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Per Se


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True, Mark, that if it's a standard food allergy they do have things ready but wouldn't it be better that the kitchen knows ahead so that they can be ready?

Well, it certainly cannot hurt, but for something like that it probably does not change what they would do anyway.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi...I am still in my serene "after Per Se" mode. We consider this meal a weekend away...and go at least once a year to celebrate special occasions...Still amazing, still unbelievable. Old standards are still on the menu but if possible, I think the meal was even better. One of my favorites, the desserts are better...there is a new pastry chef..and the surprises are wonderful..We tasted 2 of their ice creams..chocolate made by Mast Brothers in Brooklyn that was excellent as was the coffee ice cream...both outstanding. I admit I was concerned about the change with the departure of Jonathan Benno and the addition of Eli Kaimeh to Chef de Cuisine. Not to worry..he was excellent...and those Parker House rolls are still there. We had asked for the lobster sous vide and it is amazing..I just wish they would keep it on the menu always...such a special way of cooking...and our wonderful waiter, Andrew,(surely there must be a better word for the so kind and knowledgeable people who instruct and make certain that your dinner is outstanding there) suggested an outstanding wine that was perfect for us.

However, the most special course were the sweetbreads. They were just amazing. I cannot even describe how special they were. They brought out the dish before plating it and the aroma was excellent as was the puff pastry covering the dish. I have eaten them in restaurants for many years and these were the most superb I have ever had. SO thank you Mr. Kaimeh and Mr. Keller and continue to keep your quality. :laugh::biggrin: :biggrin:

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I'm so glad!!

I went for my birthday a couple weeks ago and I'm still as amazed. Every meal is great but THIS one? Absolutely outstanding. Chef Eli put together such an astounding set of 22 (!) courses that were so balanced and perfect.

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Okay. :smile: This is what I put up on Facebook:


The start. Me at my "favorite table". After sitting, it begins. To the right, champagne: Pierre Gimonnet, Blanc de Blancs of course!

In the middle, warm cheese gougeres. And to the left, the traditional PerSe Salmon Cornet: salmon and creme fraiche in a wrapped toile very lightly sweet cookie. The perfect start.


1st Course: SPRING VEGETABLE BOUILLON with "Petites Legumes", Frisee Lettuce and "Pain de Champagne". Served room temperature with the slightly chilled bouillon poured on top with some very very aged drops of balsamic vinegar added. I was encouraged to lift the cup and drink that amazing nectar first and then eat the tiniest and freshest veggies. This course was on the Tasting Menu for all (as a choice between this and something else) but not in this little cup with a full pouring of the bouillon!


2nd Course: a fresh ISLAND CREEK OYSTER with some oyster gelee, cucumber relish and garden dill. Now this is the FULL oyster fresh from the shell. I was told later that there were bets in the kitchen as to how I was going to eat this! A fork and spoon were provided. My first thought was to just drink it up like a regular oyster but it was so PLUMP and with the gelee...I decided instead to do like a Chinese soup bun: I cut the gelee in half and put it on top of one part of the oyster, picked up the oyster with the spoon and bit in half so I could have two bites. A light taste of the sea! I found out that Chef liked what I did. NOT on the Tasting Menu!


3rd Course: FLUKE "CARPACCIO" with Grapefruit Confit and Ginger Gelee. 'Nuff said about this sweet and savory course, the name said it all.


A fork and knife were brought out--then quickly taken away, my server said Chef decided to add something else first. And oh BOY: When this 4th course was unveiled I freely admit I let out a squeal at the HEAP of Osetra Caviar on top of a PINK CHAMPAGNE GRANITE that was oo child! This was the sweetest agony as I forced myself to put down my spoon after each taste to make this last as long as it could. This was such a wonderful bonus, whee!!


More from the sea for my 5th course: CALIFORNIA RED ABALONE (large snail) "PICCATA" with Serrano Ham and Picoholine Olive Tapenade with Caper Vinaigrette. Another way to show the seafood is the star with the best supporting flavors you could want. You may think the ham with the olive bits would be too much; NOPE. But yes, not on the Tasting Menu.


No silverware was brought for this course, a First that I can remember since coming here. This 6th Course was a WHITE ASPARAGUS "CROUSTILLANT" (buttery and flaky crust) with Brown Butter Aoli. Now I'm no fan of asparagus but after this...a flakiness was Light and ultra tasty while letting the natural flavor of the veggie come thru. Yep, another bonus.


One more "finger food" for the 7th Course, HOOSICK FALL (upstage NY)'S SPRING LAMB SHOULDER with Sour Cherry BBQ with Cherry Blossoms. That lightly fried little piece of lamb on such a wacky skewer! I'm in love with sweet BBQ sauces so I knew I'd like this but it was such a complex sauce!! Another one just for me (as far as I could tell).


They next started "lowering the lights" so I had to turn on my flash. My 8th course was SQUIRE HILL FARMS' AMERAUCANA HEN EGG "CHAWANMUSHI" with Louisiana Crawfish and Pea Tendrils. Chawanmushi is a Japanese Steamed Custard. I can't begin to describe the richness of this off-the-menu luxury, another case of making sure I took my time.


I've seen versions of this 9th course before. This comes out with a glass dome and full of "SMOKE". When the glass was lifted the smoke dissipated and a subtle yet salty AND sweet aroma filled my nostrils. Under the sweetest slice of Meyer lemon I've ever had was Merguez (spicy sausage) with a Garbanzo Bean "Falafel". Again, playful with a symphony of tastes for another off-the-menu treat.


Then came the 10th Course (the regular tasting menu is Nine courses and I wasn't even halfway done yet!!) which was a savory morsel of "TETE DE COCHON" (pig head) with Pickled Green Tomato (sweet!) and Wilted Ramps with PerSe Ranch Dressing. Was I nervous at having TETE for the first time? Nah. One more rockin' bonus!


My 11th Course was a hoot! HUDSON VALLEY MOULARD DUCK FOIE GRAS "SHERBET" with Virginia Peanut Marmalade with Sultanas (seedless white grapes)and Celery Branch. Fantastic and creamy, my favorite kind of dish that was a perfect balance of savory and sweet and a little sour too. And yes, not on the Tasting Menu.


I guess the chefs remembered how much I love foie gras and I was thrilled that I got another course featuring this! My 12th course was similar to what everyone has an option to order (the other choice being a veggie course like the BOUILLON) but no one else got Hudson Valley Moulard Foie Gras like I did (that I could see)! This mini TERRINE OF DUCK FOIE GRAS came with Grilled Asparagus, Shaved White Strawberries (!), Green Almonds and Aged Balsamic Vinegar "Pate de Fruit" (like a mini fruit gelatin). Until this course, no bread was offered (like I needed it). This is the course where warm Toasted brioche is served and then more is brought as the original cools off. The creamiest non-salted butter along with PerSe's own butter are also brought with a selection of salts. The killer is that the richest and doughiest Parker House Rolls also come hot from the oven. I so could have eaten a dozen of those but I was "mature". I'm not one who needs toast for caviar or foie gras so I did eat some of the brioche with some butter but NOT with the foie gras.


Time for lucky 13 with no problems feeling full, these courses are such intimate bites that there's no danger of that. This PACIFIC MOI (aka threadfish) "En Feuille De Bric" (literally "brick dough", very light with no butteriness) with Oregon Morel Mushrooms, Garlic Scapes (the part that grows out of the garlic bulb) and Potato Confit with Pickled Mustard Seed Vinaigrette. Again, from the richness of the previous courses to have this light and complex fish is brilliance. One more off-the-menu.


Something really different for #14: BIG FIN SQUID "POELE" (similar to braising but a little undercooked) with Lobster Tortellini and Sweet Peppers with "Sauce Noilly Prat" (a French dry vermouth). Yes, the foam was the "sauce". Who knew squid could be this tender? Another tasty bonus.


The meat courses started with this, #15: FOUR STORY HILL FARM'S RABBIT "PORCHETTA". This is offered to all but not like how I had it! Mine was with Violet Artichokes, Glazed Carrots, Cauliflower Florets and Parsley Shoots with Rabbit jus. Yummm, the right amount of fatty richness countered perfectly with perfect vegetables.


On to Course 16, the last of the "entrees". Everyone gets the HERB ROASTED RIB-EYE OF MARCHO FARMS' VEAL but they all get it with the accompaniments I got from the previous course. I got my veal with a wonderful piece of Eggplant Parmasan (see it to the left of the veal?) and Young Fennel with "Gremolata" (an herb melange usually served with osso bucco). I think this was a way of paying tribute to my Sicilian heritage and was a perfect finale to the savory courses.


I was asked how I was doing and honestly responded, "No trouble here!" It was time for a Cheese course for #17: "CATSKILL" (an upstate NY goat cheese that's light with some mushroomy tones) with Slow Roasted Beets, English Walnuts, Compressed Honey Crisp Apple and Chervil with Red Beet Essence. All got this as their cheese course but I saw some people not poo-pooh it. Too bad for them.


Course 18 starts the wave of desserts with MANGO SORBET with Rice Pudding and Rice Wafer with Whipped Jasmine Tea. Subtle and sweet and yummy.


Course 19 was an EXCLUSIVE MINT "PAVLOVA" (merengue) FLOAT with Mint Gelee, Muscat Grapes, Grape Soda, Mint Meringue and "Fleur de Sel" (salted) Crumble with Vanilla Ice Cream. Mind blowing!!!


I was told that Course 20 is a new possibility and I was one of several "guinea pigs" in trying it: "STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE" with Compressed Strawberries, Vanilla Sponge, and White Chocolate Mousse with Strawberry Sorbet. Also so mind blowingly simple AND complex.


Course 21 was a choice course on the Tasting Menu with a fruit course. But woe to those who don't choose this "SWISS ROLL" consisting of Chocolate "Roulade" (roll), Manjari (Madigascar Dark Chocolate) Chocolate "Cremeux" and Chocolate-Covered Banana with "Glace a la Creme Fraiche" (glace is a cold or frozen saucelike thing). Can you see the lit birthday candle to the left? Too delish.


Course 22 would seem like nothing special to most but as you see I had started before I remember to take a picture! PerSe's TAHITIAN VANILLA BEAN CREME BRULEE is such a treasure.


These are the "MIGNARDISES" (bite size desserts). First a tray is brought with nearly 30 different kinds of chocolates. They would've give me all of them but I chose only a few: flavors like Fennel, Apple Brown Butter, Olive Oil, Mojito...but that's not all. Other tasty delights are brought out, like cocoa-dusted hazelnuts (to the right), butter caramels (to the left) and in the center, homemade pistachio nougats, creamy truffles and hard candies.


The finale. I arrived at 6:15. This bill with a bag of the most wonderful little chocolate sandwiches with the lightest and moistest shortbread didn't come until 10:45. I received a shock when the bill arrived: despite giving me a record 22 COURSES they charged me as if I had had the regular 9! I checked with my server Olivia (who has served me to perfection before) and she said that the bill was indeed correct. Happy Birthday! Wow! :wub:

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Finally got around to recapping a meal I at Per Se a month ago....

This review is from my most recent visit to Per Se. I had requested the extended tasting menu, and I couldn't stop counting the days until this meal finally began.

I arrived about 10 minutes late, and I was immediately wished a happy birthday by the staff. We were then led to one of the “best seats in the house” (according to the staff), a two top located directly next to the south side of the giant fireplace. Despite the rainy day, it was still a phenomenal view.

The meal started out with champagne and the amuse bouche of warm groucheres and salmon cornets. The grougeres and the cornets were packed with flavor. I was happy as a pig in shit just eating these tiny dishes.

The waitress then came along and said that she would not be showing us the menu. Rather, the chef would be preparing an extended menu that he created specifically for us.

Watercress “Veloute” – Honey Crisp Apples

The meal began with soup. We were presented with a teacup-sized bowl with a quenelle of apples on the bottom and one sprig of a green herb (the name escapes me) on the top. The server then came along and poured the soup tableside. The first bite was rich and creamy, but the apples cut the creaminess of the soup. The combination of the two flavors worked perfectly, with the apples providing a nice textural crunch to the mixture. A great way to get the meal going.

Yukon Gold potato Blini- Kendall Farm Crème Fraiche and Osetra Caviar

“Oysters and Pearls” - “Sabayon” of Pearl Tapioca with Island Creek Oysters and Osetra Caviar.

There have already been volumes written about Thomas Keller’s famous “Oysters and Pearls” so I will spare everyone the details. My mother who keeps semi-kosher, was served two Yukon Gold potato blini’s with crème fraiche on a beautiful amber colored plate. The Matre’D then came over with an orb-like object in her hand, with the top third of the orb lopped off. Upon setting it on the table, I saw a large mound of caviar resting on top of the orb. She then proceeded to “quenelle” two enormous mounds of caviar onto my oysters and then onto the blinis. To top off the indulgence, two more fresh blinis were brought to the table midway through the course (similar to the brioche service during a foie gras course). The blinis had a buttery, pancake like feel to them. The caviar tasted great. I felt like Don Draper.

Sashimi of Atlantic Fluke- Hass Avocado, Compressed Persian Cucumber and Cilantro Shoots

This simple looking dish rested on a metal “wedge” (I don’t know how else to describe the shape). A thin cucumber slice was wrapped around the fluke, and rested on a unnamed sauce. I took my chopsticks and downed the dish in one bite.

avocado. Awesome dish.

Florida Coast Softshell Crab Tempura- Pickled Green Tomatoes, Wilted Ramps and Garden dill Ranch Dressing

For me, this was the only clunker of the night. I am not a huge fan of tempura. I thought this was the only dish where the whole was not greater than the sum of its parts. The tempura’d crab meat was sandwiched in between two paper thin slices of marinated green tomatoes and was adjacent to Per Se’s homemade ranch dressing. The dressing was great, the crab I could have lived without.

White truffle Oil- Infused Custard- “Ragout” of Black Winter Truffles.

I am still amazing at how pungent such a small dish can be. One whiff and it reeks of truffles. I can talk about this dish for paragraphs, but people with better writing skills than I already have.

“Smoke”- Garbanzo Bean “Croquette,” Chickpea Tendrils, Picked Garlic, Coriander Glaze and Nicoise Olive Oil with Preserved Meyer Lemon

The presentation for this dish is fantastic. Two orbs, filled with smoke, are brought to the table. The tops of the orb glass is removed to reveal a grassy, almost tobacco like aroma that engulfs the entire face. A fun way to start the dish. The dish is comprised of various middle eastern flavors layered on top of a perfect cooked falafel. It felt like eating the best pita and falafel in the world from Muchentuchen in a dingy part of Jerusalem’s old city.

Torchon of Elevages Perigord Moulard Duck Foie Gras- Grilled Asparagus, Shaved White Strawberries, Green Almonds and Aged Balsamic Venigar “Pate de Fruit” with toasted brioche.

This course started off with the wait staff first bringing over the famous salt flight. It consisted of 6 salts from all over the world, including Montana, Hawaii, Himalayas, and some salt that Jesus may have personally blessed himself. It was over the top and I loved it. The torchon was firm and cold, and not so easily spread onto the warm brioche. I waited a couple minutes before taking another bite, this time spreading the balsamic pate and a couple different salts on top of the foie. Life is good.

Sauteed Fillet of Columbia River Sturgeon- “Ecrassee” of new crop potatoes and wilted swiss chart ribs with sauce bordelaise.

This dish was also not a favorite of mine. Tasted like chicken. Not too much too report on this one.

Peas and Carrots- Butter poached Nova Scotia Lobster, Split Enlgish Peas, Pea Tednrils, and Hiner “Aigre-Doux”

This was a specially requested dish that I had asked the Maitre D to have prepared for me. I read a number of reviews, including the shout out from Bruni’s review, which convinced me that this was a must have dish. I am happy to say that it was everything I had read about. The lobster tail drenched in butter and tasted great.

Hand cut “Tagliatelle”- Preserved black winter truffles

Probably one of the 3 best dishes of the night. Fresh tagliatelle served in a buttery sauce, and topped with frozen (“preserved”) black truffles. The shaving was generous and brought the dish to a whole new level.

Coddled Squire Hill Farms’ Ameraucana Hen Egg- Briche soldiers and smoked onion with black winter truffle Puree

This dish was served with brioche rectangles that were fried and served along side the cup of “soup.” I expected a slightly more truffled flavor from the dish, but overall, I enjoyed it very much. Starting to get drunk at this point.

Snake River farms - Herb Roasted Trumpet Royale Mushroom, Creamed Arrowleaf Spinach, Glazed Turnips and Crispy Garlic with “Sauce Dijonnaise

My memory is even hazier at this point, both from the sheer amount of food and because I was pretty drunk. I took a long 20-minute walk after eating half the dish to let my stomach cool down from the onslaught of all the food. I came back to the restaurant and realized that most patrons were gone by now.

“Ardrahan”- Piccalilli, “Pain De Campagne” and Garden Dill

Finally, dessert started to come around. I have to admit that I have absolutely no recollection of this course.

Pineapple Sorbet- Compressed Papaya and Lime Zest

This was an awesome refresher course. A tiny quenelle of sorbet covering hardened papaya pieces was presented on a single spoon,. A much needed course that brought me out of my food coma. I finally felt like a human being again.

Grapefruit- Champagne Float- Ruby Red grapefruit, Fleur de Sel “Sable,”Vanilla Ice Cream and Grapefruit Soda and Champagne Granite

This dish was presented in a tall, root beer float style glass. It was a complex dish that is too much for me to explain at this point (I am writing the latter part of this review almost one month after the meal). That being said, the dish worked very well, and I continued to feel more refreshed as I plowed through the cup's layered flavors.

Strawberry Shortcake- Vanilla Sponge, Strawberries and White Chocolate Mousse with Strawberry Sorbet

This dish was jammed packed with strawberry flavor. I loved the gelatinous strawberry sheet that covered one portion of the dish.

Coffee and Doughnuts- Cinnamon-Sugared doughnuts with Cappuccino “Semifreddo”

This is the famous Keller dish that most people have read already about. I was disgustingly full at this point.

Ice Raspberry Parfait-Macerated Pudwill Farm’s Raspberries and Hazelnut Mousse with Raspberry Sorbet

I had specifically asked for a non-chocolate dessert because I knew I was too full to eat anything heavy. This dish was a great way to end out the meal.

Overall, the meal lasted well over 4.5 hours. The pace of the meal was perfect and the wine pairings were top notch. As far as straight food is concerned, this restaurant does it better, in my opinion, then anywhere else I've ever been to. If any of the staff actually reads this, thank you.

On a non Per Se note, I would like to mention that this is my first restaurant that I have blogged about. Please bear with me as the site continues to grow. More reviews will come soon.

This all comes from my blog that I just started: nyfoodthoughts.blogspot.com


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10 of us are dining in the private room tomorrow evening. Looking forward to it and reporting back.

There may not be a nicer place for 10 people to dine together privately in the city. We did a champagne birthday dinner for 7 in December which was incredible, even better photos with Columbus Circle & Central Park in the background.

We'll be in the main dining room Sunday evening, although I never report back much of anything :-)

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Private dining is easy to setup--you can reserve in advance of the two month requirement. Just go to the website and follow to the private dining area. There is now apparently a 50% deposit required, refundable upon request (or it can be applied to the check)

There are two rooms--one that seats 10, and another one that seats from 20 to approximately 50.

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Don't have time to post about the entire meal we had on Sunday, but suffice to say the food, company and wines made this a memorable dinner.

Wow, that was an impressive wine selection! Liked the look of the pic titled CIMG8174. Do you recall what it was?

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  • 4 weeks later...

We had a funny thing happen here a few weeks ago. At the table next to us was a family with a boy of 6 or 7. The waiter asked if he'd like to go back and see the kitchen, and he hesitated before his parents urged him to go. After they walked off I hissed to my husband, "you can tell he doesn't even appreciate it! I can't believe HE gets to go back!" And there's staff everywhere there of course, and I'm sure someone overheard me, because later they invited US into the kitchen (which was freakishly spotless and silent). We didn't see anyone else get invited back. I was a bit embarrased but the ends justified the means, I guess.

What does everyone here do with the candies/truffles? Our waiter said only about twice a year does a table actually finish these. The two times I've been I've been stuffed and practically comotose by the time the silver tiered thing comes around, so we didn't make a dent in it. A waiter told us later that some people have it boxed up which they are happy to do, and I am haunted by the idea that they mnight have thrown it all away.

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Yup, we had our truffles and the candies, i believe they were salted caramels boxed up. While eating them I made a comment about wanting to eat the whole entire thing and the table captain offered to box them up. Totally ate some on the way back to Jersey on the train.

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What does everyone here do with the candies/truffles? Our waiter said only about twice a year does a table actually finish these. The two times I've been I've been stuffed and practically comotose by the time the silver tiered thing comes around, so we didn't make a dent in it. A waiter told us later that some people have it boxed up which they are happy to do, and I am haunted by the idea that they mnight have thrown it all away.

Not all of them are thrown away. Some get boxed up and taken home by the staff so significant others like me can eat them!!!

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I'm so glad to know that! I really was feeling guilty. But next time I am going to get them boxed up, or I'll just ask to skip them. Neither of us have enough of a sweet tooth to want to eat all those chocolates and candies after the desserts.

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  • 2 months later...

i am going to Per Se for dinner next month and would like to have some wine pairing. I do not want to go for the full 9 course wine pairing. What would be a good strategy, to set a dollar cap on the price of wine pairing per pax or to set the number of pairing i want, say 4 pairing? How much should I set aside for wine pairing P/s: I do not want to faint upon seeing the final bill. Thanks!

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I would discuss with the staff your wine budget for the evening. They will ask you what wines you like, how much, and with what courses. You will pleasantly be suprised with their willingness to ensure that you have an enjoyable evening at Per Se.

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i am going to Per Se for dinner next month and would like to have some wine pairing. I do not want to go for the full 9 course wine pairing. What would be a good strategy, to set a dollar cap on the price of wine pairing per pax or to set the number of pairing i want, say 4 pairing? How much should I set aside for wine pairing P/s: I do not want to faint upon seeing the final bill. Thanks!

In terms of formulating a good strategy and setting appropriate expectations for the final bill, I'd suggest looking at the wine menu ahead of time (prices include tip, but not tax):


In particular you'll want to look at the "Wines by the Glass" section, page 1 in today's menu.

If you are certain you want to stick to 4 glasses of wine, and using today's wine menu as a guide, then the final wine bill could range from a minimum of about $75 to a maximum of about $150pp if you pick the priciest wines on the list.

FWIW, I've definitely had meals where I told the staff I wanted to go lighter on wine that day, and wanted to limit myself to 4 or 5 glasses for the evening. Regardless of what you chose to do, I would definitely recommend you convey your budget and preferences when you discuss wine after sitting down, then let them figure the rest out.

Enjoy, and report back!

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thanks for the invaluable advice! The wine list is mind boggling but I am glad to see reasonably priced wine by the glass that would not cost me an arm or leg. I think the strategy of having 4 course pairing is a great way of trying out the different wine as compared to the half bottle option.

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We have always tried the truffles and petit fours and they have been gracious to pack a small box of our favorites or always provided some parting gifts, in one case some truffled popcorn for a guest.

Don't they always offer a tour of the kitchen to all guests?

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