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Perry's, Bistro and Sushi Bar in Adams Morgan


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On Monday, R. and I needed a celebration. "There are oysters in the fridge," I said.

I'd only brought home bivalves once before, mussels then, half of which failed to open after cooking, which is how we discovered I didn't know how to handle them.

"I'll buy you dinner at Cashion's," she said.

We agreed to meet in ten minutes in front of our house.

Eight minutes later, she called back. "It's Monday. Cashion's is closed."

"I bought a nice riesling to go with the oysters," I said.

"How about the roof at the Reef?" she asked.

"We have an oyster knife now," I said.

"Perry's," she suggested.

And so we clambered up the stairs, R. turning her delicate heels sideways to attack the narrow steps. Every neighborhood should have a roof like Perry's: Bright stars (Christmas lights back up the real things); a white-washed bar wrapped around a third of the space, suggesting a cabana but with less skin; tight-shirted boys on dates seated next to Armani-clad European business men; food far beyond the necessary aspirations of a chef blessed with that roof; and girls crying in the restroom.

Three of 'em, to be exact. A new one surfaced on every bathroom visit.

We ordered a bottle of champagne and a plate of sushi. I wanted to save room for oysters afterwards. R. said she wasn't very hungry. The bartender, Jose, tossed much-appreciated ‘dears’ and ‘sweeties’ in our direction as he reached across the narrow bar to spread a crisp white napkin between us and discretely dropped another one on each of our laps. A silver bucket appeared, a wooden platter was whisked into place, and we toasted the night, each other, and Perry’s before we ate.

The sushi was sushi. The loquacious and the connoisseurs amongst you could trot out several hundred words to explain why it was far better than average but far short of first-rate, where the textures played well and where they were off, and the horrendous consequences of our forgetting to order the real wasabi proffered by the menu.

All I can say is the shrimp was sweet, the eel was cool, the tuna was fatty, and we didn't know the name of anything else and there was nobody to explain it to us, but we ate it anyway and were very happy. Behind us, a couple too beautiful for words had just agreed to marry one another. Their friends swirled around them with brightly colored drinks raised in many, many toasts. I needed the restroom.

Down the narrow steps--a trip which might have been better made before two glasses of champagne had worked upon my sense of balance–and behind a hidden door, a woman was sobbing. "Terribly sorry," she sniffed as I washed my hands. "My life has taken such an awful turn."

"Can I get you something, or help you downstairs?" I asked.

She'd been crying for a while--I'd heard the woman before me extend the same offer of assistance--but her eyes were clear. A bit of cold water and some lipstick was all she needed to walk out with her head high enough to get home. No, but thank you, she said, splashing her eyes and wiping her hands down her jeans before taking a deep breath.

I returned upstairs to discuss dessert. We held a detailed debate on the relative merits of gingerbread and sorbet. During the ensuing stalemate, I commented upon the callousness of boys who break up with girls at restaurants. Never, ever, I said. No, never, R. said, and we agreed to share a pecan white chocolate brownie with white chocolate mousse. She ordered something foul and sweet that involved peach schnapps while I drained off the last of the bubbly. The brownie was sweet without taste; the mousse was foamy without chocolate, and R. went to visit the restroom before we left.

Two women crying, she reported upon her return, neither of them the brown-haired, blue-jeaned girl with whom I'd spoken. Behind us, the beautiful people who were going to marry each other were telling stories about their childhoods. Their friends’ drinks had progressed to dark liquors in distinguished glasses. The Armani business crowd had left, as had a large boisterous family that had celebrated a rollicking good time among the quiet date tables for two. The waiters were all hovered around the register staring intently at the screen, and the beautiful night air had turned nippy. I buttoned up my shirt as we paid our bill.

"The oysters could keep until tomorrow night," I said as I took hold of both handrails and hoped I was sober enough to descend.

"I could spend every evening on the roof of Perry's," said R.

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I was going to post about Perry's but I am in such awe of the previous post I can't imagine how anything I'd say wouldn't sound ineloquent and clumsy.

That said, tried Perry's on Sunday night. Palena was closed, and I'm sure the Dino staff are getting right tired of me, so we decided to branch out (and stick to the neighborhood.) We wanted something more interesting than the Diner, less expensive than Grill from Ipanema, less risky than the Indian place, non-Italian, and pretty.

Perry's seemed to fit the bill perfectly. Lovely place, not too full, seated right away. The food was all tasty. It just... I... there wasn't much of it. I liked the taste of the chicken, and it was elegantly presented in a deep bowl with carrots and broccoli, but I kept looking at that $18 plate and thinking how much less I would be paying for more chicken elsewhere. My dining companion said the same about his hanger steak -- nice taste, but not a large serving. The $7 basil mashed potatoes were disappointing, especially, well, for $7.

We ordered sushi and edamame instead of dessert to round out the meal. I might go back for sushi. It's a nice atmosphere and a lovely place. Service was attentive.

I'm usually not so obsessed with prices, but for some reason it just rankled me at every turn at Perry's. Judging from the post above, and the audience the restaurant's elegance is calculated to attract, it may just be that Perry's is more for those to whom price is merely pesky and less food is more.

Jael

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Does anyone know anything about the drag brunch at Perry's on Sundays? There was a little blurb about it in the Post (I think) today in their brunch section, but didn't totally clarify what it consists of... sounds entertaining.

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Does anyone know anything about the drag brunch at Perry's on Sundays?  There was a little blurb about it in the Post (I think) today in their brunch section, but didn't totally clarify what it consists of... sounds entertaining.

Others will definitely know more about the food ... but since I was personally groped

by a drag queen at the Perry's drag brunch (OK, my wife paid to make it happen)...

I'm no expert on the quality of drag entertainment, but it was fun. The music was loud,

the performers wonderfully exotic, the food OK. Definitely a worthwhile experience, for those who enjoy that kind of thing.

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Does anyone know anything about the drag brunch at Perry's on Sundays?  There was a little blurb about it in the Post (I think) today in their brunch section, but didn't totally clarify what it consists of... sounds entertaining.

There is a quite extensive buffet, not at all typical of the regular Perry's menu, although with nothing particularly outstanding or unusual on it. I don't know if it's possible to order off the menu at the brunch. You can really be ripped off by the "Mimosas"--mostly orange juice and little bubbly. Beware of the offers to refill your glass; those things really can increase the tab by magnitudes. :lol:

The "ladies" take turns lip-syncing to recorded tunes and making a circuit of the restaurant. It's traditional to hand out $1 bills, if you are so inclined. The music is generally LOUD, so don't take the 'rents thinking you are going to have a quiet, mildly amusing meal. Rowdiness is apparently the order of the day. And we obeyed orders when we were there. :huh:

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Me again. ;) A friend and I went to Perry's for brunch today and thus I am reporting back.

In short, don't go if you have any expectations at all for food quality, good service, etc. The performances, actually, were pretty stale too (I last went to Perry's for brunch 2-3 years ago and some of the same "talent" performed again today). If, however, you have interest in Perry's drag brunch for a laugh and something different, then give it a try.

The food is a not-huge buffet-style set up. It is not comparable to any of the larger hotels' more upscale brunch buffets, and the food tends to lean more toward lunch than brunch.

Breakfast foods offered today were bacon (fine), sausage (served cold), scrambled eggs (alarmingly powdery/gritty), roasted potatoes (nothing special), eggs Benedict (which looked as if they'd been sitting there for ages) and these crispy, thin waffle-y things (also served cold). Lunch foods I could identify - there are no markers identifying the various dishes and staff members, when queried, had no idea what anything was - were rigatoni in a vodka-like sauce (cold), cassoulet, various cold salad dishes, butternut squash soup (watery as hell), a small selection of sushi, sliced ham and beef, and quite a few other dishes we never were able to identify.

Service was abyssmal. Something as simple as getting a cup of coffee (and making sure it was hot) or a refill of soda seemed to really tax the skills of Perry's staff. They were nice about it, but just about any request seemed to take three tries before it produced a result. <_<

Brunch is $22.95 per person and my receipt doesn't list coffee so I think it's included. Will I return? Oh, HELL NO. I like brunch way too much to waste my time at Perry's.

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A group of four of us went to sit on the rooftop and eat sushi last night. We each ordered a couple of cocktails (the bilinitini to be exact), and they were pretty good. A mix of champagne, peach schnapps, chambord, and something else I can't remember.

We then ordered a mess of sushi including about 6 rolls and two orders of nigiri. Everything tasted pretty good, not as good in my opinion as sushi toro but it was good.

but get this: the tab was over $200 bucks for the four of us! Do they get to charge more simply for the view or what?!!? I couldn't believe it. This was for so-so food, slow service (to defend our server it was only his second day on the job and it was packed) and an order that was screwed up at first and with extra charges for things we did not drink which we had to get fixed before we paid the bill.

In my opinion too expensive for the quality of the food.

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By whom?

It was not in NY, it was a competition in Washington tied to the Cherry Blossom Festival, and Perry's had 2 chefs win:

The 7th Annual National Sushi Society Technical Sushi Competition was held on April 5th @ The National Geographic Museum @ 1145 17th St NW in DC. Our head sushi chef, Noriaki Yasutake won the Creative Sushi Division and will go to London in October to compete in the World Competition. Timothy Lee won the Maki Division and will go to Japan at the beginning of next year (January 2007) to compete in the World Competition for Maki.

Also (to answer an earlier poster), Morou is now the consulting chef at Perry's and has introduced a great new menu, as well as a new Sunday brunch menu. I have a connection to Perry's so this is a totally biased opinion, but I have grown quite fond of the fried rigatoni entree - true comfort food, and the wild mushroom gratinee appetizer.

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Thanks for the update, Lizzie. I've been really curious to pop in and give the place a spin. I think I will...

Tell me, do you think it would be hard for two to get in on a Friday night without a reservation? Someone's flying in in a few weeks around the dinner hour. I'm not sure we'll make it out anywhere, but wanted a neighborhood option we could just drop into on the off-chance the flight is on time. (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA)

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Can a place with these characteristics find an identity?

- hip location, Adams-Morgan, up a flight of stairs, with a beautiful roof deck.

- pretentions of serious sushi

- female impersonators, for weekend entertainment

- what-ever type of food to fill in, where necessary

To me, it looks like an impending disaster, but they have been using this formula for years.

No wonder I don't run a restaurant myself.

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The 7th Annual National Sushi Society Technical Sushi Competition was held on April 5th @ The National Geographic Museum @ 1145 17th St NW in DC. Our head sushi chef, Noriaki Yasutake won the Creative Sushi Division and will go to London in October to compete in the World Competition.

Click here for more information on the National Sushi Society.

And stay tuned for details on this evening's meal at Perry's.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Click here for more information on the National Sushi Society.

And stay tuned for details on this evening's meal at Perry's.

Cheers,

Rocks.

Okay, so I'm three years late. Big deal.

(Actually you can find the details here, and also from a later meal here.)

Perry's has gotten an incredible amount of mileage out of the press for it's "drag brunch," but Sunday night at the bar was just a plain drag. A lifeless bartender took my drink order - for a bottle of beer - and then proceeded to take a phone call and remain on the phone for several minutes - this was at an empty bar, and I was just sitting there, waiting.

To knock down my beer with, I got an order of the classic Spanish tapa (with a typical Perry's-fusion name) Brava Potatoes ($7). The cubed potatoes - sitting in a bowl with a few toothpicks - were freshly fried, but the "spicy tomato" tasted a lot like Old El Paso, and the "aioli" would have made Poivrot Farci's skin crawl. This place was a dead zone Sunday night, as was Adams Morgan in general.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Dear Rocks,

We are very sorry to hear about your less then exciting experience here at Perry’s, however, we are very excited about all the changes underway at the restaurant.

First, we have hired a great new chef, Jose Picazo, from Madrid who brings over 30 years of Spanish cooking experience, 7 of which were spent with Jose Andres at Jaleo. The menu at Perry’s is being changed to new world tapas, because we want to serve our customers something new and inexpensive. As always the ingredients are fresh and everything is made from scratch. We plan no changes in our sushi menu. We have not yet announced publicly our new chef and menu, as we hoped to give him a few weeks to settle into the restaurant and create his new menu.

Second, our roof top is open with a newly completed facelift. We opened the railings and changed the bar and lighting. We expect these renovations to provide a more open feel when dining on the roof.

In the 25 year tradition of Perry’s, we are proud to say that we have always been willing to change to meet the desires of our customers and to keep the experience of dining at Perry’s new and refreshing. It is unfortunate that you had your meal in the early stages of making these changes and we would hope that you come back to give us another look.

Again we apologize for your recent unhappy experience, and will take your remarks into consideration as we continue to implement our new vision. Please call me anytime at the restaurant.

Sincerely,

Saied Azali

Owner

Okay, so I'm three years late. Big deal.

(Actually you can find the details here, and also from a later meal here.)

Perry's has gotten an incredible amount of mileage out of the press for it's "drag brunch," but Sunday night at the bar was just a plain drag. A lifeless bartender took my drink order - for a bottle of beer - and then proceeded to take a phone call and remain on the phone for several minutes - this was at an empty bar, and I was just sitting there, waiting.

To knock down my beer with, I got an order of the classic Spanish tapa (with a typical Perry's-fusion name) Brava Potatoes ($7). The cubed potatoes - sitting in a bowl with a few toothpicks - were freshly fried, but the "spicy tomato" tasted a lot like Old El Paso, and the "aioli" would have made Poivrot Farci's skin crawl. This place was a dead zone Sunday night, as was Adams Morgan in general.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Dear Rocks,

We are very sorry to hear about your less then exciting experience here at Perry’s, however, we are very excited about all the changes underway at the restaurant.

First, we have hired a great new chef, Jose Picazo, from Madrid who brings over 30 years of Spanish cooking experience, 7 of which were spent with Jose Andres at Jaleo. The menu at Perry’s is being changed to new world tapas, because we want to serve our customers something new and inexpensive. As always the ingredients are fresh and everything is made from scratch. We plan no changes in our sushi menu. We have not yet announced publicly our new chef and menu, as we hoped to give him a few weeks to settle into the restaurant and create his new menu.

Second, our roof top is open with a newly completed facelift. We opened the railings and changed the bar and lighting. We expect these renovations to provide a more open feel when dining on the roof.

In the 25 year tradition of Perry’s, we are proud to say that we have always been willing to change to meet the desires of our customers and to keep the experience of dining at Perry’s new and refreshing. It is unfortunate that you had your meal in the early stages of making these changes and we would hope that you come back to give us another look.

Again we apologize for your recent unhappy experience, and will take your remarks into consideration as we continue to implement our new vision. Please call me anytime at the restaurant.

Sincerely,

Saied Azali

Owner

Saied,

First of all, welcome! And thank you very much for joining the website.

I pretty much cringed when you registered because I knew it was probably in response to my post. But here's the full story behind it: I had just had dinner at Cashion's, and decided that as long as I was in Adams Morgan (and had parking!), I'd go for a drink afterwards. I walked by Perry's and remembered that nobody had posted about it in nearly three years, so I went inside with the intention of posting something and bringing this thread back up to the top of page one. The restaurant was dead, but so was Adams Morgan in general - it was Sunday night, and diners and chefs alike were busy doing other things. I ordered something small and "safe," because I really had every desire to write something positive about Perry's - which is a restaurant I've generally enjoyed, and have consistently ranked in the top three in Adams Morgan in the Dining Guide (click), where it remains to this day. Yeah, the saucing in my potatoes was lame, but so what - I was in there for only about twenty minutes, and I thought it was time Perry's got a little more exposure here (even slightly negative posts have a positive impact on a restaurant's business (P.S. Did everyone know that? It's true.)).

So thanks again for signing up, and I very much look forward to returning to Perry's in the near future, and enjoying a full meal at the hand of Chef Picazo.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Hadn't been to Perry's for maybe 10 years or so, but - probably because of the post just before this one - decided to give it a try tonight when looking for an early dinner spot. We enjoyed it, and will go back.

The online menu at http://www.perrysadamsmorgan.com/ suggests that there are big plates in addition to small ones and sushi, but if they were there on the paper menu I didn't see them. Maybe I was being unobservant or bourbon-soaked. But on the other hand there were more small plates in real life than on the online menu.

So we ate small plates and sushi, and enjoyed them. Some really nicely cooked scallops with a pureed romanesco sauce, good risotto, tuna tartar, beet salad etc etc.

And the place is very pretty and comfortable these days, and the staff was nice.

Not mind-blowing, and some portions seemed a little small, but it was certainly a good experience overall. And it only took 10 minutes to find a parking space in Adams Morgan! Sweet.

Bottom line: when I want to go to a bar-like place to eat small plates I'll still be thinking of Bar Pilar first, but when my kid says "let's go to the place that has the sofas and the sushi too" I'll say "ok" sometimes.

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Choose a starter, main entrée and dessert for only $25 not including tax & gratuity - this menu is subject to change

STARTERS

new england seafood chowder salted pork | oyster crackers

baby iceberg salad cabrales spanish blue cheese

egg & tapanade bruschetta hard-boiled egg | olive spread | toasted bread

mini sushi chef’s choice 2 pc nigiri 3 pc maki

baltimore coddie codfish fritters mustard

ENTRÉE

chef’s vegetable platter chef’s choice

sautéed rainbow trout garlic rosemary baked potato wedges | path valley greens

chirashi chef’s choice sashimi | seasoned rice

grilled pork chop cabbage confit | warm potato salad

DESSERT

pecan pie whipped cream

pumpkin pie whipped cream

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We would like to be helpful to you as you prepare for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. So Perrys chefs Mark Furstenberg and Robert Dalliah are offering a wonderful appetizer that requires no more work for you than putting out the beautiful house cured salmon and slicing some bread made by Baguette Republic. And since you have a lot of cooking to do, we'll have wonderful desserts that you can buy to finish your dinners.

We are taking orders now and will continue to do so through Monday, December 20th at 5pm. Orders may be called in at 202.234.6218 or emailed to hello@perrysadamsmorgan.com. We will accept payment when you order and ask that you to pick up your orders on Friday, December 24th between the hours of 9am and 5pm.

Gravlax

Mark’s House Cured Gravlax | House pickled vegetables | Swedish mustard $40/lb

Bread

Parisian Baguette $3.00

Parisian Flute (double baguette) $5.00

Desserts

9” Cranberry Walnut Pie $22.00

8” Pear Tart $20.00

8” Seasonal Fruit Tart $30.00

Homemade Panettone $12.00

Homemade Dresden Stollen $16.00

10” Chocolate Buche de Noel $38.00

10” Vanilla Gran Marnier Buche de Noel $38.00

10 Assorted Sugar Cookies $7.00

5 Gingerman Iced Cookies $15.00

5 Christmas Iced Cookies $15.00

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PERRYS January 4th $25 Tuesday menu

1811 Columbia Rd NW WDC 20009

Each guest may choose one starter, one main entrée and enjoy the selected dessert for only $25 not including tax and gratuity every Tuesday. Please note this menu is subject to change.

STARTERS

sweet & sour cabbage soup sour cream | raisin puree

caesar salad romaine | parmesan reggiano | classic dressing

saba bou sushi house cured saba | ginger | shiso leaf

braised pork belly citrus broth

ENTRÉE

chef’s vegetable platter chef’s choice

unagi don eel in a box | seasoned rice

almond crusted tilapia lemon butter | brussels sprouts

cassoulet white bean stew | duck confit | mutton | sausage | pork

DESSERT

cranberry pudding

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Question about Perry's roof: Is it just restaurant table seating up there, or is there a bar with seats/stools as well? I was just wondering if that would be a viable place to meet for cocktails on a Sunday evening.

Thanks!

There's a sectioned-off bar area, with maybe about a dozen bar stools and room for standing. It's actually, in my opinion, one of the best places around to go for drinks on a nice night, particularly on a Sunday night or early on another night before it gets packed (because it does get packed). I haven't been this spring, so things might have been rejiggered, but that's the way it's been set up for years.

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I've been to the rooftop for drinks (and sometimes snacks) many times, but finally went to the dining room for dinner last night. It was surprising cozy for a cold winter evening - dimly lit chandeliers and a fireplace.

Along with the bread basket to start, they serve some deep-fried spicy chickpeas that I could have eaten as a meal. Delicious. I almost want to buy a deep fryer for my apartment to make these myself.

I had the goat cheese salad to start, and it was the best rendition of this dish that seems to appear on every menu. This is how it's done! Lightly dressed frisee salad with a large goat cheese medallion, charred and crispy on the outside. It was perfect, even my goat-cheese-hating fiance loved it.

Rounded out the meal with the pickling sampler (loved the idea of this, but seemed like an after thought from the kitchen), and vegetable and avocado rolls. Sushi was great -- lots of filling, not a ton of rice.

Fiance had steak frites, and he was even surprised at how perfectly cooked the steak was. The fries were also good - nothing phenomenal, but a good matchup to the steak. He started with the bouillabaisse -- it was a tad too creamy for him, but had a good amount of seafood.

All in all, much better than I expected for a restaurant that mixes sushi with other bistro/American fare -- definitely in the rotation.

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I hadn't been to Perry's for at least a decade until a couple of weeks ago. All I recalled of it was a rather funkily decorated space with not especially memorable food. Coming back to use (another) Google coupon, I was surprised by the makeover: the couches and low tables still hug the windows, but they have a more streamlined look. The bar is a lovely area and strikes me as a nice place for a solo diner. The main dining space is pleasant, but with the rather brightly lit sushi bar off to the side, contrasting with the wooden tables and chairs of the rest of the area (on a green tiled floor), what might have been more clubby took on a slightly diner-ish quality; it's not exactly disjointed, but a bit jarring nonetheless. The food was fine--a good calamari appetizer, bluefish for Bob, a huge pork schnitzel for me, nice wines by the glass--well prepared if not terribly special. With Cashion's and Mintwood Place so close, this is a place that may well get lost in the regular dining mix, but it strikes me as one of the better affordable, nonethnic alternatives in Adams-Morgan. Not worth going out of one's way for, but it seems unlikely to break the bank or disappoint modest expectations.

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