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oakapple

Per Se

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Thanks! Maybe we'll keep a few places in mind where we can walk in for small plates later that evening.


BROG, a beer blog

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My wife and I will be celebrating our anniversary in a couple of weeks with lunch at Per Se. 

Newbie question:  will we want to even contemplate eating dinner that evening?  We plan to go for the full 9-course experience and consider ourselves to be people of normal appetite (whatever that means).

After our most recent lunch at Per Se, which finished up about 4:15PM (we had 1PM reservations for Private Dining -- see the great pictures/write-up above) I had a small bowl of chicken noodle soup that night for dinner, and I was still full the next day when I sat down to eat breakfast! Although we did over-indulge a bit the day before we went to lunch at Per Se (Jean Georges and EMP) I doubt you will be up for a big dinner that night.

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Two and a half weeks until our anniversary dinner at Per Se. I am so excited. Sorry, just had to share.

Since moving away from NYC (granted, only 2.5 hours) my idea of a good restaurant is one that I don't give less than a "B." My idea of "great" service is someone who will actually bring/have brought my Martini and oysters at the same time if I so request (it's a very specific personal item...don't ask).

Please, Per Se....reaffirm my love of fine dining.

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Two and a half weeks until our anniversary dinner at Per Se.  I am so excited.  Sorry, just had to share.

That's awesome - exactly how I felt two weeks ago!

My wife and I celebrated our anniversary there on the 18th. Our lunch was superb in every respect. We had the tasting menu, which included an off-menu course of sayori. Started with some Pierre Gimonnet, and the sommelier paired a couple of glasses with the foie/veloute course and two half bottles for the rest of the meal. I'm already looking forward to the next time, whenever that will be...

Since I asked about it before -- later that night we ended up at the Fatty Crab (West Village) for drinks & a light dinner (light in that we could only eat about a third of what we ordered :wacko: ).


BROG, a beer blog

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Two and a half weeks until our anniversary dinner at Per Se.  I am so excited.  Sorry, just had to share. 

Since moving away from NYC (granted, only 2.5 hours) my idea of a good restaurant is one that I don't give less than a "B."  My idea of "great" service is someone who will actually bring/have brought my Martini and oysters at the same time if I so request (it's a very specific personal item...don't ask). 

Please, Per Se....reaffirm my love of fine dining.

Hi..Hope you have a WONDERFUL time...We are going again in 2 weeks for our Anniversary...this is our 4th or 5th visit..and it is so special..we think of it as a weekend away from home...The service, the food...all wonderful..please share with us what your experience is...ENJOY.. enjoy...and do ask for a kitchen tour if they don't suggest it... :biggrin::biggrin:

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Thank you. I intend to take notes, if not pictures (I think my wife might kill me if I did...she would see it as embarrassing, I'm sure).

When I call to confirm, I will request a brief kitchen tour.

Any other hints/suggestions to making it an even more special/personalized event?

If you are there in two weeks as well, I might see you there!

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When you call, make sure they know it's for an anniversary as well.

I'm going again myself tonight for my (delayed) birthday!

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Just got back from our first salon visit, and overall my impressions align pretty closely with the review given by Alan Richman here (save for the main dining room comments). This surely isn't bar dining, and the ridiculously ample space you get when dining in the salon is something I would also not call Per Se Light, but rather Per Se proper with less courses and at a lesser cost. We chose to visit tonight cause my wife was uptown already for a few drinks and had had some canapes, while I had eaten a big lunch - in other words a full multi-course meal was definitely not in the books for tonight, and we got a later start to dinner than usual. We arrived around 8:45 or so and were promptly seated.

Our meal went as follows:

Gougeres

Salmon Cornets

White Asparagus Soup with Mint Oil (comped)

Avocado Mousse, Pistachio Oil, White Sturgeon Caviar (generously comped)

Bread & Butter (3 each of Baguette, Potato Sourdough & Alsatian Rye)

Me: Crispy Skin of Fillet of Pacific Moi

Wife: Russet Potato Gnocchi with Morels

Both: Calotte de Boeuf Grille

Me: Snickers Dessert

Wife: Selection of Sorbets (Coconut, Passion Fruit, Strawberry & Majari Chocolate)

Mignardises

To drink I started with a glass of Moscato D'Asti (bubbly) before asking for a cocktail pairing of 3 drinks at their discretion (went: Vodka, Chartreuse, Lime & Egg White then Gin & Tonic then a Dark Rum, Fentinmans Ginger Ale & Caramel Bailey's cocktail). Given the salon seating and the lower cost, the cocktail pairings seemed like a great choice over a single inexpensive bottle of wine (most cocktails clock in around $15 or so). As an added bonus, the bartender works the salon floor, so you get the chance to engage him directly. My wife had Apple Cider, then Green Tea.

The bill total came to $250 for the two of us, including tax & tip. Against my expectations, I felt perfectly comfortable dining off the couches, although I suspect they will be switching out some furniture regardless after Bruni's lone negative salon comment being directed towards the same.

In Richman's review it seems he got the same asparagus soup and a langostine course comped (he sat in the same seats we sat in tonight we were told). I'd guess that - him as a reviewer, we as regulars - got an extra course than we would have otherwise. From reading other reviews it seems many meals include an extra here or there, be it soup or dessert somewhere. I would also note that eating one of each of all three breads with butter goes some ways towards filling in for an extra course.

The two best tables are in the front, one facing outwards (overlooking Central Park) and the other facing the dining room (where we sat). It was actually quite fun facing into the dining room, checking out all the people arriving and departing, doing some people watching.

With so much space to ourselves it's hard to compare the value of our meal to most fine dining restaurants around town. For example, this was cheaper than EMP, less food certainly, the best (or coddling if you're Bruni) service in town, a great deal more luxurious and yet relaxed (the obvious 3 star Michelin rated cuisine/kitchen/cache aside). Or perhaps take Ko, remove over half the courses, add in ample seating and the fact you can walk in, and I think the premium in food:cost ratio is well justified to the point where this will definitely retain a spot in the (fine dining, not cheap meals) rotation for as long as they make it work.


Edited by sickchangeup (log)

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ARGH! The couple we were going to dine with Saturday night just bailed on us (albeit for a very, very valid reason). I just called, they can not move us to a two-person table (I understand the policy, but hell, it was worth a try). They have my number, and will call me if one opens up (not going to hold my breath)....and I have only until tomorrow at 6 to cancel or confirm.

I've been talking about Per Se since they opened, waiting for a time to get to the city with enough notice for a reservation....been actively working on that for over a year, and I don't want to let it go.

If I can not find a replacement couple (my wife is not interested in meeting anyone new for a long dinner, so no meeting any egulleters for me), anyone have any words of wisdom, or I am out of luck?

EDIT:

NEVER MIND!!! They just called, and WE ARE IN FOR TWO! WHEW!


Edited by Smokelaw1 (log)

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This is good. I have heard through the grapevine they are seriously hurting, so I'm not surprised but I'm very glad for you. Enjoy it! The sous chef will likely be your cook, too!

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This is good. I have heard through the grapevine they are seriously hurting, so I'm not surprised but I'm very glad for you.  Enjoy it!  The sous chef will likely be your cook, too!

If Corey Lee's timeline is any indication, we should probably expect Chef Benno to remain at Per Se through the end of the summer, but that's just a guess.

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This is good. I have heard through the grapevine they are seriously hurting, so I'm not surprised but I'm very glad for you.  Enjoy it!  The sous chef will likely be your cook, too!

I'd heard the same, but that it would still be potentially hard to get a 4 to 2 adjustment. We were flexible with time, though, and they were able to make the switch for us.

As for the sous chef comment, Chef Benno is still the Chef de Cuisine, no? I see sickchangeup's comment above that he should be until at elast the end of the summer...you were just making a joke? I hope???

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ARGH! The couple we were going to dine with Saturday night just bailed on us (albeit for a very, very valid reason).  I just called, they can not move us to a two-person table (I understand the policy, but hell, it was worth a try)....

EDIT:

NEVER MIND!!!  They just called, and WE ARE IN FOR TWO!  WHEW!

At Per Se, most parties of two are seated at 4-tops anyway. I have dined there twice in a party of two, and both times I was seated at a 4-top (and observed many others likewise). This was during the era when Per Se routinely sold out 2 months to the day in advance. I think the whole dining room has only two true 2-top tables. They have always assumed that a certain percentage of the 4-tops will be taken by parties of 2, and presumably that percentage has gone up.

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This is good. I have heard through the grapevine they are seriously hurting, so I'm not surprised but I'm very glad for you.  Enjoy it!  The sous chef will likely be your cook, too!

I'd heard the same, but that it would still be potentially hard to get a 4 to 2 adjustment. We were flexible with time, though, and they were able to make the switch for us.

As for the sous chef comment, Chef Benno is still the Chef de Cuisine, no? I see sickchangeup's comment above that he should be until at elast the end of the summer...you were just making a joke? I hope???

The rumor on the blogs is that Benno is leaving to do his own thing very shortly.

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This is good. I have heard through the grapevine they are seriously hurting, so I'm not surprised but I'm very glad for you.  Enjoy it!  The sous chef will likely be your cook, too!

I'd heard the same, but that it would still be potentially hard to get a 4 to 2 adjustment. We were flexible with time, though, and they were able to make the switch for us.

As for the sous chef comment, Chef Benno is still the Chef de Cuisine, no? I see sickchangeup's comment above that he should be until at elast the end of the summer...you were just making a joke? I hope???

The rumor on the blogs is that Benno is leaving to do his own thing very shortly.

I'd heard that, but I thought it was confirmed that he is still the chef until further notice. I should hope we are not going when an unknown entity is chef.

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This is good. I have heard through the grapevine they are seriously hurting, so I'm not surprised but I'm very glad for you.  Enjoy it!  The sous chef will likely be your cook, too!

I'd heard the same, but that it would still be potentially hard to get a 4 to 2 adjustment. We were flexible with time, though, and they were able to make the switch for us.

As for the sous chef comment, Chef Benno is still the Chef de Cuisine, no? I see sickchangeup's comment above that he should be until at elast the end of the summer...you were just making a joke? I hope???

The rumor on the blogs is that Benno is leaving to do his own thing very shortly.

I'd heard that, but I thought it was confirmed that he is still the chef until further notice. I should hope we are not going when an unknown entity is chef.

Rumor is that he will stay through the summer in case Per Se is Bruni's last 4 star review before he leaves. The blogs believe every critic must leave with a "legacy" review and from what I've read, Bruni has never reviewed Per Se,

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Glad to hear I had the best (available) info. Thank you for confirming what I had heard/read.

I would love to read a follow-up Bruni review as his last big 4 star review, but I have a feeling that will happen somewhere, if not Per Se.

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For those that are interested in wine, for the first time ever I asked our captain to just go ahead and pick my beverages for me. I guess it was a moment of clarity, they always pick what I eat, so why not what I drink? In response he didn't ask me any questions, just nodded in recognition and got the ball rolling. Here's what I had:

- Rudi Pichler, Grüner Veltliner, Federspiel, Wachau 2007

- Channing Daughters, "Meditazione," Long Island 2006

- Hanahato, Junmai Kijoshu, Aged 8 years, "Gorgeous Bird," Hiroshima

- Kracher, "Cuvée Beerenauslese," Burgenland 2006

- Lucien Crochet, "Le Chêne," Sancerre 2006

- Jean Noël Gagnard, "Morgeot," 1er Cru, Chassagne-Montrachet 2006

- Shelter, Cabernet Sauvignon, "Headwater Vineyard," Napa Valley 2005

- Vinsanto of some sort (perhaps: Pierazzuoli, Vinsanto del Chianti Montalbano, Riserva, "Millarium," Tuscany 2003)

Most of these are available on the "by the glass" section of the Per Se wine menu (available online), so in theory you can set your own pairing if you know what you're gonna be eating. I was charged $225, although that also included a glass of red (price not known) that my wife drank. I was told that generally the price of the standard wine pairing hovers around the price of the menu, although mine wound up considerably cheaper.

In terms of pairings, we started with a chickpea veloute then oysters & pearls which were both paired with the Gruner Veltliner. Then we had a couple of sashimi canapes with the Channing Daughters blend. Then the aged sake was paired with a couple more canapes, before we moved to the Beerenauslese for the regular 2nd course of foie. The Sancerre (my least favorite) carried me through the first fish course (mackarel), while the Red from Burgundy paired with both the langoustines (2nd fish) and the duck (1st meat). The Cabernet was paired with the final Calottes courses, with the Vinsanto making it's appearance after the intermezzo for the dessert section.

In all it was a nice mix - the Meditazione & the aged Sake certainly qualify as interesting or experimental takes, while the Sancere and the Cabernet qualify as quite straightforward. Throw in a few lesser known varietals (Chassagne-Montrachet, Austrian Gruner Veltlner), some variance in sweetness (Beerenauslese & Vinsanto) and this non-wine drinker came away quite pleased with the results. I'll also take away that their wine by the glass section has a large variety of wines to explore, and that I can probably do some of the selecting myself next time.

The other nice thing tonight was the addition of a freshly baked and still warm parker house roll to the mix. It just popped up in between courses, apparently something they flirted with for a while in the past and have (at least for now) brought back. Was better than the craftsteak version, although we only got one each, not three :-)

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I was told that generally the price of the standard wine pairing hovers around the price of the menu....

That seems to be their standard opening bid, but they'll do it for considerably less. I've done wine pairings there twice; the first time for around $100pp, the second time for around $150. The best thing about Per Se's wine pairings is that they're customized to your preferences. Most restaurants have a pre-selected assortment (often not very interesting), which everyone who orders a wine pairing is going to get.
Edited by oakapple (log)

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Has anyone experienced Per Se's extended tasting menu? I have a solo reservation in late June and have been given the option of the extended menu... $450 not including wine, but feel it may very well be worth it. I greatly enjoyed my experience at FL in January with the regular 9 courses, but feel I'd be a fool to pass up this opportunity.

Any insight?

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