By grace.g.yang ยท January 11, 2008
Under: Brunch,Burgers,West Village

After catching the majority of Top Chef Season three, I’ve slowly become a fan of the crazy reality show (they’re currently taping season 4 in Chicago). I watched a couple episodes from season one and season two, but it’s one of those shows you watch when they have marathons, you know? Anyway, Harold Dieterle won season one and used his prize money to open Perilla in May 2007, a stylish restaurant in the west village. I’ve walked by Perilla a bunch of times (on my way to John’s Pizzeria or Pearl Oyster Bar), but I didn’t notice the small restaurant lining Jones Street until recently.

Large booths, a couple of four-top tables, and a small bar make Perilla for a small get together or a first date. The interior decor is minimal and welcoming and is a great addition to the west village. The hostess seated us immediately (not many people go to Perilla for lunch, apparently, because the restaurant was almost empty). The menu has a couple of options of unpretentious items, but there were only three things that interested us: the duck burger, the cubano, and the french toast. We ended up choosing the first two:

The duck burger has a layer of perfectly melted cheese (don’t you hate it when there’s a layer of grease on top of the cheese?), pickles, tomato, and Boston lettuce that all sits perfectly on top of a big bits of spicy duck. YUM. I’m used to Peking duck and have been disappointed with other ways people prepare duck, but Harold’s burger definitely makes me rethink the way I eat duck.

I ordered Harold’s Cubano:

To tell you the truth, I wasn’t impressed with the pressed sandwich AT ALL. It tasted like something I could ordered at Zabar’s a while back. Also, once you try the Spotted Pig’s cubano, there’s no way to eat another sandwich without getting the feeling that it’s inadequate. I didn’t really enjoy the sandwich but the side salad that came with my order was nicely dressed. I can never get my greens to stay so fluffy after I dress them – they always end up wilty looking (it looks like I cooked them or something). How do restaurants do it?

Overall, the experience at Perilla was very nice and I’d go back for dinner in the future, but probably not again for brunch. It’s convenient to make a reservation through, but you can always call to make a reservations as well (I like opentable because I’ve thisclose to getting something for free!!)

Perilla on Urbanspoon

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