Top Cuisine for Manhattan Foodies: Perla

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Forget everything you read about Perla a few years ago. This establishment has changed completely. Now, it’s the casual neighborhood restaurant it always should have been. Perla boasts a new chef, a new menu, and a new look. And, already, this recently reopened restaurant is turning heads. It’s a simpler dining experience with seasonal menus that cling gingerly to the rustic Italian roots of this establishment.

Embracing Changes while Hugging Rustic Roots

When a restaurant has a Creative Director listed on their team page, you expect everything to be in the right place. And it is. The wooden floors offer Perla a pastoral character. Mixed with leather booths and brick accent walls, the atmosphere would almost feel dressed down if it weren’t for the carefully curated hanging prints. Perla is casual, but not ordinary.

The new edition of Perla fits better into its group of sister restaurants. As part of the Happy Cooking Hospitality cluster, this restaurant shares a management team with the likes of Montmartre and Fedora.

The previous incarnation of Perla revolved around the culinary creations of the then head chef, Michael Toscano. His beautifully crafted Italian food earned a great deal of respect in reviews though the restaurant never really felt complete.

That’s changed with the promotion of former Chef de Cuisine, Jack Harris to Executive Chef. His menu is simpler, though it still revolves around classic flavors and seasonal produce. The pasta remains in tune with the roots of the restaurant, but there are several items that clearly break the mold.  The dessert menu features a few dolci and formaggi, but you might just want to round your meal with a liquid sweet treat. There are plenty of dessert drinks to tempt.

Perla only reopened with this menu in July with a promise of new offerings every couple of months.

A Potential Award Winner

The serving team is also a great deal more casual though they don’t seem to have upset any of the diners that have taken to review platforms to share their experiences at the new Perla. And they have raved, commenting on everything from the owner’s love of food to the expert presentation of meals.

That’s important for a restaurant like Perla. It’s not a Michelin restaurant that can survive on awards alone. Old reviews from the New York Times and NY Magazine will need updating based on the changes to the establishment – and they’re certain to glow along with public sentiment.

What You Need to Know

Reservations open two weeks in advance. It’s not the largest restaurant, so you will need to be quick on the draw when you’re ready to book. Perla uses Resy as its reservation software, and there is a link on their website. Fortunately, Perla is open for dinner every night of the week.

Diners interested in a private experience will need to move along unless they’re prepared to book the entire space. You’ll find Perla at 24 Minetta Lane in Greenwich Village, but if you’re desperate to speak to someone, you can call (212) 933-1824.


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