By Peizhao Sun
Returning from winning a hit reality show, for some, is almost always followed by some unnecessary flashy, and public stuntthat tries to prolong the fame. Though true with America’s many small screen favorites, Chef Harold Dieterle, went with the road less travelled. His first restaurant, Perilla, in the West Village, is everything you love and want in a true neighborhood joint, rid of the flamboyant; focusing on great service, great food and great times. As Perilla enters its 7th year, it continues its more-comfort-than-glamour atmosphere on Jones Street, while serving quality cuisine.
The restaurant features a full bar that screams neighborhood, as well as 18 tables that spread to the back. The long dining room space is adorned with chic yet simple paintings. Towards the back, a row of half moon-shaped booths line the wall and sit under warm, dimmed lights.
The dining room dons a sophisticated, yet relaxed look, with handsome zebrawood tables and unpretentious decors. A welcoming and soft lighting greet guests when they arrive, and with dusk near and candles lit, diners’ whispers accompany the romantic aroma. With a casual glance at the space, one thing quickly becomes apparent; the simplicity central to the decor at Perilla is both endearing and elegant.
The menu carries the same modest tone as it serves what chef Harold Dieterle likes to call, seasonal American, with refreshing ingredients and season-appropriate spices. The ingredient-driven menu sports dishes possessing complementing flavors and textures, with apparent Asian influences, which show up in many dishes. Perilla’s spicy duck meatballs, which has gained wide recognition for its incredibly balanced flavor, is served with mint cavatelli, water spinach and quail egg. The egg enhances the overall dish as the yolk adorns the meatball with a thick, gorgeous sheen.
Over at the entree section, the grilled prime Creekstone hanger steak is the clear favorite among regulars, as the steak comes tender and charred. The nicely sliced steak is also paired with a red shallot puree, and comes with sunchoke creamed spinach. Perilla’s obsession with duck doesn’t stop at the meatball either. The roasted duck breast comes in two flavorful and juicy wedges, and is served with sarladaise potato, kohlrabi, braised endive and fig.
Serving simple, down to earth cuisine that amazes with the fresh ingredients and East-influenced spices, Perilla continues to win over regulars and new guests alike in the West Village Neighborhood spot.
9 Jones St.
New York, NY 10014