As a chef in Seattle who has made more than my share of Italian/Mediterranean food, I went to La Perla during a recent trip to DC with high hopes. We stayed at The River Inn, about three blocks away and found it the first evening. The location is great and the restaurant is one of the prettiest rooms I've ever seen, anywhere; the very essence if Italian grace and comfort. But the food, while delivered promptly and by excellent servers, was just alright. On a recent visit to St. Louis, we ate on The Hill, in the famous Italian neighborhood that thrives there. The difference between the food there and La Perla was telling. Sauces, the very heart of Italian cuisine, were velvety, vibrant, and perfectly seasoned in St. Louis. At La Perla, they were thin and undistinguished when they should have been creamy and rich, bland and underseasoned when they should have been lively and herbal, and cool when they should have been hot. The main ingredients were fresh and properly cooked and the presentation was nice, if a bit stuffy, but with a cuisine that is so much about seasoning - both herbs and spices - La Perla just doesn't quite deliver. I'm sure they'll get better but right now, buyer beware.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.