Perry Street: Haute Dining in the West Village

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You probably think that you inherited some great stuff from your parents. Maybe a wonderful watch from your father, or your mother’s old Barbie collection…but how about the ability to cook a world class meal that everyone from Uma Thurman to New York Magazine recognizes as delicious, inventive, and on another level. Perry Street’s chef, Cedric Vongerichten received just that from his illustrious father, Jean-Georges. With a pedigree like that expectations are high, and they are met.

Located in a rather remote area of the (far) west village, Perry Street is a sleek, modern space with light wood and darker accents. It’s simplicity of design allows the complex and varied food to shine.

Try the was passion-chili soda, a tart-sweet concoction that is tropical and not at all hot, just gently spicy in the way cinnamon is.

Our amuse bouche was a cappuccino cup filled with celery root and truffle puree. Silky, starchy, vibrant celery root mixed with heady, deep, meaty truffles, finished off with sweet cream and full bodied chicken stock. The only problem with this was that there wasn’t a huge vat of it.

Order the crispy poached eggs with caviar and vodka creme. See how the outside of the egg is perfectly fried with a greaseless golden exterior?  That is the best part of this dish until…

The yolk is broken. The egg is cooked to PERFECTION, with a totally warmed through but not at all coagulated egg yolk concealed beneath it’s crispy crust. The moment the fork broke through the crunch, the sweet, buttery, comforting egg yolk spilled out, blending perfectly with the salinity of the caviar and the crisp, clean flavor that the vodka lent the cream. Warm, cool, crunchy, creamy, egg from the sea, egg from the land…these factors all conspired to create a perfectly harmonious and special dish.

Peekytoe Crab Toast with miso mustard, shiso, and Asian pear. Large, meaty pieces of crab were both herbaceous from the shiso, and creamy, with a crunchy, sesame studded crust. To eat the nutty sesame crust, the rich crab, redolent of the sea and of shiso, and the bottom layer of crispy, buttery toast really showcases the chef’s ability to meld flavors and textures. The miso mustard was spicy, salty, and sweet, and the refreshing snap of the Asian pear brought all the elements together.

The Black Truffle Crusted Cod with lemon-butter celeriac. But that smooth, delicate, flaky cod that was tender enough to cut with a spoon paired so perfectly with the crisp char of the truffle infused skin. The truffles’ dark, complex, umami filled taste made the cod taste even sweeter and cleaner.  And the celery root, diced into perfect, minuscule cubes, was surprisingly light, tart, and full bodied with plenty of citrus and the glorious addition of butter.

And, as a grand finale, molten chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream and a tuile.  After a varied and palate-challenging meal full of  different combinations of flavors and textures, this was a delightful and well done version of classic cake and ice cream .

Unobtrusive service, elegant but relaxed surroundings, and a meal full of exciting flavors, textures and combinations makes for a truly outstanding experience at Perry Street.

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