Restaurants »Perilla

perilla howardThe adjective “nice” has such milquetoast connotations, that to call a dining experience “nice” almost seems like a backhanded compliment. But I promise that I use the term with the best intentions when referring to my experience at Perilla. From the moment my sister and I were seated until the moment we left, everything was just so… nice.

The atmosphere is sedate and comfortable, very classy without feeling stuffy with clean off-white walls and cushy seating. Adding to the serenity was the staff who were accommodating and extremely pleasant.

But a restaurant doesn't survive on pleasantries alone, certainly not one opened by a reality TV star. Harold Dieterle, head chef (and Top Chef winner) seems to have shied away from any ostentatious and obnoxious flare that might be expected from anyone associated with the term “reality TV” – clearly in the aforementioned decor but in the simple presentation of his solid, confident dishes as well.

We started with the refreshing elderflower/prosecco cocktail that I has just?enjoyed at Mike and Shaun's a few nights before – elderflower must be in the air. Next we shared a duck meatball appetizer and some mackerel sashimi – both were really special, the highlights of the meal, particularly the flavorful meatballs, which I would eat daily if possible.

We both opted for fish entrees, Meghan had the special and I had something I can't find on any of the online menus, as the menu is constantly updated. I think one was arctic char? Mine definitely featured a bed of delicious beets…

My apologies, I was wrapped up in conversation and not exactly in blog mode, but I can say we were both very pleased with our dishes, and our plates were left clean.

The night ended with toasty sugar donuts with dipping sauce, a pleasurable comfort dish we devoured with glee.

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Posted on December 31, 2007

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