Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Harold Dieterle and Alicia Nosenzo, I salute you.

Dear staff at Perilla: Your food is fucking amazing.

Being an avid "Top Chef" fan, I have been patiently waiting for the day I would step through the doors of Perilla. Perilla is co-owned by Harold, the winner of "Top Chef" season 1. Perilla was everything I hoped for - small restaurant tucked into Greenwich Village, amazing light fixtures, extremely friendly staff, and, above all, delicious food. I opted for the $35 summer prix fixe menu, which was the best choice I've made all week. My boyfriend, Chris, chose the regular menu, which was an amazing culinary adventure as well. I started my meal with the steamed Bouchot mussels with cilantro, coconut milk, and sour yellow curry. I'm usually wary of ordering dishes with curry from restaurants that I have never been to, HOWEVER Perilla's sauce was amazing and well balanced. Chris began his meal with spicy duck meatballs with mint cavatelli, water spinach, and a quail egg ($13). Both appetizers were questionably sprinkled with serotonin, since we both were elated by the end of the course.

After a short conversation with the waitress about the need for dipping bread in the appetizers' sauces ("Dipping is ALWAYS necessary," she professed), our entrees arrived. I had the mustard green pappardelle with summer squash, aged pecorino, and a light, cherry tomato sauce. I am a huge fan of pappardelle to begin with, but Perilla gave me a new appreciation for the wide pasta. I will never take for granted another stCheck Spellingrand - until we meet again, pappardelle, I will long for you. Chris had the thai style fried chicken with mini bok choy, grilled scallions, and chili jam ($21). I may never look at fried chicken the same - it was crispy, savory, and well balanced by the jam. I feel I need to stress how good this chicken was: go to Perilla and eat it, now. And the jam! Sweet, succulent, delicious jam! I would dance in that jam if given the opportunity! Okay, I'll stop.

Dessert! By the end of the meal, I had almost forgotten the prix fixe came with dessert. After some intrapsychic battle between ordering the S'mores or the Local Strawberry Trio, the waitress helped me decide on the S'mores. This was not your average s'more. In between homemade graham cracker goodness, bitter dark chocolate mousse complimented the sweetness of a toasted marshmallow. If your taste buds still weren't satiated, on the side of the dish there was a small helping of cool and refreshing chocolate sorbet. Overall, Perilla was a wonderful experience and I think you should go asap.

9 Jones St, between W. 4th St and Bleecker St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 929-6868

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Numero Uno: Cracking Shells.

After a lengthy convo with some friends about food, I realized that I should share my passion with the world. Since I cannot cook and can barely bake, the best way that I could think of preaching to the masses about soup dumplings, pommes frites, kataifi, and etc. is by posting a blog about my culinary explorations. The problem I am running into now is what food to award the honor of my first post. Since there is a little voice in my head incessantly whispering "Old Bay", fueled by a yearning in my palate, I know of the perfect starting point: All you can eat crabs at Clemente's Maryland Crabhouse.

Now, Clemente's has other delicious goodies on their menu, such as fried rock shrimp (which comes with a delectable chipolte remoulade), but for $29.99 you can get a silver basin filled with crabs either with Old Bay Seasoning or Clemente's "Garlic Style". Let me tell you, there are few things in this world more enjoyable than tearing open a perfectly seasoned crab. The restaurant is located in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, conveniently next to an auto repair shop and on the opposite side of where you would think Emmons Avenue actually is located - but the food is worth the 10 minutes spent looking for the place (it is almost inevitable that you WILL get lost). Also inside of the basin of hopes and dreams are fries and a piece of corn on the cob. Both taste delicious rolled around in the Old Bay and left over crab mixture. Please shut down your computer and go now.... unless you have a large group, in which case: call, make a reservation, and then go.

Clemente's Maryland Crabhouse
3939 Emmons Ave.
Brooklyn, NY
website: click