Monday, September 17, 2012

Living Up to the Hype and Expense: Per Se Restaurant in New York

Chef's Tasting Menu (personalized and taken home)

There is just too much to say about my meal at Per Se in New York City, that I'm just going to go ahead and post just the photos without a lot of commentary.  Everything was exceptionally delicious and beautiful, and the experience that the staff present was really lovely.  It lived up to all expectations.  New York is an exciting place to visit and my friends and I were able to dine at the restaurants ranked #6 (Per Se) and #10 (Eleven Madison Park) in the world by The World's 50 Best Restaurants while we were there.  I've dined at the restaurant currently ranked at #2 (El Cellar de Can Roca, Girona Spain) and I've got to say that Per Se does hold its own in comparison.  These are grand experiences where every detail is carefully thought out and executed.  I would say that Per Se excelled in making us comfortable and accomodated us in every way (even though we were hyper, touristy, fangirls taking countless photos of everything).  In this way, I found them to be better hosts than our experience at EMP, which did feel ever so slightly snooty to me, and more restrictive.   I would absolutely love to dine at the French Laundrey in California, and I would dine at Per Se all over again too.  

 The Vegetable Option (none of us chose this one unfortunately)

I think this is the Crown Jewel (Oxley English Dry Gin, Hibiscus Syrup & Basil).  It was tasty.

 Perfect Gougères

The Famous Cornets - Salmon Tartare with Sweet Red Onion Crème Fraîche

Oysters and Pearls 

I think my favourite was the Thomas Keller signature dish, Oysters and Pearls, which I've heard about for years as it's served at The French Laundrey.  Thomas Keller has said that he's never actually eaten this dish.  A shame, as it's the kind of dish you consider licking the plate after, and I was trying to savour every last molecule.  A great beginning, along with the goucheres and the cornets.

 Two Wonderful Butters From Different Regions

 Salts That Came With My Friends' Foie Gras

Delicious Buttery Roll 

 The View At Our Table (just at the edge of Central Park)

 Hearts of Palm Salad

Foie Gras (Not mine)

 The Bread

It's all in the details.  My favourite was the composite bread shown in the lower right.  It had an unlevened hat on top of a leavened head underneath.  

Atlantic Striped Bass



 A Peek Inside the Quail



 Sake-Soda, Green Tea Ice Cream 

I think this is the best palate cleanser I've ever had.  Fizzy and refreshing!

 Cake with Great Textures and Chocolate and Hazelnut

I wish I could get this cake all the time. 

Strawberry Tea

 Gift for the Birthday Occasion

 Pretty Cup and Saucer for Cappucino

 Amazing Chocolate Selection

At this point, we were all painfully aware that we couldn't fit more food in, and then they come at us with the chocolates and other mignardises and tempt us by describing all the flavours.  Every single one was a different flavour and they were all intriguing.  They were good enough to wrap up some of our mignardises for us to take home when we asked.  And they send us off with a folder of our menus, a booklet about their food sources an amazing little cotton pouch of various candies!  

Mignardises Included Truffles, Macarons, and Caramels 
Presented in a beautiful silver three tier tin that folds out.