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Sometimes you frequent a place and it becomes like a home away from home, with friendly faces who are happy to see you and are genuinely interested in how you are doing.

That’s what Perilla feels like for me.

I hadn’t been for the better part of this year, but today I returned to the restaurant in the West Village of Manhattan.  And it felt like going back home.

I happily anticipated my favorite dish for brunch, the Creamy White Grits.  When I first tried it, I was brunching alone and as I ate I audibly repeated, “mmmm” like a person possessed.  It’s that good.

Along with shrimp, peppers and bites of tasso ham, the grits are normally accompanied by a deep fried poached egg, crunchy and runny all at once – and a must try. The kitchen kindly substituted a perfectly fried egg in its place to accommodate my gluten issues.

It was as delectable as ever.

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Of course, when it’s served up with conversation reminiscent of old friends, food tastes even better.

There’s no place like home.

Perilla, 9 Jones Street, New York, NY 10014; 212.929.6868; perillanyc.com.

Brunch

The only thing I love more than sleeping in on the weekend is venturing out for a delicious brunch.

This morning I visited Blue Ribbon Bakery in the West Village.  I hadn’t eaten there in ages, but it was like visiting an old friend and remembering how much you love her.

This jogged my memory quite vividly.

 

Poached eggs with lemon cayenne hollandaise, over chorizo-onion hash.  The dish is a beautiful balance of textures and tastes: creamy eggs, crispy potatoes, silky and tangy hollandaise, salty and meaty chorizo and buttery onions for a touch of sweetness.

Just writing that makes me want to go back.  Next time, I hope to see you there.

Blue Ribbon Bakery, 35 Downing Street, New York, NY 10014, 212.337.0404

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