Restaurants & Bars

Boston Area

Perdix, South End, Boston

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Restaurants & Bars

Perdix, South End, Boston

Limster | Sep 3, 2003 12:22 AM

If the sky blule walls at Truc reflected the airy qualities of Phil Wang's bright, clever cooking, then the earth tones at the spiffed up space that is now Perdix is an accurate mirror of Tim Partridge's down-to-earth approach.

The savoury courses rely on good execution ratyher than innovation to impress. Dishes are all essentially tried and true flavour combinations (I've tasted very similar dishes elsewhere a couple of times). Nothing innovative, but that's clearly not the point. Bite sized chunks of red and golden beets are demurely sweet and get a sharp coat of light acidic vinaigrette and a substantial smoky meat richness from bits of bacon. The texture of the beets varied a little, seemingly of uneven cooking -- some were soft, others moderate, one or two pieces faintly harder than optimal. Nothing fatal, and did not distract from the enjoyment of the dish.

In contrast, the cod is impeccably cooked. The top pan-fried surfaces are crispy with good tasty caramelization and the fish is firm, pure and moist. Ripe pieces of tomato bring a sweet bright tang alongside the fish, chorizo slices add a meaty depth and potato provide a certain charming simplicity. The mildly briny clams were merely satisfactory, two of four were very gritty and sandy. Very pleasant tomato broth, slightly sour with tomato and wafting with rosemary and perhap fennel. A great dish for opening up that glass of Cote du Rhone, melting away the tannins to reveal a slightly spicy but smooth, gently sweet fruit.

I could see them channeling Oleana at dessert time. The coconut soup is beautiful, a mellow sort of richness, paired lovingly with tiny cubes of mango and truly desirable halves of soft crunchy macadamia nuts. In the centre are chestnut sized balls of good mango sorbet, rolled in unfortunately coarse and strawy coconut shreds (Not a big deal at all, but I've been spoilt by delicate fragrant snow-like wisps of coconut in the sweet Nyoya kuehs back home). It's a very well conceived dessert, whatever way one looks at it.

On the whole, a dinner I was very glad to have, the blemishes minor and forgivable, the heights rather commendable. Would very likely try them again.

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