Per Se

The shoes I deemed worthy of the "fanciest" meal.

Fiance is a foody. Anyone who knows Fiance knows that he loves to eat. In fact, he will eat anything at anytime, and he refuses to let food go to waste. He loves to try new and interesting dishes, he likes to find the tiny dirty dives that only the hip locals know about, and he loves to try the fanciest restaurants in every place we visit. NYC is definitely one of the best places for Fiance to continue his quest for “the best meal”.

(We often have discussions about our top 3 favorite meals of our lives. Currently mine are my Mother’s seafood gumbo, grande nachos from a local Mexican restaurant in my home town, and a lobster salad from our favorite restaurant in Rome. Fiance’s top 3 are a ten course traditional Japanese meal we had in Kyoto, a meal he had in Australia several years ago, and Spondi, the fancy restaurant we went to in Athens.)

From the moment we moved to NYC, Fiance has been researching hundreds of different restuarnts. Not long after he began his search, he discovered Per Se. Per Se is located in Columbus Circle in the Time Warner Building. The New York Times has called it the best restaurant in New York City. It has a salon, bar, and wine cellar. They offer two daily prix fixe menus, one of which is vegetarian! (yay me!) It has 3 Michelin Stars and 4 stars from the New York Times. (That’s the highest ratings a restaurant can receive!)

It is also ridiculousy expensive. I am too embarrassed to say the price so you can research that yourself.

If you are unfamiliar with Michelin Stars here is a brief description from Wikipedia:

The guide awards one to three stars to a small number of restaurants of outstanding quality. One star indicates a “very good cuisine in its category”, a two-star ranking represents “excellent cuisine, worth a detour,” and three stars are awarded to restaurants offering “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey”. A three-star Michelin ranking is rare. As of late 2009, there were 26 three-star restaurants in France, and only 81 in the world

Anyways, ever since Fiance discovered this little gem (several months ago), we’ve had this conversation at least 4 times a week.

Me: “What are going to eat tonight?”

Fiance: “Per Se?”

Me: eyes roll and I open the take-out menu drawer

Soooo when Christmas rolled around, I am sure you can guess what Fiance asked for from Santa. He asked in jest, but Santa (aka Grandma) sent us a VERY generous gift card to Per Se for Christnukah (our hybrid holiday).

Well, you will all be happy to know that we finally cashed in on that gift card last night. It took Fiance a couple months to make a reservation. You would not believe how difficult it is to make a reservation for two at 9:15 on a Thursday night!

Anyhow, our night out to Per Se started off rough because someone threw a temper tantrum. Someone had A LOT of trouble getting their hair curled. That someone was not ready in time and had to to leave with her hair half curled and no mascara! AND SOMEONE’s FIANCE DID NOT UNDERSTAND. Come on, I had to go to the fanciest restaurant in NYC with my hair half curled! I spent the cab ride trying to hold back tears so the makeup I did have on did not run, and the first 15 minutes at Per Se in the bathroom making myself presentable.

Okay, temper tantrum over. Ready for dinner.

Everything in this restaurant reeked of rich. When I asked for the wine list they handed me an iPad. They also brought me several different samples of wine and told me to take my time, try as many as a like, and be brutally honest. Ummm…. Okay! A few samples down and my hair catosphre suddenly seemed like no big deal. I’d like another glass of happy-and-calm please!

Our dinner was 9 courses each. I do not even know how to describe them properly. I will just say, WOW. You can check out the dishes and menu descriptions below.

Our "Welcome to Per Se" fried cheese balls.
The "to tide you over" funny shaped snacks
HASS AVOCADO MOUSSE
Pumpernickel "Melba," Sour Apple Pearls and Toasted Pistachios
Oysters and Pearls Sabayon of Pearl Tapioca with Island Creek Oysters and Sterling White Sturgeon Caviar
SALAD OF HAWAIIAN HEARTS OF PEACH PALM
Celery Branch, California Rhubarb, Meiwa Kumquats and Truffle Purée
Salad of Young Onions
Trumpet Royale Mushroom, glove artichokes, cherry belle radishes and whole grain mustard aigre-doux
GARBANZO BEAN "CROQUETTE" Thumbelina Carrots, Compressed Cucumbers, Niçoise Olive Oil, Petite Mint and Cumin Yogurt
Sauteed fillet of Mediterranean lumina
Shelling bean, eggplant ravioli, pea tendrils and extra virgin olive oil emulsion
*Sorry I ate most of this first.*
SACRAMENTO DELTA GREEN ASPARAGUS
Toasted Corn "Blini," Piquillo Pepper Marmalade, Watercress and "Beurre Blanc"
*And Fiance ate most of this*
Butter poached Nova Scotia lobster
Caramelized salsify, scarlett turnips, broccoli buds, garden mache and béarnaise mousseline
CODDLED JIDORI HEN EGG
Black Winter Truffle, Celtuce, Pine Nuts and Romaine Lettuce "Velouté"
Liberty Farm's Pekin Duck "Presse"
Black olive puree, sweet pepper relish, dandelion greens, meyer lemon coulis and caper jus
GENOVESE BASIL "AGNOLOTTI" "Topinambour," Creamed Pea Tendrils and Meyer Lemon Emulsion
Rib-Eye of Marcho Farms' Veal
Parmesan glazed romaine lettuce, smoked New Crop potatoes, sacramento delta green asparagus, mizuna and sauce bordelaise
Same salad Fiance had earlier (they had to substitute my cheese plate)
Andante Dairy's Partita
Pistachio Financier, quince marmalade, frisee and aged balsamic vinegar
"ROQUEFORT"
White Wine Poached Bosc Pears, Radicchio Tardivo, Belgian Endive and Black Walnut Purée
Blue Gin
Dragon fruit with greek yogurt sorbet and violet gin granite
Our after dinner tea
Popcorn Cola (but we ate it first...woops)
Macerated Sundried raisins, cola syrup, chocolate biscuit and buttered popcorn sherbet
We could choose as many chocolates as we wanted out of a box of about 60!
Frozen cappuccinos
Bon Bons
Donuts
A goody bag of chocolates for us to take home
3 tiers of more dessert!!!!!

Enjoying the view

After dinner, I asked the waiter if he would roll us home, but he laughed like I said something funny (?), and left us with the bill. We walked around the Time Warner building for a bit before going home, taking Tums, and discussing how we could not eat one more thing, until breakfast of course.

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5 thoughts on “Per Se”

  1. I hope the gift card covered it all!! The only thing that I might enjoy is the avocado thing. Oh ya, and hoe did the buttered popcorn sorbet thing taste? All I can think of is the buttered popcorn Jelly Belly’s!

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