For my birthday, Kip was wonderful enough to take me to Perilla, the new restaurant run by chef Harold Dieterle, winner of season one of Bravo's "Top Chef." It was, in short, perfect food.
To start, we had: Garden Pea Salad, with wasabi peas, pea sprouts and pickled radishes; and Seared Scallops with a parsnip puree and other wonderful other things on the side -- oh, now I'm remembering, hearts of palm and....watercress? Something like that. Along with a side of creamed corn with watercress and chiles.
Then we had the Roasted Organic Chicken with asparagus, hazelnuts and apricot puree. Also Red Snapper with something lovely, something else and pickled vegetables. The veggies with the snapper weren't exactly my taste, but it was still flawless. I could see how the dish was constructed, and how, were that your thing, it would be your fantasy in sweet/sour snapperdom.
Dessert was the Mascarpone Panna Cotta with vanilla shortbread and tropical fruit; and the White Chocolate-Hazelnut Parfait with macerated raspberries and candied citrus zest. One of the highlights of the evening--not just the food, of course--was the table next to me, wondering aloud to each other what 'macerated' meant. "I think it's like, chewed up," he said to his date.
The space is beautiful; forgive me if I steal from the Times and cut and paste: "Like a bistro with elegant tailoring, it has a low-key glow rather than a high-wattage sheen."
Everything was incredible.