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“Perhaps just to say you've been here.” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Per Se

Per Se
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Ranked #6 of 13,478 Restaurants in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $25 - $100
Cuisines: French, American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Business meetings, Scenic view, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Full Bar, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Fine Dining
Neighborhood: Midtown
Cross street: 60th Street
Transit: 1,9,B,D,A,C to Columbus Circle
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
640 reviews
340 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 566 helpful votes
“Perhaps just to say you've been here.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 24, 2014

Per Se is very good. Because of its reputation and the fact that you (or maybe a subordinate) beat out other phone calls at the precise moment one month in advance to get a table, you should probably eat here. I struggled between 3 and 4 stars because my overall experience was a bit flat here in spite of excellent company.

For many of us, Per Se is not an everyday meal. It should go without saying that the meal, its anticipation, our attire, and any accompanying reason for the occasion are probably all on a much more hyped scale than a typical night at a chain restaurant. Therefore, I want to do a couple things in this review. 1. Review Per Se on a level with other comparable places, not the $12 lunch I also enjoyed; and 2. Give some insights that might help those who are trying to understand this place/make a decision about where to eat.

1. The tasting menu at dinner is $310. It consists of 8-9 courses. About half of the courses have an optional selection (such as black truffles or beef) that cost an additional $40-$125 per choice.
2. For my dinner I had...
A. Oysters and Pearls w/pearl tapioca Island Creek Oysters and Sterling White Sturgeon Caviar. These were delicious.
B. Big Island Hearts of Peach Palm "Bavarois" with sweetheart tomatoes, purslane and black winter truffle. This was the best dish of the evening.
C. Grilled fillet of gulf cobia. This was well-cooked, but bland.
D. Succotash with Maine Sea Scallops. The succotash was delicious, but the scallops were salty.
E. Four-Story Hill Farms milk-fed Poularde w/caramelized fennel "tapenade", pearl onions, radish sprouts.
F. Elysian Fields Farm's Saddle of Lamb with heirloom carrots, garbanzo beans, garlic, and charred egg plant. The lamb was perfectly cooked. Its accompanying sauce was a bit too salty, even for a salt lover! The lone carrot piece was wonderful.
G. Consider Bardwell farm's Rupert, broccoli crepe, granny smith apples, english walnuts and Merche. This was an excellent dish.
H. Assortment of desserts. This was a bombardment of two ice creams (both good, not great), truffles (delicious), beignets (the worst thing by far. Downright bad!), and candies.

3. The meal was very good, but very little stood out as brilliant or amazingly unique. Perhaps the best things here were the house made butter, the vegetables that accompanied each dish (and they do offer a $310 Vegetable tasting as well), and the truffles.
4. Wine pairings are perfect. The Hudson Chardonnay was my favorite, though nothing disappointed. Wine by the glass runs in the $25-$45 range. They also have a nice selection of beer.
5. The service was a bit rushed. I was asked twice about what cocktail I wanted before I had had time to take my jacket off. I felt like my server was a bit out of place at the restaurant. He seemed fidgety, constantly in a hurry, and not really a good listener. Other staff who attended us were much more professional.
6. I asked one of the attending servers, and he told me that Thomas Keller is seen here about once every couple of months. FYI.
7. The atmosphere here is similar to other nice places where large floral arrangements are used to add warmth and beauty to a fairly sterile place. Even though Per Se is on the 4th floor of an office building, the setting is nice. From the windows there is a nice view of Columbus Circle and the edge of the park.

Like others who have written reviews, I have had the good fortune of eating at several other great places in New York, as well as other San Pellegrino list places around the world, some of which are much more expensive than good. For me, this is a bit more middle of the pack on that list.

The best service and meal that I have had in New York (and maybe anywhere) is at Le Bernardin. After I ate at Per Se, I was glad I went, but given the choice, would return to other places in the city much sooner. You should eat here to say you've been. The meal is very good, as it should be at this price and hype point, but short of remarkable.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
3 Thank mbc421
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
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  • Any
English first
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
58 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Faultless”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 23, 2014

What's to say that hasn't already been covered off? This is indisputably one of the great restaurants, anywhere. If you're lucky enough to secure a table, then go, forget the credit card limit and revel in a luxurious experience. Contrary to what one may have read, the welcome, service and approach was neither stuffy nor uptight. Our waiter, from Liverpool, was a great mixture of knowledge, charm and humor.

Over a three hour lunch, the hits just key coming. When you kick off with their iconic and breathtaking 'oysters and pearls' then its tough to maintain the standard, but somehow they deliver. The dishes belong on the walls of the Met or Guggenheim, such is the touch and artistry involved.

The 'Lobster mitt' was an interstellar mouthgasm of unspeakable joy. The lamb - oh my. The deconstructed rhubarb mousse - unforgettable. Add in the breads to make you weep, the cheese, the amuses bouches, the views over a gloriously sunny Central Park and you can appreciate why Per Se is still indisputably at the top of its game.

As an aside, we also managed to polish off every single petit four offered. I think the staff were a mixture of surprised, appalled and impressed. There must have been 15 each, from toffees to macarons, chocolates to little patisseries. Was it shameless gluttony? Absolutely! Will I ever look back and regret it? Not in a million years.

With a crisp, summery Sancerre and water, the bill was around $300 per person. Yes, it's not cheap, but nor should it be. It represents the pinnacle of the culinary arts, the apex of hospitality. Bravo and thanks, Per Se. I cannot wait to return.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Penandforkinhand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Regina, Canada
Level Contributor
428 reviews
246 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 172 helpful votes
“Classic, elegant and not to be missed.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 19, 2014

I had tried on numerous occasions to secure a reservation at Thomas Keller's "French Laundry" in Napa Valley. Unfortunately it is the hardest ticket in town to get so my number one priority for my first ever trip to New York was to try to secure reservations at "Per Se" to get the famed "Thomas Keller Experience".

Getting reservations at this restaurant is just as tough. You can only reserve one month to the date of your arrival and the reservation line opens at 10:00 EST. I called every day only to be told that they were full. I put my name on the wait list and was VERY excited to get the call that they had a cancellation. It was an early dinner (5:30) but beggars can't be choosers.

The major benefit to the early arrival was the wonderful view of Central Park in the daylight. All tables in the restaurant have that wonderful view. The restaurant setting is very elegant. Crisp linens and beautiful silver settings.

The service in this restaurant is unbelievable. I am sure there are more staff then guests. They are at your beck and call. You table is cleared of everything after every course (glad I'm not the dishwasher).

Every course we had was amazing. I am not a lover of seafood so they adjusted my tasting menu to accommodate however I did try all of the seafood my husband had and it was excellent. I wouldn't hesitate to order the standard menu next time.

Yes, this restaurant is expensive but it is an experience you are paying for. There is not doubt that food that good coupled with exceptional service is expensive to put out, hence the high cost per head.

We have been very fortunate to experience some amazing dining experience in our travels and Per Se ranks at the top (along side of Alinea in Chicago....another amazing but totally different experience)!

I really is a once in a lifetime experience and one more thing off of our bucket list!

  • Visited June 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Cheryl K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
boston
Level Contributor
43 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“excellent is excellent”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 18, 2014

I had a wonderful dinner the other night at Per Se we had not been there so it was time to try it. The reviews are really right the food was excellent and the service wonderful we had a window table and at sun down it was beautiful. The dinner was a lovely a 9 course dinner with about 5 different desserts after that. The best came when we were leaving they gave us with a tin box with Per Se's name on it and 6 butter cookies just in case we were still hungry. The prices are really much too high for food and the wines was it worth it of course not but a wonderful experience. If you want a reservation they require it one month to the day and try at exactly 10:00 a.m they fill up immediately. Put your name of the wait list if they say they are fully booked.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank peach20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
88 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Off the chart Can't even rate something this good”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2014 via mobile

This was so amazing . We have been to. Noma , alinea , erc
Per se was the best
They have delicious food ,from oysters with caviar in a cream sauce with farfel to abalone and Kobe beef
Remember to splurge on xtras
The tagliatelle with black truffles
Is worth the surcharge
There are 3 desert courses and home made beignets and chocolates

  • Visited June 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Pacmandoctor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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