Per Se is the sister restaurant of the legendary The French Laundry in Napa Valley and I was lucky enough to be blessed with a reservation at this Thomas Keller-touched institution. An opportunity like this don’t come often, so I went all out and did the four to five hours long extended tasting menu!
If I were to travel for an “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey”, be cultured, have an appreciation of top tier cooking techniques, and last but not least – just spoil myself with fine ingredients, out of all the Michelin star restaurants I visited, my experience at Per Se would undoubtedly on top of the list.
Per Se was probably the best looking restaurant I’ve been to in New York. It was small – sixteen tables – on the fourth floor of Time Warner Center overlooking the Columbus Circle with the New York skyline in the background. If you are going to be here for hours, you might as well get a view to look at.
Escalators to Per Se. So excited when I was on these escalators!
Entrance. Replica of the doors in The French Laundry.
Butter. One of them was supposed to be hand made.
Matcha. Imported from Japan exclusively for Thomas Keller.
Marcona Almond Sorbet.
Oysters and Pearls. Thomas Keller’s signature dish…a dish I will remember for the rest of my life.
Citrus Cured Tasmanian Sea Trout.
Chesapeake Bay Soft Shell Crab.
Hen Egg Custard. Absolutely stunning. Every spoonful was like truffles exploding in my mouth.
Spring Lamb Offal.
Spring Lamb Offal. Love the smoky flavor.
Salad of Fried Green Tomatoes.
“Pave” of Mediterranean Lubina.
Maine Sea Scallop “Tart”.
Four Story Hill Farm’s Poularde.
Elysian Fields Farm’s Spring Lamb.
Jasper Hill Farm’s “Willoughby”. Who knows cheese and beets went so well together.
Berries and Cream.
Darjeeling Tea “Marquise”.
Even small little details like this adds to the experience.
I was here for around four to five hours and I was simply spoiled. Most dishes were an eye opener, flawlessly executed, and beautifully presented – there was no questionable “filler” dishes in the tasting menu like I sometimes find in other Three Michelin stars restaurants. Everything was so detailed oriented: from the matcha exclusively imported from Japan by Thomas Keller, the hand made butter for the bread, the custom made napkins, and this resonates to every single dishes. Notable highlights were no doubt the Oysters & Pearls and the Hen Egg Custard – something that will burn into my memory forever.
Unlike other tasting menus I’ve had, I was absolutely stuffed – even the party next to me was wondering when the tasting menu would end. This of course only applied to the extended tasting menu that I had: I was one of the first to arrive at the restaurant and last to leave for the lunch service.