Last night my girlfriend and I went to the new-ish location of Perdix on Tremont. We always loved that recessed spot where Truc was, but never got a chance to dine there. We weren't even sure where we would eat after we finally found parking, but the minute we saw "Butternut Squash Soup with Chestnut Puree" on the menu, we didn't bother to look anywhere else.
Said girlfriend didn't hesitate to start with the soup, and she encouraged me to try a squid arrabiata appetizer. The soup was a little tepid (I think it was held up by the squid, which took a while but was veryhot upon arrival), but very good if you like your squash soups sweet, with a hint of cinnamon and winter flavor. The squid was utterly daunting -- an enormous bowl of sauteed squid swimming in a spicy tomato broth. It was quite yummy, though, and the accompanying garlic croutes were especially good with the broth. I think the portion size was too large simply because it was a special.
It's weird that as many great restaurants as I've been to, I've never actually been attracted to every single main course -- but at Perdix, everything from the roast chicken to the scallop risotto looked delectable. I ended up going for a filet of sole over fingerling potatoes, garnished with a "tomato jam." While the fish was very fresh and yummy, I was underwhelmed by my sides and garnish. To the contrary, my girlfriend tried the trout special, which was creatively accompanied by black-eyed peas with ham and a melon-almond salsa, which had just the right jalapeno-spiciness to work with the peas. I ended up gobbling up most of hers by the end of the night, and she generally enjoyed but was underwhelmed by both dishes.
We were both too full for dessert because the baguette that started the meal was so delicious, so we had them refill the basket twice. We did get a bottle of wine, though. With no bottles really under $25, we tried the cheapest red, a Ganache from Spain called Etim, at $27. Despite buying the cheapest and of course the red-with-fish problem, the wine was really great! Drinkable and sweet enough to enjoy while we waited for the squid, but complex and light enough to enhance all of our seafood dishes. I'm definitely going to look for it at my liquor store.
Service was very respectful and knowledgable, but it felt like they needed one more person -- we waited just a little too long for each course, and the staff seemed a little stressed by the time we were leaving. Perhaps they didn't expect the room to fill on a wintry Tuesday night, but it certainly did by 8pm.
Highly recommended. Very reasonably priced for the South End location and the quality of the food and preparation. Perdix may have "upgraded" to the South End, but it's retained its JP charm and price-tag... :)
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