Author Topic: Anniversary Dinner - Per Se  (Read 28609 times)

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Offline Larissa

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Anniversary Dinner - Per Se
« on: March 31, 2014, 06:09:47 PM »
OK, this is going to be photo heavy, so I'll do it in parts.  I took half a day on Friday to come home and get all dolled up (Eric took off totally) so we could make it to Per Se by 5:30.  It's a tiny restaurant in Columbus Circle, and there are only two ways to eat there.

1.  Book your reservation precisely one month in advance of your date (no joke, you need to start calling at noon precisely one month before and keep calling until you get through, hoping they still have space, like a concert).  There are only 16 tables.  There are only two choices for food this way:  The chef's tasting menu, consisting of a 9-course prix fixe dinner for $350 per person, drinks separate, or the vegetarian tasting menu, consisting of a 9-course prix fixe dinner for $350 per person, drinks separate.

2.  Show up at 5:30 with no reservation and hope for one of the 24 seats in "The Salon," a lounge outside the main dining room, with couches and comfy chairs, and high coffee tables.  This is a la carte dining.  The dishes are pretty much the same as on the tasting menu, but you can order what you like and spend more what you can afford.  We chose The Salon, both because we hadn't made reservations a month in advance and because we weren't ready to drop $1,000 on dinner.

So... we left NJ nice & early, totally overestimating the traffic, and got to Per Se at about quarter to 5.  I thought that was perfect, because it made me less stressed and happy we were the first ones there.  Oddly, Per Se is actually on the 4th floor of a mall across from Columbus Circle and overlooking Central Park.

I was surprised at the mall location, but so excited to be there.  The front door of the restaurant is really nondescript, with no sign or indication.  We got the best seats, on a couch at a coffee table looking out a HUGE picture window, overlooking the park & circle.

Our primary waiter (we had 3 or 4) was awesome and took the best photo of us that's been taken in years.  It's definitely going in a frame.  Definitely.

Offline Larissa

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Re: Anniversary Dinner - Per Se
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2014, 06:18:48 PM »
We decided to get one savory dish each, but were treated to two complimentary appetizers and a bread basket of some of the most phenomenal bread we've ever tasted.

First were the gruyere cheese puffs, which already nearly had us dying.

Then pureed salmon on cream-filled sesame cones.  They were so good.  Insanely good.

The breads were baguettes, something I forget what they're called, multi-grain, and pretzel breads.  We ate all of them.  In fact, I ate 8 of them, and Eric ate 7.  I've never eaten that much bread in one sitting in my life.  With French butter.

Offline Larissa

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Re: Anniversary Dinner - Per Se
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2014, 06:24:45 PM »
After that was the main course.  Eric ordered the "Slow Poached Elevages Perigord Moulard Duck Foie Gras," wrapped in "pain d'epice" oat "tuile," mulberries, spring onions, mizuna and aged balsamic vinegar, served with toasted brioche.  In English, foie gras & a roll.  Funny thing?  Eric didn't eat his brioche quickly enough to keep it from cooling, so the waitstaff removed his partially-eaten one and brought a new one for him.  Everything is so precise that the foie gras needs to go with warm brioche.  Cooled brioche just won't do.  They also brought out special fancy salts for us.

I got "Elysian Fields Farm's Lamb," with Sacramento delta asparagus, English peas, red radishes, and caramelized garlic.  Wow.

Offline Larissa

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Re: Anniversary Dinner - Per Se
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2014, 06:52:16 PM »
Then, dessert.  They gave us two complimentary dessert bites.  First was one I don't totally remember the description of, but something with orange and creme fraiche, and it was fabulous.

The second was another cone like the appetizer, but with braised carrots and filled with creme fraiche.

Then, we did the dessert tasting menu... five courses of dessert!

First, Eric's fave, "Cucumber Gin":  Compressed strawberries, ginger jelly, and Hendrick's gin "granite."

Then, "Apples & Pears":  Buttermilk custard, "autumn leaves," and poached Bosc pears.

Offline Larissa

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Re: Anniversary Dinner - Per Se
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2014, 06:53:42 PM »
Next was "Braised Golden Pineapple":  With coconut "mochi" and black sesame ice cream.

This may have been my favorite, "Coffee and Doughnuts":  Cinnmon-sugared brioche doughnuts with cappuccino semifreddo.  It was crazy.

Then my second favorite, the "Steamed Chocolate Pudding":  With toasted pine nuts, "confits" lemon peel, and butterscotch sauce, and creme fraiche.

Eric also offered the most amazing coffee in existence.  No idea what it was, but it was amazing.

Offline Larissa

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Re: Anniversary Dinner - Per Se
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2014, 06:54:46 PM »
Then a waitress came by with a box of 24 different chocolates, 8 dark, 8 white, 8 milk, each with a different filling, all of which she had memorized.  It was pretty incredible.  Eric had a dark chocolate with balsamic (on the left), and I had white honey & dark chocolate with ginger tamarinds (on the right).

And as if all that wasn't enough, the chef sent us a nine-layer chocolate cake to "try" for our anniversary!

Then, they let us take a tour of the kitchen & I met the confectioner!

I need their mixer.  I really do.

myeuropeantouch

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Re: Anniversary Dinner - Per Se
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2014, 07:20:20 PM »
Happy Anniversary to the two of you, all the best you can handle.....
BUT how in the world could you eat all that....it looks scrumptious, delectable, out of this world.....

sooooooooooooo happy for you that you had such a good time and have been spoiled rotten, you deserve it..... ;) :)

Offline Larissa

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Re: Anniversary Dinner - Per Se
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2014, 08:12:17 PM »
They pretty much had to roll us out of the restaurant and down to the street.  I haven't eaten that much in a long time!

And I gained back some of what I lost, but it was totally worth it.

Offline MakinTheBest

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Re: Anniversary Dinner - Per Se
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2014, 06:26:49 AM »
well worth every calorie on your anniversary!  Looks amazing!

Offline Blue Highways

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Re: Anniversary Dinner - Per Se
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2014, 08:18:52 AM »
WOW
And happy anniversary, wishing you both many, many more happy years!


Offline Colette

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Re: Anniversary Dinner - Per Se
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2014, 01:29:45 PM »
Wow! Larissa, what a fist! You're making me hungry here lol.
Happy Anniversary   ;D

Offline Larissa

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Re: Anniversary Dinner - Per Se
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2014, 01:52:32 PM »
Thanks!

And I seriously could eat this same meal every week & be happy.

Offline chainmaille

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Re: Anniversary Dinner - Per Se
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2014, 05:43:51 PM »
Looked like a great time, congrats on the anniversary  8)

Offline Colette

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Re: Anniversary Dinner - Per Se
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2014, 02:20:30 PM »
Larissa,
Your post inspired me to go make some french rolls, and now I can't stop making bread. I can't wait for the week end to be here, just so that I have time to bake  ;D