Friday, June 18, 2010

Pleasant surprises at Perilla

Saturday, KS and I met at Perilla in Greenwich Village for brunch. Perilla, Top Cheffer Harold Dieterle's baby, was surprisingly empty-- but that meant it was reasonably quiet and relaxing for a catch-up brunch.

Perilla is an attractive restaurant, comfortable and classy in an understated way. The space itself is long and narrow, and the striking striped-wood tables make for agreeable visual accents. Beware the bathrooms, which are well-appointed and visually clean but (at least on my visit) not the sweetest-smelling of locations.

But what about the food, you ask? Easy, now. Brunch started with two complimentary lemon pound cake bites. Cake? Yes please. I took a small bite of one of these and it was, in a word, "great." Yep: buttery, appealing crisp edge, lemony zing, all there. Addictive, to say the least.

They look small, but they pack a buttery punch

And then came the real food. KS ordered "two eggs any style"--poached, please-- along with a side of grilled toast and homemade jam. The eggs actually emerged as the "Poached organic eggs" entree (with smoked salmon, english muffins, the works), but they only charged her for the plain poached eggs. The toast was hearty, and the "grilled" part was a creative touch. Overall, a success-- and a lot of food for $8 total!

Eggs with the works

Bread on the grill

Butter 'n' jam

I ordered the "fresh fruit." Again, at $5, this is one of the better bargains in the city, since what emerged was a substantial bowl of plum sections, blackberries, strawberries, grapes, and pineapple. All were fresh and high quality, and the lack of "filler" fruit (grapefruit, rock-hard honeydew, etc.) was very much appreciated.

Fresh fruit extravaganza!

And that was that. For a very low-key, upscale, incredibly enjoyable brunch, Perilla was perfect. And the reasonable pricing and generous portions make it a candidate for one of the best value brunches in the city. On that basis, it earns four Offset Spatulas and a hearty LWF&D recommendation.

9 Jones Street, between Bleecker and W. 4th

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