Fork has been having a tough time pinning Knife down for an adventure. After a lot of negotiating over places to try, we finally picked Perle.
As Fork writes this, I am really trying to hold back on the overall dining experience and concentrate on the food. It is not easy!
When we walked into Perle, it was a bit warm – this being kind. We asked the waiter if the air conditioning was working. He said yes. We ambled about the dining room trying to find the coolest table and thought we had. The waiter explained that the air conditioning had just been turned on.
OK. We buy it. BIG MISTAKE. At one point it was so hot that Fork and Knife were nearly puddles at the table. We called the waiter over, demanded that they turn the air on, and then the ugly truth finally came out. The air conditioning was down for two days! Some one was there fixing it. Would you like more wine on the house? No. How about dessert? Well, that’s a horse of a different color!
As for the manager, your waiter has come to you twice about a complaint from the same table regarding the air conditioning. Don’t you think it would behoove you to put on your big boy pants and speak to the table? As we were one table of only three filled in the restaurant I can’t imagine why you would leave the poor waiter to deal with patrons that are clearly getting angrier by the minute.
But before I begin about the food, just one note to any restaurateurs that read this – don’t lie to your customers! It makes them angry and cranky and tip poorly!
Back to what we’re here for!
Perleis a lovely little French bistro hidden on Pearl Street in Manhattan just next to Fraunces Tavern. Walking in you leave the bustling streets of the Financial District and are swept into a French bistro that could easily be tucked away on a Paris Street.
For starters Fork ordered the Noix de St. Jacques – grilled scallops, pancetta, chives, olive oil. If there was pancetta on that dish, I will eat my napkin! The scallops were sort of mushy and not really grilled. Served on a few leaves of watercress with olive oil. Everything on this dish was screaming for a hit of acidity.
For our second starter, Knife ordered Salade de Cherve Fondant – crottins de Chavignolle, toasted olive bread, cherry tomatoes. Basically, goat cheese on toasted olive bread with a salad in the center. The toasted olive bread with the goat cheese was delicious, a little taste of honey in there made a big difference. The goat cheese was a little thick though and that makes it a little cloying. The salad in the center – ‘Oh, please, Sir, can I have some more DRESSING!’
Sadly the starters were not a big hit. Onto the entrees!
For an entree, Fork ordered the Carre D’Agneu – roasted rack of lamb. Between the heat, the service and the appetizers, I was not holding out much hope for the entrees. I was very pleasantly surprised when this arrived. It looked beautiful. It smelled wonderful. It tasted delicious! The lamb was perfectly cooked. The timbale consisted of zucchini, red peppers, onions, corn and I’m not sure, but it was very good. The potatoes might have been the star, but everything was very good.
Knife, a true carnivore if ever there were one, could not resist the all you can eat Carpaccio. We were told the record was 7 servings! Knife thought about it and I think challenge flashed through Knife’s mind for a fleeting moment. The beef was very cold, very fresh and very thinly sliced. The parmigiano shavings just enough, and the arugula salad seasoned perfectly for this dish. Alas, poor Knife did not break the record, falling short with just three servings. I bet if there were air conditioning there would have been a closer race.
So, by this point, we’re so angry about the air conditioning it must be flashing out of our eyes. Our poor waiter, Mehdi, was doing everything he could to keep us calm. The manager hung this poor guy out to dry by refusing to come up. And this is the point he tells us that he had tables walk out the night before because of the air conditioner, adding on, this is much cooler than last night!
Anyway, we were so hot and uncomfortable, dessert just didn’t seem like an option – until he read through the menu.
Fork opted for a much favored creme brulee. It was good. It was fresh. It was nothing to write home about.
Now, on the other hand, besides more fingers, Knife’s dessert was out of this world! Knife ordered Blood Orange Sorbet. This was the best sorbet I think we had bother ever tried. When Mehdi came to ask how everything was I asked if they made the sorbet there. He hesitated a moment as though he were going to say yes, and then said no. I asked if it was Ciao Bella sorbet and after a quick ask in the kitchen we found out it was.
I wish the pictures were better. We were so overcome by heat it was hard to do anything.
Try this place, the food is good. Call first, ask if the air is on, if it’s not…STAY AWAY!
Perle . 62 Pearl Street . NYC, NY . 212.248.4848