After my visit to Daniel, I was very excited for Le Perigord. Not because the types of food are the same (Daniel serves modern French food and Le Perigord serves typical classic French food) but because both are considered to be top French restaurants in Manhattan. Le Perigord has been around for 46 years serving generously portioned French food to mainly residents of the Upper East Side and Sutton Place. Le Perigord is a jacket preferred restaurant but don’t let that fool you, the place isn’t pretentious at all. Its meant to be an intimate dining experience that almost makes you feel like you’re at home but your surroundings remind you that you’re in an elegant French restaurant. The service is also very kind and doesn’t give you any attitude what so ever. Maitre D’ Alex Hary is fantastic and is truly great at what he does. Mr. Hary explains, in full detail, what you will be eating and makes the dish sound breath taking. He also does a great job of taking care of everyone in the dining room.
Le Perigord’s food also matches its decor and service. Executive chef Joel Benjamin does a great job of keeping traditional French food alive in Manhattan (especially since the only two places you can get classic French food like this in Manhattan now are Le Perigord and La Grenouille). Surprisingly, the portion sizes at Le Perigord are very generous and one entree is the equivalent of at least two tasting dishes at Daniel. To start I had the Crabmeat Crisp with Fennel Emulsion which was great. Then I was further impressed by the Zuchini Blossom with Black Truffle Sauce. The sauce was fantastic and went very well with the Zuchini Blossom. As an entree we were supposed to have just the Medallions of Veal with Cream Morel Sauce, which was excellent, but chef surprised me with an additional course of Halibut Filet with Fingerling Potato Scales and a Country Mustard Seed Sauce. The Halibut was cooked perfectly and was moist. The mustard seed sauce went well with the fish and I also liked the potatoes on top of the Halibut as well. For dessert I had the Grand Marnier Souffle. This was actually my first Grand Marnier Souffle, I was excited to have one at Daniel but apparently they stopped serving them a while ago. The souffle was perfect in every aspect. The souffle itself was great and the Grand Marnier sauce that was poured into the souffle was excellent. Chef Joel Benjamin is also one of a kind. He knows so much about the business and is full of ideas for Le Perigord. He is starting to implement new dishes on the menu that veer off the path of traditional French food such as the Lobster with Coriander Broth.
My experience at Le Perigord was great. The food is superb and they don’t serve it with that same attitude you get at other French restaurants. Its a restaurant you go to when you want great food and to avoid that seen and be seen atmosphere you get at other places.