Just in time for the holidays, there’s an addition to top restaurants in Coral Gables, that has all the right ingredients – quality products, handsome décor, lovely outdoor dining area, and very good service. When we went I saw good friends dining there who qualify as being picky ex- New Yorkers, and this was their fourth visit in a month. I can see why. In fact, two of the dishes rank among my favorites of the year. It’s Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille at the Village of Merrick Park in Coral Gables.
Perry’s, which just celebrated its 40th anniversary, started as a meat market in Houston. From there it went on to open its first restaurant. Their specialty is their wet aged prime beef prepared on an infrared broiler at 1700 degrees and topped with signature steak butter with fresh herbs and garlic. Judging by the swimmingly fresh sea bass we had, their seafood is also first rate.
It’s steakhouse décor – comfortable, with large tables sporting starched white tablecloths and low lighting. There are several areas – outdoor umbrella covered tables each with a small lamp, bar area with seating at the bar and at high top tables, main dining area, and private rooms. Focal points of the dining area are the wine wall including their special house blends from California and rare vintages, and a contemporary kitchen behind a glass that runs the width of the room.
For starters we had the refined crab cake which totally tasted like crab as it had few fillers. They made us a tasting portion of the sea bass, which as I mentioned, was very fresh and simply prepared, the way I like it. The standout was the Vegan green tartare, a welcome variation from the all too common tuna or salmon tartar ($14). This version was made with zucchini, asparagus, cucumber with avocado pistachio mousse and served with cauliflower tortilla chips. The fresh vegetables were a taste explosion — crunchy, nutty, crisp and flavorful.
Then on to one of their signature dishes, a chateaubriand carved tableside ($49.50). It was very tender, cooked to perfection, and served with truffle Merlot demiglace ,Bearnaise and peppercorn sauces. I wondered why one doesn’t find this cut more often on menus. The other standout was their deservedly famous pork chop ($42). The seven finger high, 36 ounce pork chop from the loin is rubbed with seasoning and cured, then roasted on a rotisserie with pecan wood for four to six hours. Next step, it’s glazed, caramelized, and topped with a signature sauce. It’s then served tableside as three experiences – baby back ribs, center cut loin and the “eyelash”, the most marbled and tender part. OMG, was it delicious.
For dessert, another winner and their signature, the flambeed nutty d’angelo ($11). It’s frozen crushed pecans flamed with brown sugar and brandy, served over vanilla ice cream, dipped in white chocolate and toasted almonds. You have to push your spoon through the outside “crust” to find the ice cream as in a treasure hunt.
Cocktails are $15. A glass of wine starts at $9; bottles at $32.
Perry’s is open for dinner seven days a week and for lunch on Friday when they have Pork Chop Friday – a smaller sized pork chop with applesauce and mashed potatoes ($19) and three course pork chop Sunday dinner for $39 per person plus tip and tax. There’s also a happy hour Mon – Fri. and Sunday from 4 to 10 p.m. with special prices on beverages and bar bites.
Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille, 4251 Salzedo, Coral Gables, T.786-703-9094. There’s valet parking, $10 for the first three hours and $16 after that.