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Perla, Chef Michael Toscano's Pricey-Rustic Italian with Wood-Burning Oven - 24 Minetta Lane in West Village

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24 Minetta Lane

New York, NY 10014



Perla is a small, chef-driven Italian bistro with great food and stellar cocktails. My superior bartender, Brad, told me that he and the chef worked together at Eataly before the chef opened this place. Dinner started with a Tombstone Sunday Nights cocktail ($13), which combines cinnamon-infused buffalo trace bourbon with Amaro Montenegro Bonal Gentiane, chile soy maple syrup, and house-made pepperoni bitters. Spicy, yet subtle, it's a very nice riff on a Manhattan. For my first course, I had the Vitello Tonnoto ($16), thick, pink slices of veal in a nice tuna sauce, with crispy capers and Tokyo turnips. It was slightly salty, but otherwise good. I paired it with a nice glass of Yves Cuilleron, 'Les Vignes D'A Cote' Viognier, 2011 ($16.5). Though it all looked good, I skipped the pasta course and went straight for the Guinea hen ($28), one of the best chicken dishes I've ever had. It was done as crispy-skinned rillettes and came with English peas, trumpet mushrooms, and a silky foie gras sugo. (I want to have this dish for Thanksgiving.) With it, I tried a glass of the Lange Nebbiolo, Roagna, 2005 ($16.5). I was too full for dessert, but the 4 choices and selection of cheeses looked like either would provide a nice end to the meal. Maybe I'll save room next time . . .

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I once got a ticket driving into a parking garage on my phone on W 4th street and 6th Ave right next to the MCDonalds. The cops were standing (ON FOOT) outside the garage giving cell phone while driving tickets. I will always remember that parking garage as being right next door to my best friend's apartment and their charge coming through on my credit card as "Minetta Lane."

F #$%^&*( criminals what they charge :D .

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