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Per Se


rich
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As great as the food was, however, the service was downright terrible. We had a senior waiter who had made the move from Napa, but his style was like nails on a chalk board to all of us.....

The most irritating part was the wine service ... the wine tab ended up at more than $420 - more than twice what we had wanted to spend on wine.

I think you should write a letter or e-mail to the restaurant. This is so unlike the service that anybody else has reported. Indeed, most posters have said that the staff happily stay within a reasonable wine budget. I recall one mentioning that their Per Se server actually "downsold" them — suggesting they not order bottled water, when they made it clear they were trying to economize.

Against these reports, this server's behavior is an anomaly, and the restaurant would want to know. I think you will get a favorable reaction if you contact them.

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I would concur with Oakapples recommendation and also wish to welcome you to eGullet!

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I think you should write a letter or e-mail to the restaurant. This is so unlike the service that anybody else has reported. Indeed, most posters have said that the staff happily stay within a reasonable wine budget.

Against these reports, this server's behavior is an anomaly, and the restaurant would want to know. I think you will get a favorable reaction if you contact them.

You're probably right - does anyone know who the GM is, or to whom I could address an email? Of course the web site only lists the impenetrable reservation phone number and offers no email address. Feel free to reply directly to me at jkirk@yahoo.com if you don't want to post contact details on this board. Thanks!

jk

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Below is a relevant quote from the review:

The jicama was sensational, so packed with moisture and so faintly sweet that it could have been a new, undiscovered fruit, and the cilantro and avocado that came with it were like idealized essences of themselves, so flavorful that they seemed to have been cultivated in a more verdant universe. The bite-size marble potatoes in the potato salad popped like grapes in my mouth, and an exquisitely balanced mustard-seed vinaigrette gave them a subtle zing.

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Since the NY Times review just came out, I'd like to remind everyone of my Brief Note on New York Restaurant Threads, and the following in particular:

Our primary rule of thumb for New York restaurant threads is that those threads are for discussion of the restaurant. It is certainly relevant to discuss whether Bruni's review (or that of any critic) and star rating are correct for a given restaurant, whether his review captured the important aspects of the dining experience at that restaurant or what aspects of the star/reviewing system led to that rating/review. But all discussion in a restaurant thread should reside firmly in the context of discussion relating to the restaurant. Once it heads in a direction in which the context of the particular restaurant is not crucial to the discussion, it really belongs in a different thread.

Let's do what we can to keep this already very long thread focused on Per Se, and do any reviewing of the review/reviewer in other threads. In particular, there is an ongoing thread I created following the Babbo review entitled "Bruni and Beyond: NYC Reviewing" that is more appropriate for much of this discussion. As always, new threads can also always be created for tangential discussions of this nature provided they are non-repetitive. If you're wondering what happened to a recent post of yours in this thread, the above referenced thread is a good place to check.

Thanks for your understanding and cooperation. :smile:

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ok, can someone please explain to me how can Bruni secure several reservations (4 I think) in such a short time while res. are so hard to come by supposedly? how does this work?

Elie

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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I'm happy for Thomas Keller, but it's interesting that it was awarded four stars even with two missteps (the rabbit and that fish).

Probably every four-star restaurant misfires occasionally. As Fat Guy observed recently, four stars means "extraordinary," but it does not mean "perfect." I thought the review gave more than ample evidence that the extraordinary capabilities of the restaurant more than outweigh the odd couple of things that fail to reach that level.

ok, can someone please explain to me how can Bruni secure several reservations (4 I think) in such a short time while res. are so hard to come by supposedly? how does this work?

There's actually no mystery about it. Put your phone on speed dial two months to the day in advance of your desired reservation date. While it may be virtually impossible to visit Per Se on short notice, the way you can most other restaurants, with advance planning just about anybody can get in.

Edited by oakapple (log)
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I had a wonderful dinner at Per Se last night. My friend had a 9-course Chef tasting and I had a 9-course Veggie tasting. Waiters were very nice and polite. I really loved the beautiful wine glasses and simple white plates. We were seated at the upper tier on North corner with a nice comfortable sofa chair with cushions.

Frank Bruni suggested in his review, “if you can wangle a reservation that puts you in Per Se around dusk and allows you to watch the light fade over Manhattan, do it.” We had 5:30pm reservation, and I was looking forward to enjoy the color change in the sky. When we started, the sky was still blue. However, I was enjoying the food so much that it was already dark when I looked at the outside of windows.

In the end of meal, we were able to tour the kitchen. The kitchen was very clean. There were 14 staff members working at the kitchen, and they were so calm and the atmosphere was not chaotic. We were told that in near future they are going to open a bakery shop, offering baked goods and sandwiches, etc, in Time Warner Center.

The followings are our menu and wine:

September 12, 2004

Chef:

OYSTERS AND PEARLS

Sabayon of Pearl Tapioca with Island Creek Oysters and Iranian Ossetra Caviar

Veg:

SOY MILK CUSTARD

With Barrel Aged Tamari Glaze

Chef:

PEACH MELBA

Moulard Duck “Foie Gras au Torchon,” Frog Hollow Farms Peach Jelly, Pickled Peaches, Marinated Red Onion, “Melba Toast” and Crispy Carolina Rice

(Foie Gras was smooth and creamy. I usually cannot eat Foie Gras, but I could eat this one. Delicious.)

Veg:

TOASTED BULGAR WHEAT

Marinated English Cucumbers and Port Wine Syrup

Chef:

CRISPY SKIN FILET OF MOIHearts of Palm, Braised Heirloom Radishes, Tokyo Turnips and Tellicherry Black Pepper “Gstrique”

(Moi’s skin was very crispy and delicious.)

Veg:

SALAD OF TOYBOX TOMATOES

Friend Vine Ripe Tomatos, Parmesan “Coulis” and Basil Sorbet

(Basil Sorbet was amazing! I loved it very much.)

Chef:

NOVA SCOTIA LOBSTER “CUIT SOUS VIDE”

Braised Young Fennel, Fennel Frond Salad, Ruby Red Grapefruit and Yountville Fennel Bud Glaze

Veg:

GRILLED CEPE MUSHROOMS

“Haricot Verts,” Yellow Wax Beans, Armando Manni “Per Mi Figlio” Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Aged Balsamic Vinegar

(Balsamic Vinegar was 100 years old, I was told. It was very syrupy and sweet. Wonderful.)

Chef:

ALL DAY BRAISED EDEN FARM’S BERKSHIRE PORK SHOULDER

Sweet Corn Kernels, Caramelized Mission Figs and Pork “Jus”

Veg:

BAKED YOUNG ITALIAN EGGPLANT

Sultanas, Garbanzo Beans, Pickled Sweet Peppers and Nicoise Olives

Chef:

ELYSIAN FIELDS FARM “SELLE D’AGNEAU ROTIE ENTIERE”

Forest Mushrooms, Glazed Pearl Onions and Yukon Gold “Pomme Puree”

Veg:

”FRICASSEE” OF RUSSET POTATO “GNOCCHI”

Roasted Romaine Lettuce, Perigord Truffles and Braised Red Raddish

(Braised Red Raddish had a wonderful flavor and Gnocchi was very good.)

Chef:

“RASCHERA”

Summer Melons and Young Sorrel Leaves with Moulins des Penitents Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Veg:

“WELSH RAREBIT”

Ribblesdale Goat Cheese, Onion Bread “Crouton” and Watercress Leaves

Chef:

HIBISCUS SORBET

Sweet Carrot “Pate de Fruits” with Date-Tamarind “Puree” and Soy Caramel

Veg:

OLD CHATHAM SHEEP’S MILK YOGURT SORBET

Red Beet Essence “Genoise” and Candied Satur Farms Beets

Chef:

“TENTATION AU CHOCOLATE< NOISETTE ET LAIT”

Milk Chocolate “Cremeaux,” Hazelnut “Streusel” with Condensed Milk Sorbet, “Pain au Lait” Sauce and “Sweetened Salty Hazelnuts”

Veg:

“CUBE MAGIQUE AU CCHOCOLAT”

Valrhona White Chocolate “Cremeus,” “Sirop au Caramel et au Chocolat Amer” and Chocolate Sorbet

“Mignardises”

Wine Accompaniment

Andre Perret, Condrieu, “Chery,” Rhone Valley 2001

Pierre Gimonnet et Fils, Blanc de Blancs, “Cuis,” 1 er Cru MV

Clelia Romano, Fiano di Avellino, “Colli di Lapio,” Campania 2002

Theo Minges, Scheurebe “Gleisweiler Holle,” Spatlese, Pfalz 2002

Leitz, Riesling, “Rudsheimer Berg Kaisersteinfels,” Rheingau 2002

Huet, “Le Haut Lieu,” Sec, Vouvray 2002

Terriccio, “Tassinaia,” I.G.T., Tuscany 1999

JC Cellars, Syrah, “Ventana Vineyard,” Monterey County 2002

Kiralyudvar, Tokaji Cuvee, “Ilona,” Hungary 1999

Chambers-Rosewood, Muscat, Rutherglen MV

Cossart Gordon, 10 year “Bual,” Madiera MV

Check out the latest meal!

Itadakimasu

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OLD CHATHAM SHEEP’S MILK YOGURT SORBET

Red Beet Essence “Genoise” and Candied Satur Farms Beets

Mmmmm. I loved this dessert. They managed to raise beets to a whole new level in this one. :wub:

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Thanks for the report, Anko, and I'm glad (and a little envious :raz::laugh: ) that you had such a wonderful time! Did you write all that down on a pad or did they give you the menu? Wow, all those wine pairings! What fraction of a glass did they pour each time?

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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There's actually no mystery about it. Put your phone on speed dial two months to the day in advance of your desired reservation date. While it may be virtually impossible to visit Per Se on short notice, the way you can most other restaurants, with advance planning just about anybody can get in.

That's one possibility; the other is that he was invited or given reservations by confederates. I've done as much for other critics when I've had a hard-to-come-by reservation that I wasn't able to use. William Grimes gives one such account in an early piece he did on Ducasse.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Did you write all that down on a pad or did they give you the menu? Wow, all those wine pairings! What fraction of a glass did they pour each time?

I asked the waiter to leave the menu on our table while we were eating, so that we knew what we were eating. My friend asked the waiter to give us the list of wine that we had. The end of our meal, they gave us the menu and the wine list. For the wine, I don't remember exactly and I don't know how to answer it. Half of the glass... or less or more.

Check out the latest meal!

Itadakimasu

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Pan, the wine pairing provides pours of roughly 3 ounces.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Nice pics. Copy the URL and then use the IMG button to paste the URL into and voila! It is actually easier than in the past, though not really intuitive. Your photos reminded me of my own lovely experience, esp. the photo with Chef Benno. My avatar is from there.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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