Perla NYC Restaurant: New West Village Restaurant from Gabe Stulman
Gabe Stulman is something of a genius when it comes to creating West Village restaurants that combine exciting, excellent food with pretty, convivial surroundings with welcoming, total-pro service. First at Joseph Leonard and across-the-street Jeffrey's Grocery NYC near Sheridan Square, then at Fedora on West 4th Street–and before those at nearby Little Owl with former partner Joey Campanaro–Stulman's restaurants are total crowd-pleasers (albeit with crowds that can afford drop a hundred-plus bucks for dinner for two… these may feel like casual neighborhood spots, but they're not cheap), perfect for all sorts of occasions, and appreciated equally by locals, destination diners, and in-the-know tourists alike.
Perla NYC Restaurant & Chef Michael Toscano's Creations
Now comes Perla restaurant, Gabe Stulman's full-on Italian restaurant–featuring a large selection "of contemporary and traditional" dishes, says the owner–that just opened in the old Belavitae space at the foot of Minetta Lane, and it seems as if the man has another huge hit on his hands. We stopped in to Perla NYC early in the evening this week, before the crowds turned the lovely little space into its nightly party, just to sample of few of the dishes we've been hearing about. While there's a lot more of the Perla NYC menu to explore, even after one visit we can give Stulman's Italian restaurant a totally unqualified "eat here and soon it's awesome" recommendation.
Take the wood-fire-roasted Blue Prawns, for example (just don't take ours!): a trio of plump, sweet crustaceans, complemented perfectly by creamy, citrus-y yogurt and brown butter, served head-on, of course, and it is highly recommend that you eat the whole thing. Yes, including the eyes. A pair of pastas came next–which seemed like a reasonable strategy, given that Perla's chef, Michael Toscano, is a vetaran of two Mario Batali restaurantas, Manzo and Babbo NYC — and both were sublime, with flavors bold and bright. We can tell already that we'll be craving the Tortelli (which is like ravioli) with Asparagus and Ricotta Salata all summer long; and the Garganelli with Tripe, Guanciale (so nice and chewy!), Tomato, and Chili is a marvel of intense tastes and contrasting textures. If we could only order these three dishes from the Perla restaurant menu, we'd be more than satisfied every time. But there's also all those meaty, offal-ish meals to attend to…
Perla West Village Restaurant Details
Gabe Stulman's Perla NYC Italian restaurant is located at 24 Minetta Lane, just east of Sixth Avenue, and is open every day at 4:30 p.m., and until 11:00 on Sunday and Monday, 12:00 midnight on Tuesday and Wednesday, and 1:00 a.m. on Thursday through Saturday. For more information and a look at the complete Perla NYC menu, please see the Perla NYC website, here.