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Per Se

September 6th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Per Se
We did it all in one year – the trifecta of Keller – Bouchon, The French Laundry and Per Se. Per Se apparently originally got its name when discussing the concept, Thomas Keller maintained that he did not want to do another French Laundry per se, and the “Per Se” just stuck. Although not the French Laundry, there are definitely many similarities, including the lamp shades with the laundry symbols and the symbolic “fireplace” in the main room. But that’s where the similarities in the spaces end. Per Se is much more spacious and affords fantastic views of the skyline, for lack of a better word since I am not sure 6 floors up constitutes skyline, with soaring windows and an open space. A New York institution that has long held 4 stars from the New York Times (the only other restaurant that has held 4-starts for a longer time is Le Bernardin), and recently received 3 Michelin stars in that guide’s first review of New York and deservedly so. The service is of course excellent but also more friendly that at the French Laundry which was a bit more formal. This could be due to the relatively young waitstaff. A fact that we commented on to our server, who in turn said that all the staff tend to be younger perhaps due in part to the training required to work at Per Se and a particular way of doing things, which may be a more difficult adjustment for the more experienced. Our waitstaff were both friendly and knowledgeable and even recommended (at our request), places for a casual dinner later that night. She also kindly gave us a tour of the kitchen in back – just to see one of the cooks laying out individual tiny verbena leaves perfectly emphasizes the the thought and preparation required for each and every dish. No dish is the same nor is an ingredient or presentation repeated. In fact, the dishes had an apple theme with the covers resembling the top of apples with a silver stem. The menu changes every day with a chef’s tasting menu with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. It’s all delicious but our favorites were the gougere amuse bouche, foie gras with peach and house melba toast and the perfectly cooked beef. If you feel like splurging, have the forethought to book 2 months in advance, and have three hours to spend eating in New York – it is definitely worth it.

How could we resist going to Bouchon Bakery when we ran by it at the end of our beautiful run around Central Park. All the bread and pastries at Bouchon come from the Per Se kitchen. The pain au chocolat was disappointing and the chocolate almond croissant was average. The bread however was great as usual – the baguette (one of our favorites) and the lemon currant baguette (T didn’t love the currants but it has a great lemony fragrance). The coffee is good as well. Sandwiches are also available and looked delicious.

Per Se
The Time Warner Center
10 Columbus Circle (at 60th Street)
4th Floor
Manhattan, New York
212.823.9335


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Per Se on Urbanspoon

Tags: Favorites · New York

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Jen Laceda // Oct 22, 2010 at 7:55 am

    To me, Per Se is Perfection!!!

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