Perry Street: Jean-Georges is a God Amongst Restauranteurs
I was looking for the perfect spot to host my mother’s birthday celebration held this past Saturday. Going purely on reputation, I selected Jean-Georges’ Perry Street. With high expectations and a discerning group of 7, I gave the highly reputable restaurant a try.
I. Was. Blown. Away. and so was my party.
Subdued and elegant yet modern and hip, Perry Street exuded contemporary New York cool. It was impeccably designed with seductive low lighting, neutral-toned banquettes, and dark hardwood tables. The tables were well-spaced so you never felt as though you were participating in your neighbors’ conversations. In general, the decor was simple, so rather than being distracted by the scene around you, you were focused on your party and the remarkable food.
The menu is also simple – roast chicken, butter poached lobster, beef tenderloin, lamb chops, arctic char, to name a few entrees. I would label this “American classics,” yet what the Jean-Georges-led kitchen produces is hardly boring or stodgy. The dishes are characterized by beautiful presentation coupled with precise preparation. As the waitress explained to my rather picky party, the food is completely cooked to order; there is no pre-preparation (which catered well to both our timing needs and taste idiosyncrasies).
I personally started with the sweet pea soup (which was light yet flavorful and almost smoky) and finished with the beef tenderloin and roast potatoes. It single-handedly re-inforced my love for beef. My mother, the guest of honor at this celebratory dinner, started with the sauteed shrimp (which she couldn’t stop exclaiming about) and finished with the butter poached lobster. The lobster was so good that it even got a thumbs up from my Cape Cod-raised and Boston-bred mother. My boyfriend got the lamb chops and they far exceeded his expectations in both taste and temperature – perfect score again! The rest of my party either got the tenderloin like myself or the Arctic Char, which went down very smoothly. All in all, good simple perfectly prepared food.
The service was excellent. Although our waitress was a bit strange (none of us could put our finger on what exactly was wrong with her), she coped exceedingly well with a rowdy, picky and fluid party (people kept coming and going). She never failed to refill the wine at the appropriate time and while she did not participate in our rousing rendition of Happy Birthday, she certainly made the birthday celebration go off without a hitch.
My hat’s off to you, Perry Street! You made a daughter’s wish of a perfect birthday celebration for her mother come true!