PROFILE: Perry St. (NYC)

Taste or table service? Which one should over-ride the other when it comes down to having a lovely dinner, is I’m sure up for discussion. The fact that a couple of the waitstaff members should probably quit their jobs doesn’t take away the deliciousness of the amouse-bouche brought to our table pre-meal. A slightly snooty and poorly-trained server who couldn’t suggest anything other than fried chicken from the menu shouldn’t take away from the self-chosen beet salad that is still blowing my mind… but pretension and a lack of accommodation does, on some level, make or break a dinner.

Perry St. is yet another Jean-Georges restaurant, this time located on the very edge of the West Village, and directly across from the Hudson. The ambiance is nice, the color palette subdued, the lighting soft and the furniture both beautiful and comfy. I had dinner there with two friends, both of whom have tendencies to frequent tasty establishments as well. The three of us were looking forward an elegant but casual dinner but, I gotta say, the experience left something to be desired.

All three appetizers were pretty incredible. I had a roasted butternut squash soup with mimolette cheese and these deliciously crunchy little croutons that I would gladly order once a week. The market beet salad had just the right amount of gorgonzola and an unexpected but perfect vinaigrette of honey and lime. The third (and actually the only one from the restaurant week menu, thanks a lot for only TWO choices) was a house made burrata with a refreshing meyer lemon marmalade. Dinner looked promising, despite the faux-friendly service, but then came the entrees.

Now, I’m not speaking for the other two ladies. I think they were actually quite content, but my pan seared black sea bass is where things bombed. The sea bass, I am told, was delicate but flavorful. And I very much enjoyed the grilled and exotic-looking maitake mushrooms. The problem was in the aromatic basil sauce, so salty I literally couldn’t taste anything else. I tried a bite of the grilled cod with miso mushrooms, and only could gather that it was a little over-cooked. The slowly cooked cod with lemon crumbs also didn’t register as a flavor in my mouth. By the time I could flag down my waiter for another glass of wine, I threw in the towel and gave up.

Bottom line, if the service would have been up to par, I probably wouldn’t have had such a strong reaction to the overly-salted entree… I don’t really like dessert anyway, so it wasn’t a problem to pass by. But the snooty hostess, the fact that our table was given away and we were finally seated 30 minutes later, and an unforeseen issue with retrieving our coats really rubbed me and my tastebuds the wrong way.

I won’t be returning, but do suggest you give it a try and let me know if they were just having a bad night. 🙂

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