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  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out New American West Village Moderate Great

I have a confession to make. I didn’t watch Top Chef Season One. I know I am in the minority, but to tell you the truth, it didn’t really grab me, and while I liked Project Runway (made by the same production company), I just wasn’t all that intrigued by the kitchen antics, nor was Katie Lee Joel someone who was all that interesting to watch. That all changed with Season II. The show found its groove and a much better new host (every one of my male friends is in love with Padma), and now I am completely addicted. And with the Season One/Season Two Smack Down and all the press the show has gotten, I now know who Harold Dieterle is. He’s the guy who won Top Chef, Season One.

With all the craziness of that reality show, I am even more impressed with the restaurant he has created. It could’ve easily been a flashy, over-the-top, showy restaurant without a soul, and instead it is a lovely, civilized, genuine little restaurant with heart. It is a place that feels a lot like the restaurant’s of his mentors Joey “Little Owl” Campanaro and Jimmy “Red Cat” Bradley.

The menu he has created at Perilla, which is named after the Japanese herb also known as the Shiso, is a simple and succinct, also in the style of his mentors. (Harold worked with Joey at The Harrison for three years, and was last his sous chef when he was cast by Bravo.)You’ll find American ingredients cooked simply and correctly, often in the company of Greenmarket accessories (aka seasonal vegetables), and sometimes lavished with a far away ingredient that reflects the mind of a chef who has spent time traveling in Thailand and exploring the world beyond the New York culinary stage. For instance, Peekytoe crab salad comes with avocado, mango and a ginger dressing ($13), a beautiful deck of pork belly is served over pea tendrils, with trumpet mushrooms and golden raisins ($10), even a simple side of faro gets turned into a rave with the addition of artichoke confit and a relish of chili-spiced grapes. Yum! Order an extra portion and bring some Tupperware.

One night at the bar with Heather, we had a couple of glasses of wine (the list, by GM/partner Alicia Nosenzo, is 80 bottles long and includes a few nice halvsies too) and the Taylor Bay Scallops on the half shell with ram ... [more, click below]

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Other restaurants in West Village :
+ Jefferson-- Closed   + La Palapa Rockola   + Sumile   + Babbo   + Tasca   + AOC Bedford   + Home   + The Spotted Pig   + Barbuto   + Numero 26   + Mas   + August   + Alta   + Cru   + Blue Mill Tavern-- Closed   + Employees Only   + Lassi   + Metropol--Closed   + Turks and Frogs   + Bellavitae   + Yumcha-- CLOSED   + Gusto: SEE EARLIER REVIEW; THIS CHEF HAS LEFT GUSTO   + Perry Street   + Home   + Ditch Plains   + The Little Owl   + Cafe Condesa   + Cafe Cluny   + Gusto   + The Waverly Inn   + Morandi   + P*ONG   + Perilla   + Soto   + Market Table   + Centro Vinoteca   + Barfry   + Dell'Anima   + Bar Blanc   + Smith's   + Commerce   + Elettaria   + Bar Q   + Cabrito   + 10 Downing   + Minetta Tavern   + Braeburn   + Scuderia, by guest reviewer Kathleen Squires   + Bar Blanc Bistro by Guest Reviewer Kathleen Squires   + Joseph Leonard   + Bar Henry, by Guest Reviewer Kathleen Squires   + Kin Shop   + Monument Lane   + Wong   + Bin on Bleecker, by Dara Pollak   + Ristorante Rafele   + Cole's Greenwich Village by Guest Reviewer Claire Jaffe   

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