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The Perennial

PHOTOS: Krescent Cassaro

How much do you like the environment?

A) Drive a hummer. Love smog.

B) Not as much as I love my Prada backpack.

C) Don’t wash my car to save water.

D) Card-carrying Greenpeace member with cash to recycle.

If you answered D, get excited.

Now that we know you like to recycle, we have a few more questions: Did your company also just IPO? Do you have tons of cash you're looking to get rid of, but in a sustainable manner? Congratulations. The Perennial was painstakingly built for you.

The Perennial is a big airy restaurant that looks like the Heath Ceramics store, serving delicious small plates and cocktails in the Mid-Market area, all while trying to reverse climate change. How does that manifest in a restaurant? Where do we start? The fish you’re eating are fed composted scraps from the restaurant. The ice cubes are pre-frozen in the glasses to conserve water. The tiles inside the restaurant are from recycled plastic and glass. There are lasers involved in sensing when to blow air and clean the stoves. You get the picture.

The food is great - meats are perfectly executed, they're doing some next-level stuff with vegetables, and the plating is attractive without trying too hard. But the portions are small, so it’s a tough place to envision hitting up often unless you’re so devoted to low-carbon footprint beef that you’re willing to pay more money for less food. The Perennial should probably use smaller plates, because every time an order gets delivered there’s a tinge of disappointment in how small the food looks against the serving dish.

The space is attractive, but it's also massive, such that it can feel like the inside of an upscale design showroom. Not a lot of energy. Maybe they’re conserving it to power the ovens.

With prices at a "special occasion" level (it's tough to spend less than $100 a person), but an atmosphere that’s more "drop in for a Wednesday dinner," The Perennial will be hard for us to justify on a regular basis. But if you care about reducing carbon as much as possible while you eat fancy toast, go for it. You’re a better person than we are.

Food Rundown


Strong across the board. Note: if it’s served with a straw it’s literally MADE OF STRAW, so it’s a little hard to use. We love the Salted Lime Collins and Rust & Char.

Cauliflower Toast

While this may sound boring as hell, it is SO good. The bread is perfect, and the cauliflower and whatever mystery sauce is involved is delightful. Four slivers of toast you’ll be fighting over.

Pumpkin Seed Bisque

Very good soup, deeply flavored and rich. Mini sized. Be warned.

Aquaponic Lettuces

Lettuces cooked in a special organic aquarium setup are not better than other lettuces. Pass.

Crisp and Tender Grains

The best farro risotto you’ll ever eat. Sadly, there are less than eight spoonfuls of this cheesy, mushroom-heavy delight.

Roasted Squash

A few bites of roasted squash with very good mushroom sauce. Unless you have a deep, desperate love affair with squash, you can probably skip this.

McFarland Springs Trout

A beautiful piece of fish that tastes even better than it looks. The two mussels that come with are strong as well.

Pastured Lamb

Saucy and tender and only four bites. We loved this lamb and wanted lots more. We were also very into the romanesco and brussels it’s served on top of.

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