9 Jones Street, New York, NY 10014

                    Sullivan Street Bakery
                    533 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036

                    Blue Hill
                    75 Washington Place, New York, NY 10011

                    Florence Meat Market
                    5 Jones St, New York, NY 10014

                    1. re: rrems

                      That is very comforting to hear. The dorade and bass preparations sound wonderful. I think the duck meatballs will be a definite order as well. Has anyone had any experience with the tasting menu? Is it worthwhile to order (are there dishes on it that are not going to be on the menu).


                2. The original comment has been removed
                  1. Thanks to everyone who recommended dishes, we visited Perilla and took everyone's advice. The spicy duck meatballs (not that spicy) were great - meaty but not fatty. Deeply flavorful. But the best, best dish was the fried watercress and calamari app. Amazing-each element of the dish-the peanuts, the marinated onion-added an vital component. It was luscious, crispy, tangy, a tad sweet, and very savory - all at the same time. Instead of wine, I had the Perilla 75 cocktail which was very tasty.

                    I also got the rabbit legs app for my main course - quite good but a tad oversalted. I wouldn't get them with the meatballs as there is similar spicing. I also had the farro risotto - it is as dense and buttery as described on the board. Get it to split with a few other people because you can only have a few tablespoons, it is so rich. The cod special was roasted to perfection and quite good - though not as good as the apps. Finally, the chocolate souffle was by the books good. The chocolate creme anglaise was overkill (a chocoholic would disagree), would have preferred the traditonal version. The cookie that came with my mint tea was perfect.

                    I would go again, but more for the apps and the drinks than the main courses.

                    9 Jones Street, New York, NY 10014