Dreamy. Delectable. Enticing-
three words that I would use describe Perry St. The decor lends itself to the natural sunlight that filters through their wide, glass windows, setting the stage for each dish. Before we sat down to eat, we were invited to bask in the simple and modern aesthetic of this beautiful restaurant.
Housed in an apartment building (Hugh Jackman's, fyi), Perry St. is another delicious Jean-Georges restaurant. The restaurant is the work of the father-son duo: Jean-Georges Vongerichten and his son, Cédric. It's known for their tasting menu: Taste of Perry St.; you're served multiple courses, plus dessert, in order to experience the well-rounded flavors not found on the regular menu. It's good to note that when one person at the table orders the tasting menu that the rest of the table must order it as well.
The complimentary appetizer from the chef had a hearty, roasted flavor from the sesame seeds. The crunch in each bite was addictive and had me reaching for more, until I realized there were no more left.
The drinks were fresh and light, not heavy in the least. You can order the drink as is or request substitutes, they're happy to make a mocktail if you don't drink. There were many more cocktails to choose from (along with wine), but we felt a lighter drink would compliment the dishes in contrast to a dessert-like drink. The drinks here offered a variety of unique combinations and reminded me of the drink menu at ABC Kitchen. Both menus are equally delicious.
Warm bread was served to the table along with butter and crystal salt on the side. At Perry St. you're served the bread by piece (no bread basket here), ensuring stomach room for your courses. Before we knew it, the tartare arrived artistically plated; The tartare felt quintessentially summer with the pickled daikon and fresh tuna. Usually served with crackers, the puffed rice in the dish replaces it. This being my second time having tuna tartare, this one takes the cake/tuna (sorry Landmarc).
Vegetables and hazelnuts are a whirlwind combination, something I also found at ABC Kitchen. The blanched white asparagus acted as a blank canvas for the colorful herbs and flowers. Topped with shaved parmesan and shallots, the dish carried multiple flavors that work together beautifully: the nuttiness from the hazelnuts, the saltiness from the parmesan, the spiciness form the pepper, and the freshness from the herbs and flowers all work together to create a heavenly experience. This dish has expanded my horizon in edible flowers and displays Perry St.'s use of fresh, natural ingredients.
A classic, lobster thermidor is a French dish that dates back to the 1880s and it's made its way to Perry St. in 2016. This version of lobster thermidor is a mixture of Asian and French flavor, with the earthy shiitakes and pungent gruyere. The shell was hot, the cheese was boiling--creating a decadent aroma with the melange of vegetables and herbs. You can opt out of the cheese if you're lactose intolerant or are not fond of gruyere.
This dish is a celebration of the Asian influences that Perry St. has. Ripe, fresh fruit and herbs paired with melt in your mouth, roasted duck reminiscent of the flavors found in Chinese cuisine. The citrus was bursting with flavor and was a sweet compliment to the peppery ginger-chilli sauce.
To end the tasting menu, the dessert is homemade chocolate pudding with whipped cream, topped with crystallized violets. The violets smelled and tasted fragrant like violet gum/mints (check Duane Reade) but that was no where in comparison to this. The violets do not pop like one might expect (like pop rocks) but crunch with every bite. The chocolate pudding was a dark and bitter contrast to the sweetness of the violets. The whipped cream was a marriage between the two, no sugar was added (I think) and tasted nothing but fresh, airy, and light. At times while eating this it's easy to forget that you're eating flowers, but the bowl is big enough for you to savor and enjoy not only the flavors but the experience.
While the tasting menu looked small due to the presentation, it was far from it. We were very full at the end of our dessert and satisfied on deciding on this over the regular menu items. If Perry St. decides to change the dishes served on the tasting menu, I would be happy to order it again. I look forward to coming back for brunch and lunch, especially when the longer summer days are upon us.
If my brother and/or Siu read this--thank you for a memorable and delicious birthday dinner.