The Pierre, A Taj Hotel, NYC

To describe Perrine in a few words is too difficult; suffice it to say that the restaurant sets a high standard for great service and features a variety of flavours that are absolutely divine! It offers a remarkable reinterpre­tation of the French American classics with adaptations of Indian elements. The Perrine is located at The Pierre, a Taj Hotel on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, just across the street from Central Park. The Pierre and Perrine are two of New York’s precious gems, offering residents and tourists alike a subtle and elegant dining experience.

Despite being a French American restaurant, Perrine significantly infuses Indian elements into a multicultural palette. I asked Executive Chef Ashfer Biju what he thinks are the historical roots of Perrine’s dishes, and he explained, “We had five specialty Indian chefs who prepared fine Indian cuisine and served it from a gueridon-style cart. Today, our chefs interpret these classics and make them relevant to modern dining”.

Upon arrival at the Pierre, the maître d’ set us down at our table. From a fabulous array of wines, cocktails, and mocktails, I chose their green apple juice to go along with my food. Chef Biju kindly introduced himself and helped us understand what Perrine is all about. He then arranged an array of signature appetizers that were finely presented to get us started.

There were three beautiful dishes that set the tone for Perrine. Among them, the Malabar Shrimp Curry was quite notable. The combination of crunchy prawns and the Kerala-based semi-spicy coconut curry creates a wonderful impact on any palate. A truly breath-taking item is their sea bass, served with a combination of bouillabaisse inspired broth and a spicy tomato chutney. It’s an iconic dish, as the chutney bursts in your mouth and compliments the subtle profile of the fish.  Finally, the Warm Chocolate Fudge Cake with Cheesecake Ice Cream was a delight to my taste buds. The rich chocolate and subtle but lip-smacking creamy cheesecake ice cream was truly like a mouthful of joy.

Perrine surpass­es all expectations when it comes to re-defining a cuisine with Indian elements. It’s highly recom­mended for any foodie looking to experience something uniquely fresh and innovative!   - Rahim A. Latif