Dinner at Perilla

I’m currently in New York City for the Web 2.0 Expo and Alli joined me so she could see some of the city with Rachel and we could hang out at night.

Tonight was our big date night in the city. We had tickets to see Complexions Modern Ballet at the Joyce Theater (which was amazing), but before the performance, we had one of the greatest meals I have ever eaten.

I was a fan of Harold Dieterle’s as soon as I saw him on Season One of Top Chef [proof 1 2 3]. In fact, I even put “eat at Harold’s restaurant Perilla” on a bucket list I made in May of this year.

Tonight, I actually got to check that off tonight.

Perilla NYC Meal

What you’re seeing in this picture is the tasting of Colorado lamb, my entree at Perilla.

I started with the Crispy Calimary & Watercress salad. It had mint and pecans and a chili-lime vinaigrette. Alli started with the Baby Red Romaine salad, which had bartlett pears, stilton cheese and spicy pecan vinaigrette. I tried both. They were so balanced and amazing (you’ll see a theme begin to develop).

For the main course, I had the lamb trio — grilled rack, crispy braised belly, homemade cheese & parsley sausage. Alli had their Red Kuri Squash Agnolotti with chanterelles, grilled halloumi & brown butter-hazelnut sauce. We also got the Farro Risotto on the side to share. We followed it up with a piece of the pumpkin pecan pie with caramel sauce and pumpkin ice cream.

Perilla NYC Meal

Perilla NYC Meal

I don’t think that we could have made a bad decision. Frankly, I’m fairly certain that everything on the menu is phenomenal because everything that we had far exceeded my high expectations. Our service was exceptional. The decor is appropriate. The music…well, I don’t know who makes their playlists, but it might as well have been me.

One more thing: at the end of our meal, I told our server to please give our compliments to the chef and that I was a huge fan of everything. She said, “Well, he’s here, would you like to say hello?”

Um…YES PLEASE.

I thought that she was going to bring Harold out to the table…no, she came back and waved to us, signaling us to come with her and we followed her back into the kitchen where I got to shake Harold’s hand and thank him personally for the meal. I admit that I was a bit starstruck, but who cares? It was awesome.

I can’t state this too strongly: our meal was legendary. It’s been 4 hours since it ended and I’m still thinking about it. Thank you so much to Harold and the entire Perilla staff for making our dinner very special. It far exceeded my experience at Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill. Oh, I didn’t tell you about that?

Mesa Grill

All in due time…

Church Basement Ladies 2

We went and checked out Greg Brady…errrr…Barry Williams in the New Theatre Restaurant presentation of the Church Basement Ladies 2.

Having not seen the first one, I didn’t know what to expect.

It was funny, completely owned by Janet Paone, who originated the role and played Vivian Snustad, the uptight Lutheran matriarch of the kitchen.

The food at the New Theatre is edible, but extremely beige. It’s buffet food, so…well…I don’t really need to say anything else about that. The service is very good.

As far as value for entertainment goes, it’s a very nice evening out.

Rob Bell’s Drops Like Stars

I Know How You Feel

Alli and I had the great opportunity to go see Rob Bell’s “Drops Like Stars” tour at the Uptown Theater tonight.

I’ve talked about Rob Bell on this blog before. Read my post from last week, Rob Bell vs. Joel Osteen, and my review of Velvet Elvis if you want a bit of a primer.

Bell’s “Drops Like Stars” tour is basically a two-hour multimedia sermon focusing mostly on the concept of suffering.

Suffering connects us in a way that health and wealth and money cannot.

His two-hour presentation covers four major issues:

  1. The Art of Disruption, or how we are very good at making plans on how our life is supposed to go, but never does.
  2. The Art of Honesty, or how pain has a knack for bringing out our truest selves.
  3. The Art of Elimination, or what can you let go of?
  4. The Art of Possession, which is not the same thing as ownership.

Rob Bell's Drops Like Stars

I loved every moment and every lesson and every story of his talk. Bell’s message is on point. His delivery is conversational. He’s funny. He understands people.

One of his true gifts is his ability to teach and present. He engages the audience in so many ways, not just through his content (although that is a wonderful start), he does so through his rhythm and timing, through his body language, through the tone of his voice. He is so amazingly talented, not just in his interpretation of scripture and spirituality, but also in engaging his audience in the challenge of his words.

Bell is phenomenal at what he does, whether it be teaching sermons at his home congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, or writing books like Velvet Elvis and Jesus Wants to Save Christians, or touring different cities and helping people to come to comprehend the purpose of suffering as he does on the Drops Like Stars tour or just inspiring regular folks like me.

If you’re the least bit interested in anything I’ve had to say about him, next time Bell is in Kansas City, I highly suggest going to check him out. You won’t be disappointed. And I will most certainly be there.

Thanks, Rob.