Lobster with caviar, robiolina, and leek mignonette ($19)
Gently cooked lobster, dotted with caviar and arugula, sits in a sweet oniony sauce of leek. Toscano is a big fan of robiolina, the Italian cream cheese both lighter and less sweet than marscapone. It makes a light dip for the lobster almost on its own.
Garganelli with tomato, guanciale, red chile, and tripe ($12)
Folds of sturdy garganelli are dressed in bright tomato with the hint of chile. Guanciale and tripe add variations on slightly funky earthiness. Toscano takes great care to include off cuts in his dishes, but more than anything else he wants diners to eat, and crave, his food. So offal is presented as accessibly as possible. Here, the tripe is cooked in vinegar and vanilla to trade pungent flavors for more palatable ones, then finely ground before getting added to the sauce. If you didn't know to look for it, you wouldn't know it's there.
Agnolotti al Sugo d'Arrosto ($14)
A rich stuffed pasta all about showcasing beef (Pat LaFreida's, of course). Parmesan, escarole, and egg join 14-hour braised beef shoulder in the filling. The beef braising liquid is reduced to a slick, rich sauce.
Seared Foie Gras with crispy pig's tail, cippolini mostarda, and quince ($21)
A hefty slab of foie gras perches over a tiny disk of minced pig's tail, fried crisp. Sweet quince and onion are there to cut through the meatiness. Take a close look at the foie gras and you'll see coarse pyramids of sea salt for balance and texture.
Rabbit with smoked pancetta, Calabrian chile, and fregola ($26)
A whole rabbit without all the bones. Toscano de-bones a rabbit, wraps it around itself, and tightens it with strips of lightly smoked pancetta. A slightly spicy vinaigrette tangles with toasty fregola, adding acidity to the meat. As good a case as any for eating more rabbit.
Executive Chef Michael Toscano
Toscano is one of the most talented cooks to come out of Mario Batali's restaurants. After successful tenures at Babbo and Manzo in Eataly, he's visibly excited to direct his own kitchen.
The oven will soon be firing pizza for lunch and takeout, but will also roast chickens as well as whole lamb and veal heads.
The dining room
You could say Perla's aesthetic theme is quiet, attractive elegance. It's the kind of interior design where you're dying to ask what it cost, but are too busy being impressed with how nice—and not ostentatious—it is.
A fine throne to linger through a three course meal. The plush, luxurious seats make downing a $12 plate of pasta feel like cheating.
A view into the kitchen
A large mirror gives a view to the front of the open kitchen.