Saturday, January 27, 2007

per se - Manhattan

Introduction On the 4th floor at ther Time Warner Centre, Columbus Circle called the best restaurant in New York by Zagat and rated in the top 10 in the world by most restaurant afficionados
Ambience Everything about per se from the attractive entrance and spacious lounge area for pre dinner drinks to the 15 well spaced tables with their fine linen and cutlery and specially made crockery speaks of the utmost care and quality. A very sophisticated area with large windows overlooking Central Park and East Manahattan

Service The attention to every need could not be bettered from the small stool provided for my wife's handbag to the immediate care of any request

Food There were 3 degustation menus on offer, The Chefs tasting menu - which we chose the Tasting of vegetables and the Black and White Truffle menu

Suffice it to say that each dish was absolutely superb
Our menu was as follows

"Oysters and Pearls"
"Sabayon" of pearl tapioca with island Greek oysters and sterling white sturgeon caviar
Salad of Slow Baked Heirloom Beets
Marinated King Richard leeks, garden chervil and red beet essence
CarnoroliRisotto Biologica
White truffles from Alba and Castlmangno cheese -
to my surprise the maitre d brought two large white truffles to the table and proceeded to shave an entire truffle on to each risotto. (There was a US$60 supplement for this dish)
Crispy Skin Fillet of "Loup de Mer"
Fennel bulb,Nicoise olive "petals", Piquillo peppers, Haricot verts and Meyer lemon "Supremes" with "Vierge au citron"
Herb Roasted Atlantic Sea Scallop an extremely large and very delicate scallop served with crispy Hen-of-the-Woods mushroom, celery branch "coulis", celeriac "fondant" and "Creme de Champignon"
"Aguilette" of Liberty Valley Pekin Duck Breastwith garnet yam puree, "Confit of Crosnes and Keepsake farm chestnuts with duck "Jus"
Elysian Fields Farm's "Carr'e D' Agneau" with ragout of Cranberry beans, cardoons, oven roasted Roma tomatoes and sweet garlic with rosemary- infusedlamb sauce
Tomme de la Chataigneraie" - Yukon gold potato salad, pickled pearl onions, "guancile" chip and burgundy mustard vinaigrette
Cranberry Sorbet with almond "pain de Gnes", poached cranberries and cosmopolitan "nuage"
per se "Tarte au Choclat Noir" - passionfruit syrup, coffee "Gelee", candied cocoa nibs, per se coffee ice cream and spiced bread

Apart from the usual gratis bouche amuse having finished the 11 courses our waiter brought two more very excellent desserts including an unbeatable creme brulee after eating them yet another dessert appeared. Including coffee we had had more than an elegant sufficiency and refused the beautiful chocolates. Oh said the waitress we will box them for you and you can pick them up as you leave. On departure we received a large box of perhaps 20 most exquisite chocolates and half a dozen mouth watering biscuits

I was amused and amazed when we asked for salt for a tray to appear with about a dozn small containers of salts - five from Hawaii, this from that beach in Hawaii this from the foot of a volcano this from here and that from there
Wine Wines go up to more than US$6000.00 per bottle. A glass of Champagne a mere $31 and a French red $25 sufficed for us
Price From US$210 to $360 plus wine ($270 for our menu)
Comments Despite the lavish use of quotation marks and the heavy sprinkling of unknown place names and the French terminology, which makes the menu almost meaningless to the casual reader, in every other way I am incredibly impressed with per se A truly memorable dining experience different but the equal of the Fat Duck

Score: 19/20

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