Pawleys Island eatery serves up big tastes in a memorable menu
I read all the shout-outs from Perrone’s itself: “World cuisine with a Mediterranean focus. … Our menu is always a work in progress. … Creating one of the area’s most unique, exciting and delicious food experiences. … Perrone’s, not the same old, same old.”
But from my first-hand dining experience, this is all you really need to know: Perrone’s is worth shouting about!
As a matter of fact, I have to give an “Amen” to my filet mignon.
The upper choice Creekstone Farms black angus cut is seared in cast iron to a perfect medium rare (by the way, due to Perrone’s cooking style and select meats, having it medium through well-done is not an option), blanketed by chunks of buttermilk bleu cheese and wading in a port and raspberry veal demi-glace.
If you have ever wondered if an all-natural diet and no antibiotics or growth hormones makes a difference in the taste of beef, here’s your definitive proof. Perrone’s filet was probably the most flavorful and tender I’ve ever had anywhere.
The accompanying Yukon potato mash folded into sun-dried tomato and Parmigiano-Reggiano was world class. Rounding out the plate were crispy shallot rings, grilled asparagus and a sprinkling of smoked sea salt.
It was hard to watch, but the half-rack of lamb nearly brought my husband to his knees as he savored each chop right down to the bone. Marinated in garlic, molasses, orange zest, fresh mint, toasted fennel and an aged sherry vinegar, the meat is prepared sous vide to medium rareness.
And then there was the side to the lamb—duck-fat-fried warm Yukon potato salad prepared with fresh grilled corn, green onions, piquillo pepper and a smoked paprika aioli. Believe me, the mixture of flavors and textures forced a reverent moment of silence with every bite.
The love put into these dishes alone was worth every cent of the $26 price.
Perrone’s menu is not a large one, but they hone in on every dish to make it memorable. For starters, we shared Perrone’s unique Italian fondue, served in a ceramic pot—a warm gooey dip of fontal cheese, white wine, garlic, fresh rosemary and thyme, the olive oil a slick way to keep the cheese from coagulating.
Other not-often-seen appetizers that piqued our interest were the octopus Carpaccio and steak tartare that called for the yolk of a quail egg.
Perrone’s small plates pack a tasty wallop and only “small” down the protein portion of each dish.
From the vantage point of our table, I saw a multitude of small plates being served. Included in that genre of the menu is a scallop soufflé; a 4-ounce swordfish marinated in junmai sake, mirin and miso; a crab cake with butternut squash puree; 96-hour Asian short ribs with mushroom polenta and flash-fried carrots; and a Moroccan poussin aromatic with spices and served with pearl couscous, dried apricots and green olives.
With a state-of-the-art nitrogen system, Perrone’s pours more than 25 wines by the glass, but the lineup of craft beer is heaven on Earth for bier meisters.
With more than 50 brews to choose from, Perrone’s offers a listing of pilsner, wheat and white beer, IPA, ale, brown ale, barleywine-style ale, stout, herbed and spiced beer, Belgian, Belgian sour, Trappist ale, selections from Germany and England, beer hybrids and wood barrel-aged. The “Around the World” beers include Blanche de Meteor from France, Modelo Especial of Mexico and Sapporo Reserve from Japan.
Now for dessert (or “Happy Endings” as Perrone’s menu bills it), expect a global approach.
If you prefer to drink your dessert, digestifs like German Underberg or Italian Meletti are here for the asking, as are special cognacs like Remy Martin 1738. Then there’s a listing of single-malt scotch, small batch and single-barrel bourbon, port, sherry, cordials, dessert wine and after-dinner beers from the United States and Belgium.
For a complete sweet surprise, Perrone’s serves affogato, a vanilla gelato drowned in a concentrated shot of espresso; the Aztec crème brulee of chocolate, ancho chili, cayenne and cinnamon; and the bomba de chocolate (chocolate bomb), a Spanish-inspired dessert that pairs a fig bon bon with a glass of 15-year-old sherry.
If you want to take your palate around the world in one meal, Perrone’s delivers with panache and masterful cookery.
My personal shout-out for Perrone’s: You’re making manna!
13302 Ocean Highway Suite A Pawleys Island, SC 29585
Open 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5:30–10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday