Forks and Stars @ Per Se

CATEGORY: Fine Dining

MENU: American (New)

PRICE: A la carte salon menu $14-46 dlls

Lunch tasting (5 course) $185 dlls p/person

      Dinner $295 p/person excluding wine

ADDRESS: Time Warner Center, 10 Columbus Circle, 4th Floor, Manhattan, New York 10019

WEBSITE: http://www.perseny.com

HOURS: Lunch: Friday-Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Dinner: Daily 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Once in a while I  travel and visit fine dining restaurants that I have on my restaurant-to-visit-list. I read about a new restaurant in a City and make a note about it so I won’t forget to include it on my travel plans.   My friends ask me regularly for restaurant recommendations and I truly enjoy  planning their dinner nights and selecting restaurants when they’re traveling, it almost feels that I’m tagging along. After reading articles and reviews of Per Se I immediately knew where the next flight would take me or my traveler friends.

I talked about Per Se a few years ago with a very close friend who dearly I loved, my late friend P.D. he was leaving to NYC and I told him he had to have dinner at this highly acclaimed new restaurant. I made the reservation for him and when he got back from his trip he was so amazed with this jewel of a restaurant that he decided from that moment on to name me his restaurant reservation concierge (free of charge after several negotiations).  A few years later, on one of my trips to NYC, P.D. and his wife had a surprise for me, an invitation to Per Se. First time and a wonderful surprise. Excellent dinner with extraordinary company. A three star Michelin restaurant definitely worth the visit. A true standard of excellence.

Legendary Chef Thomas Keller opened Per Se in 2004.  Located at the Time Warner Building, its fascinating views of Columbus Circle and Central Park makes it  easy to spend a 3 to 5 hour dinner. The dining room is elegant and sleek.  Decoration is minimal because the view of the Park is the main attraction of the room.  The New York Times awarded the restaurant four stars, its highest rating,  and it has maintained this rating from 2004 to the present. It’s been awarded the iconic Three Star Michelin and lately it was named one of the top 50 Restaurants of the World from the San Pellegrino list, being Per Se number six.  The staff and service at Per Se are highly educated in food and wine. Rumors say the staff is required to enroll in ballet lessons to improve posture and graceful movements. Besides being graceful the restaurant staff is knowledgeable and very friendly, their service is outstanding.

Grateful to enjoy a dinner night with my mom and sister at Per Se at the beginning of the month of June,  it completely fulfilled my expectations once again. It started with the wine list.  Too many options and varieties, any wine fanatic would admire.  The wine list is now presented in an Ipad wine menu, a very high-tech presentation, you better know how to use that!

We started out our dinner with the famous Salmon Cornets;  delicious, but one’s not enough, it just leaves you hooked for more, but that was just the intro to a nine course meal that Chef de Cuisine Eli Kaimeh executed with perfection.

Our first course was Per Se’s signature starter Oysters and Pearls, I hope it stays in the menu  forever.Composed of a sabayon of pearl tapioca with Island Creek Oysters from Massachussets and Sterling White Sturgeon Caviar from California.

Followed with the Terrine of Husdon Valley Duck Foie Gras  with a blueberry glaze, poached California Rhubarb, Sunchoke, lots of bread and five different type of salts to serve it with. Definitely no Foie -Gras ban here.

The Butter Poached Nova Scotia Lobster was one of the dinner highlights.  “Beets and Leeks,”  is composed of poached lobster with leeks and a horseradish créme fraiche served with thinly sliced potatoes  and a sour cherry-beet emulsion. A classic Keller dish of Perfection. And I still dream with the “Pipe Dreams”, Applewood Smoked Bacon from Hobbs Shore Meats, with radishes and Burgundy mustard. A dish can’t go wrong with smoked bacon.

After enjoying a 9 course dinner, being the dessert the last plate, the table ended with a tower of Mignardie,  chocolates, truffles, candies, macarons. We also had the option of the cheese cart  but this time we chose  the sugar fix only.

After dessert,  mom, sister and I were completely satisfied and sure we’d had enough food and not eat until we’d return back home (of course, that didn’t happen). At the end of dinner each of us were handed a gift bag with a box of truffles and a booklet explaining every single ingredient  and food item we ate that night and its origin.

Many reviews have been written about Per Se. All of them positive. Much has been said of the talent of Mr. Keller. He and his team are an excellent example to follow. Always do your best on whatever task you’re doing, the results will always be good. But the most important way to end a perfect dinner is enjoying it with extraordinary company.

And P.D. thank you, had a blast being your restaurant concierge.

Forks and Stars Rating:

Ratings are based on food and service with price taken into account in relation to quality.

Images: hungryhedonist.blogspot.com

Images: bionicbites.com
Images: nycgo.com
Images: ronsview.org
Images: businessinsider.com
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