Restaurants & Bars 12

Le Perigord

cabrales | Sep 24, 2003 09:57 AM

Having a penchant for all forms of French cuisine (including classical), I had dinner at Le Perigord recently.

The restaurant has an "every night BYO, no corkage" policy in place through the end of September. In addition, during the same period, there is a $55 champagne menu involving four courses (choice between two items for each course) that is less expensive than the $62 three-course prix fixe menu normally prevailing at the restaurant during dinner. I chose the champagne menu because I am quite intersted in champagne and because one of the restaurant's signature dishes of turbot with a Comte crust was included. The champagne menu does not have to be taken by all diners at a given table. The restaurant did not provide the menu to me until I specifically asked.

I brought a bottle of Jaccques Selosse NV, which of course drank wonderfully.

Service was very French and traditional, in a very positive way from my subjective perspective. Decor is very outdated-looking. Even with the promotional situations, the large dining room had only about seven tables occupied.

(1) Home Made Foie Gras with Champagne Jelly

This was good-plus-plus, for the terrine of foie was laced with celeryroot sections that offered a bit of texture (not, interestingly, dissimilar to solidified goose fat, but cleaner in taste) and that had hints of balsamic-vinegar-based acidity. This went well with the slight bitterness of the cubes of champagne gelee, which were appropriately pronounced. Tiny bit of salad had a bit of acidity from vinegar components as well. Served with toast portions. A dish that pleased me.

(2) Turbot with Comté Crust, Champagne Sauce

Also good. The turbot was appropriately cooked, and had a slight (appropriately) layer of almost bread-crumb like Comte cheese on top of it. Champagne sauce was slightly (appropriately) buttery, and appropriately thin.

A dish I liked. I did not appreciate the dining room team member's initial response that Comte is a cheese when I asked whether Comte millisieme (Comte with a year attached to it) had been utilized in this dish. To rebuff this remark, I asked whether the chef was from the Jura, where both Comte and the vin jaune sauce that was described for another chicken preparation originate (he was, of course).

(3) Braised Free Range Chicken, Morrels with Foie Gras

This was only average, due to the poor intrinsic quality of the flavorless chicken (a common problem in the US). The skin was appropriately slightly crispy, and the chicken was appropriately cooked. But its intrinsic lack of flavor relative to French chicken compromised this dish. Morrels were meaningfully incorporated, with buttery sensations prevalent.

(4) Strawberries

I had chosen Semoule au Champagne with Coulis of Red Currants from the champagne menu, but the restaurant did not have the item and I was offered a selection from the dessert trolley. Various cakes and tarts were available (e.g., lemon tart, non-tart tartin apple tart, raspberry tart), but I chose five strawberries (and avoided the Grand Marnier-laced cream-based sauce). Finished with an expresso, as usual.

Overall check was $140 before tips and after tax; $170 including tip. My champagne menu was $55; my dining companion ordered the regular $62 menu, and had a supplement of $15 for sauteed foie with Meyer lemon and figs (reportedly good). A good deal while the restaurant is offering no corkage BYO all days and while the champagne menu is in place.

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