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Everything posted by ellenost

  1. Yes, you simply "show up", and there should be seating available. You don't need to call ahead to reserve. There are a few separate seating areas (sofa with table) as well as a long communal table. I returned to Per Se two weeks ago for my birthday dinner, and noted people eating dinner at both the communal table and the individual sofas/tables. Dining at the Salon at Per Se was wonderful for a spontaneous dinner at one of the best restaurants in NYC. I've been noticing that Per Se posts their dinner menus (including the Salon menu) at about 5:30, and since it's about a 10 - 15 minute walk from my office, I think I'll be dining in the Salon more frequently as a spur of the moment treat.
  2. Finally had dinner at Per Se's Salon. The weather was very "iffy", and I knew if I went home and it was raining, I'd never go to the gym. Since my office moved a bit further west, the walk to Per Se is about 10 minutes, and since it was barely drizzling, I decided to finally try the Salon menu at Per Se since I had just checked their website, and they had posted the evening's menus which included 2 of my favorites: the calotte de boeuf and lobster. I arrived at Per Se at about 6:00 (the table in front of the window was already occupied so if one does want that table, one should plan to get to the restaurant very early. I was seated at the table next to it. The sofa is very comfortable, and the table height was perfect for me. Service was very attentive and friendly throughout the 2 hour dinner. Courses were well spaced, and my water glass was always being refilled without asking. Finished dishes were cleared promptly. Napkin was refolded when I left the table. Same level of service as in the dining room. I started with a "mocktail" of grapefruit juice, ginger, lemongrass and tonic water that was lovely. I was served 2 gougeres, and the cornet of salmon roe and creme fraiche. Not only did I have a choice of breads (4 or 5 choices with 4 pieces of each type), but my server left the bread basket on the table. Had two of the pretzel breads--delicious! I asked whether there was any limit on the number of courses one could order, and the waiter said there is no limit. In addition to the calotte de boeuf and lobster, I ordered the foie gras torchon and the angolotti. All were excellent, and very filling. The interesting thing was that lobster was not on the regular menu last night, so I was extremely lucky. The full description of the dishes are: 1) "Gateau" of Hudson Valley Moulard Duck Foie Gras with demi-sec Mission Figs, Hazelnut Puree, Red Onion Rings, Frisee Lettuce and Sherry Reduction. ($40) 2) Mascarpone Enriched Yukon Gold Potato "Agnolotti" with Brentwood Corn, Pickled Pearl Onions and Smoked Ricotta "Vichyssoise". ($32) 3) Butter Poached Nova Scotia Lobster with "Oeuf Frit et Garniture a la Blanquette". ($40) 4) Charcoal Grilled Snake River Farms' "Calotte de Boeuf" with "Pruneaux d'Agen," Roasted Sunchokes, Wilted Arrowleaf Spinach, Sweet Carrots and Smoked Foie Gras-Madeira Emulsion. ($46) (this is still my favorite beef dish) When the foie gras was served, my server originally brought only 2 types of salt, but when I joked that I wasn't getting the usual 6 types of salt, she quickly brought over the usual 6 salt dispenser, and removed the original 2 salts without any hesitation. My warm brioche was replenished 2 additional times while I was eating my foie gras (I hadn't finished the ones of my plate, but this is Per Se, they wanted me to have warm brioche throughout the course--very nice touch!). After my savory courses, I ordered the "coffee and doughnuts" ($18), and also received a tray of mignardises, and a tin of 3 chocolate cream filled shortbread cookies to take home (just remembered they're in my tote bag--nice snack when I have my coffee later). Bottom line: for anyone who either doesn't have the time for the full dinner, is unable to get a reservation, wants to dine at Per Se at the last minute, or doesn't want a full 9 course tasting menu, the Salon at Per Se is a spectacular way of enjoying Per Se. Definitely plan to return to the Salon at Per Se!
  3. ellenost

    Jungsik -

    I've been to Jungsik and think it is excellent. Jungsik receives a lot of love from the Chowhound Manhattan board.
  4. I was at Le Cirque in Las Vegas in May--the highlight of the trip. Never been to the New York Le Cirque, but the Las Vegas branch is exceptional. In fact, the only other restaurant in Las Vegas in the same class is Robuchon. Le Cirque Las Vegas beats Guy Savoy, Twist, Mix and every other dining room hands down. Agree with you 1000% that Le Cirque LV beats Guy Savoy and Twist. Haven't been to Mix yet. Based on my most recent visits to Le Cirque and Robuchon (March 2012), I think I even prefer Le Cirque to Robuchon for convenience since I stay at the Bellagio, and cost. My beef course at Robuchon, while lovely to view, was too chewy to be enjoyable. Heard Le Cirque LV has brought back Kobe, so I'll definitely try the Le Cirque been dish next time I visit LV (which may be sooner than I had originally planned ;-)).
  5. I had a RW dinner back in January that was a major improvement from my previous meals at Le Cirque (the food was "good" and service was attentive. The sad part is that the Le Cirque in Las Vegas is wonderful! Gregory Pugin who was the former chef at Veritas in now out in Las Vegas; the food is wonderful (had a recent dinner at Le Cirque LV in mid-March). Service in LV is friendly and attentive. Sounds like Le Cirque NYC should take lessons from Le Cirque LV.
  6. I've never found the service at Ko to be anything less than friendly and polite. Last month when I had my dinner at Ko I found the chefs very chatty with all of the guests (even the first timers).
  7. I haven't dined at Corton in about a year and a half. Tonight's dinner was so great that I may become a "regular". Service was friendly and attentive. Bread choices (8 of them) were excellent. Two choices of butter: sweet and a delicious seaweed flavored butter. Both butters were replenished without request. We had the 7 course Summer Tasting menu for $115. Even though when I called the restaurant to ask whether the menu posted on their website was current, the person to whom I spoke said the on-line menu is merely representative, the actual menu matched the on-line menu. Thank goodness since the on-line menu sounded delicious, and it was! We asked to substitute the maple dessert from the 12 course tasting for the listed chocolate dessert since maple is one of my favorite flavors. I loved all of the courses. The only sad part was that there were only 4 tables occupied during our early dinner from 6 - 8. Hope it filled in later. One point to note: Corton imposes a $50 per person cancellation charge for weekend reservations cancelled with less than 48 hours notice. Maybe that is keeping some people away. Maybe the threat of bad storms kept people away, but we lucked out with surprising sunshine! Nice touch is that our captain left a copy of the menu on our table. At the bottom of the menu was a nice note: "Please feel free to take this card home with you"--no need to take notes during dinner. Nice selection of amuses and mignardises. Also a small take home gift. No problem making nice menu adjustments for my sister's "no pork" restriction.
  8. Last night's dinner was exquisite! I haven't posted a review of Ko in a while, so it's about time for an update. Creative and delicious--always a winning combination. Service was top notch. Chefs were very friendly to all of the guests. Most of the dishes have been changed since my last visit. Here's what was on last night's menu: 1) amuses: oyster with apple seaweed vinegar; chicharron with togarashi salt; chicken soup with dumpling. 2) scallops with spicy whipped buttermilk and poppyseeds. 3) Beef carpaccio with arugula, black puffed rice, strawberries, feta cheese and olive powder. 4) smoked red pepper soup with langoustine, orange gels, toastedbrioche. 5) smoked egg with hackleback caviar, onion soubise and fingerling potato chips. Side car of potato bread muffin. Brilliant dish made even better! 6) walnut agnolotti with fried sweetbreads, lobster mushroom, picked cherries, basil. I don't even like sweetbreads, and this was delicious! 7) halibut with corn tempura and corn puree. 8) shaved frozen foie gras with lychee, Riesling gelee and pinenut brittle. 9) deep fried short rib with peaches and onions. This was even a better version that in the past. 10) buttermilk ice cream with carrot cake and rye crumble. 11) honey sorbet with lemon thyme foam, bee pollen and milk crumble. Special thanks and farewell to Richard and Jonathan; best wishes to you both! Definitely need to return to Ko more often! After four years, Ko is still at the top of its game! P.S. Every meal I've had at Ko has always been superb, but last night was especially superb! BTW, for the person who has posted that all of my reviews of Ko sound like "revelations", you're absolutely right. I am always amazed at how fantastic the food is at Ko, and I shake my head in amazement and sadness for those who don't/can't/won't appreciate it.
  9. ellenost

    Per Se

    The same. There were no additional charges for foie gras or the black truffles. If you like beef, I highly recommend making a special request for the calotte de boeuf--it was spectacular in flavor and tenderness.
  10. ellenost

    Per Se

    How much are they charging? My group paid $500 per person.
  11. ellenost

    Per Se

    The extended tasting menu is available at dinner too, but I would advise getting an early reservation since my extended tasting menu last over 5 1/2 hours! It was one of the best meals ever!
  12. Had to cancel my reservation (darn!). Look forward to returning to Ko for dinner later in the summer.
  13. ellenost

    Per Se

    5:30 is the only time I could get, as well. Is there any possible downside to this I'm not aware of? Other than eating an early dinner (which I do almost regularly, anyhow). I've always had either a 5:30 or 5:45 reservation at Per Se (except for the extended tasting menu that I had at 11:30 a.m.). I've never felt rushed, and the dinner takes at least 3 hours. IMO, I don't believe there to be any downside to the early dinner reservation at Per Se.
  14. Decided to make another reservation for dinner. I know it will be as wonderful as always!
  15. Thanks for your report about the menu. Unfortunately, other than the amuses and the crawfish, the menu is very similar to my dinner of two months ago. I was toying with trying to get a reservation in the next week or two, but I think I'll wait a while longer to hopefully see more changes to the menu.
  16. ellenost

    Per Se

    Did you still have to pay extra for the supplements? That put me off doing the extended tasting, but I'm guessing so given that you can sometimes hit $500 on the normal menu! There were no supplements that we had to pay for. We had a dish with shaved black truffles that had more black truffles than the dish on which it was being shaved. No supplement for the foie gras dishes either. To me the extended tasting menu is better value for 20 courses with no supplements than the $295 for 9 courses with supplements.
  17. ellenost

    Per Se

    I was lucky enough to experience the Extended Tasting Menu at lunch about 6 weeks ago, and it was brilliant! Lunch started at 11:30 and ended after 5:00 (no dinner was needed that evening). There were more than 20 courses, and for some of the courses, 2 of us received one dish, and 2 of us received another dish so we exchanged plates. Service couldn't have been better. Cost was $500 per person.
  18. Congratulations on your 50th/60th visit to Ko! I believe I have only 39 visits--quite a way to go to reach your milestone! I had dinner last night at Ko. All of the same dishes except the amuses. The amuses you had sound better than mine: chicharron (same as always); fennel bread pudding; fried shrimp head; salsify cube with (I believe) chanterelle sauce. Agree about the trout--it was delicious (and I usually don't like trout). Chef Mitch said they're bringing back the skate dish. Glad I was able to have the trout. I loved the 2 desserts, especially the coconut custard! Chef Mitch said he'll be leaving in April/May to join Chef Sam open up Momofuku Toronto. I'll need to schedule a trip to Toronto to visit them. Thanks for the wonderful news about Chef Sean; I'll congratulate him next time.
  19. My favorite tasting menus are: Per Se, Eleven Madison Park, Bouley, Momofuku Ko, and Picholine.
  20. When I had lunch at Ko in September, I had (I believe) white miso ice cream in the cone. They may have changed it since. Great report (as always).
  21. Ko currently does only one wine pairing for $95. A few years ago they did have 3 different price points. I did the middle price point for my very first dinner at Ko, and while the pairings were excellent, I found the pours too generous.
  22. The egg has almost a foam/cream like consistency. It's quite good, but not as delicious as the soft cooked egg with onion soubise, hackleback caviar and fingerling potato chips that is served only at dinner.
  23. ellenost

    má pêche

    Funny how we have such different tastes; I had two dinners at Ma Peche two weeks ago, and the first was so delicious, that my sister begged me to return with her for an encore (she wasn't with me for the first dinner, and was so jealous when I told her about what she had missed). I loved the peas soup with the shrimp, and I usually don't like pea soup at all. My sister adored the veal with polenta and mushrooms. We both loved the foie gras torchon which is sadly no longer on the menu. We also both loved the corn. The big hit was the chocolate dessert. When my sister first looked at it, she said she was too full. I told her to try it anyway. Bottom line: she put her arm around the chocolate dessert, and barely let me have a spoonful. Thank goodness I had eaten this fantastic dessert the previous night. Unfortunately, my sister doesn't eat pork, because I've been dying to try the sliced pork chop since it looks so yummy and it looks too plentiful for only me. Maybe I'll just have to have it myself with plenty of leftovers!
  24. Wanted to report back about the wonderful whole rotisserie duck at Ssam Bar that I had Friday night. What a spectacular meal! Perfect number of people is 4 - 6. There was only 2 of us, and we looked at the roasting pan filled with a ton of the most beautifully cooked sliced roast duck breast, several more slices of duck skin with what I think may have been thigh meat cooked confit, rice, greens, half dozen scallion pancakes, a head of lettuce, sirracha, hoisin and (my personal favorite) liquid duck fat with ginger and scallions. The duck itself was perfectly rosy with very little fat and crispy skin. This duck completely blows all other duck meals that I've had recently completely out of the water! Accompanying the duck were two side dishes of our choosing. I selected the broccoli with fish sauce and the spicy potatoes. I loved both of them. We got about half way through, and I have to admit that even though I have no trouble finishing the 16 course lunch at Ko, I have never been so full as eating 1/4 of the duck dinner. The staff at Ssam Bar told us we did better than most in getting through the duck (I think they didn't want us to feel bad about only getting through half). The staff packed up everything in these great leak-proof containers. My sister and I had yummy leftovers for the next two days!
  25. I've made a reservation for the Whole Rotisserie Duck for the end of the week. I hope it is as good as the photos above (which are wonderful!).
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