Last night, my friend Brad and I ate at Perigee. It was an incredibly fun night, more so because of the company then the food. That's not to say that the meal stunk, because it didn't. It was quite good, but it didn't knock the socks off my ass, like I had wanted or expected it to do.
I really liked the concept of the open kitchen, and we were seated kitchen-side, in fact, right in front of where that guy who isn't Chef Pat Riley is standing in the picture of the dining space to your right. You could see the Chef and his sous working on dishes as you dined, and every time a server would drop off our plates, Chef would come over, stand in front of us, and tell us all about what we were about to eat.
There were a couple of things with the food that didn't make me freak my shit. For a kitchen that has been rated as highly as they have both in the press, in food forums and on other blogs, I think that each element on a plate should be able to stand on its own. When tasted separately, they should shine and be absolutely delicious on their own, and when eaten with the other bits, should send you into a seizure of delight. That didn't happen. And there was too much food all around. We ordered the 5 course tasting menu, which really turns out to be eight or nine, all-in. I don't really know what Brad had, excepting the dishes that I was able to sample off of, but it what I didn't have looked good.
Here's what I out in my belly:
- Amouse Bouche - 4 pieces, shared between the two of us. Nothing memorable enough for me to make mental note of
- Bread Plate - Bread made in restaurant. Slices of country bread, bread sticks and mini buns served with a butter that they churn themselves, an olive spead, and oil for dipping.
- First - Savoury mini bread pudding with pan fried crispy eggplant strips. The bread pudding was lovely though the edges were a little too dry, and the eggplant was great. When eaten together, the flavours of both came together nicely.
- Second - Braised celery root on a bed of something or other. Not as flavourful as I would've liked.
- Third - Grilled avocado on a bed of something or other that had a nice pickle-y-citrus-y flavour, accompanied by mini vegetable tempura. The grilled avocado really was a brilliant idea that I am going to have to steal. The tempura was bland.
- Palate Cleanser - One was a shot of child citrus and vodka, and the other was a spoon of bellini-style ice.
- Fourth - Cabbage roll filled with rice and raisins on a bed of something or other. Being brought up on cabbage rolls as a child, I wasn't expecting it to taste good, but the cabbage leaf was paper thin, and nearly melted on the tongue. That, matched with a well seasoned savoury rice and raisin stuffing made me wish that THOSE were the cabbage rolls that I had been familiar with!
- Pre-desert - Me: a mini banana brulee, but not with banana pieces, with the banana mixed into the creme. Brad: four mini sweet gnocchis in a kiwi reduction. The banana brulee was heavenly, and I want to try to make it myself. The kiwi reduction made the gnocchi.
- Dessert - chocolate mousse rolled in crushed hazelnuts placed on top of a wild raspberry reduction. Brad had a cheese plate instead or dessert, and there were three cheeses - a soft, stinky like a foot goat cheese, a soft cows milk cheese, and a hard goat cheese. The hard goat was my favourite, but a bit more mellow then I like my cheeses. The stinky goat was pretty dirty tasting, but I'm not a fan of stinky cheese in general.
PS: That's right, my ass wears socks.
PSS: Kate, when Brad sends me the pictures he took of me lovely frock, I'll send them to you!