Review: Perry Street

When the name Jean George is uttered, the palate is automatically aroused while an intrigue and excitement sets in. This was the initial spark when we entered Perry Street-Jean George's 'neighborhood joint' in downtown Manhattan.  The low-pitched hostes showed us to our lunch table-an almost comunal attachment to the clients adjacent, with paper placemats yet comfy chairs. The floating and serene waitress took our orders and we were greeted with buttery croissants to start. As we waited for our first course to arrive, we examined the pristine atmosphere, chatty clientele, and well dressed staff.

The arctic char sashimi was presented on a white square, simply garnished with lemon zest, crispy skin, a few paper-thin slices of chilis, and olive oil. The tender slices of fish were garnished with large salt flakes (Maldon perhaps) and had a pleasant texture.

Crispy calamari were our other starter...extremely tender, however, a bit difficult to pierce with a fork, as the batter had hardened significantly-resulting in fried dough pieces all around. The whipped ponzu-sesame sauce was savory and a perfect dipping accompaniment for the croissant as well.

Service was quick and attentive and the semi-communal seating added to our amusement. We couldn't help overhearing a few gentlemen comment on their discontent with portion size, as they ordered more plates after finishing their entrees.

When our main dishes arrived, we understood their concern. Although cooked to perfection and delicious, the two humble slices of grilled hangar were questionable size for an entree. Unfortunately the 'crispy' potatoes were appropriately called due to still being crisply undercooked...not so much to their fried composition.

The slow cooked salmon was the biggest surprise of the lunch. Having experienced this dish at the James Beard House, as well as preparing it in the past, I was looking forward to the melt-in-your-mouth-feel of the delicate preparation. I was presented, however, with a simple baked salmon, overcooked at the edges. The accompanying asparagus and bok choy were fresh, crispy, and delicious, and the herbal chili sauce was flavorful and had a smooth consistency, however lacked the chili mentioned in its title.

Dessert was once more a hit and miss. The warm chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream seemed as if originating from the frozen isle of Trader Joes (which I love...however, I was expecting more). The cassis mousse with a small carrot cake layer and sorbet was a delicious mix of sweet and tangy flavors and greatly succeeded it's partner. Although beautifully presented, the food did not WOW our excited palates.

Were my expectations too high? Is Perry Street a faulty representation to the JGV world? I hold my breath and anticipate a better experience in one of his alternate venues.

No comments:

Post a Comment