Periyali: Pretty classy...FOR A GREEK PLACE mwahaha
Toot toot! The S.S. Bruni is docking at Port Passive Aggressive this week, praising Periyali, the Flatiron Greek stalwart, for being a delicious “yawn,” and giving it 2 stars even though, in his words, “Nothing at Periyali proves hugely intriguing. Nothing wows.” I’m salivating.
“‘I HAVEN'T been here in three years,’ one gentlemen said to another as they passed my table at Periyali the other night.
‘Do you remember what the food was like?’ his companion asked him. I didn't hear the answer.”
This gossip item, about as juicy as a balsa plank on the surface of the sun, and by far the best opening dialogue since Curious George first removed his culottes in front of the children, is Frank’s gumshoe way of saying: Periyali has been around a long time.
During that time, it has remained basically unchanged, wearing a culinary L.L. Bean fleece for 18 years while all the trendoid skanks clamored for J.Lo brand unitards.
At many Manhattan restaurants, “the passage of three years would guarantee a tweaking of the concept, a reshuffle in the kitchen or at least the arrival of a slate of new dishes and an expansion of the spice cabinet to include coriander and cardamom.”
In other words, everything’s gettin’ all GLOBAL n’ stuff.
“Welcome to Le Cirque, may I take your order?”
Periyali, however, has no such pretensions: it is (get ready) “as calm and calming as the Aegean on a windless day.”
Hmm, do you mean, “as unharried as the GDP of Greece itself?” or “as peaceful as a peasant tooth undisturbed by dental care for a lifetime?” Frank’s praise of Periyali starts to remind me of the “Happy Girthday, Fatass” card my brother sent me one year: so thoughtful, yet somehow insulting.
I’m actually going to rephrase the following excerpts as the Count addressing Greece directly.
“When it opened 18 years ago, upscale Greek was an oxymoron, a gyro-defying leap of imagination and faith.”
in the recent past, the idea of anything classy being associated with your people would have literally been a hilarity. Maybe it was because all you made was gyros…
“Greek became something more than leaden spanakopita”
“Greek didn't exactly become the new French, the new Italian, the new anything. It's a cuisine with less variety and ambition than those, rooted in a poorer and less populous country with less vanity about its culinary traditions.”
No but seriously guys. It’s impressive you can even tie your clogs in the morning.
Amazing Brunisms of the Week:
“New Yorkers are currently enjoying an octopus renaissance, an octopus apotheosis, with restaurants as different as BLT Fish and Ama having cinched preparations that render this flesh unusually pliant.”
worship away, kids.
And a Brunism FOR THE AGES:
“Fried rings of calamari...made all those reckless pub versions seem like so many oily bread crumbs with specious claims to maritime paternity.”
Cut to: 10,000 baby squids waving paternity suits around one tiny sailor on Montel.
Too late, guy. Shoulda kept your periscope in the hull, sailor.