NYC: Per Se (Feb. 2013)
Restaurant: Per Se
Exec Chef: Thomas Keller
Chef de Cuisine: Eli Kaimeh
Date: February 15, 2013
I haven’t had the chance to go to Per Se in quite a while, and I was lucky enough to have the chance to try Per Se again this weekend! I’m happy I made the trip as I got to try out a few extra courses, some from the vegetable section and some that they played around with.
The cauliflower terrine was especially excellent. It’s the highlight of the meal for me, and it was one of the best vegetable courses I’ve had in my life. Also, the beef course was spectacular. (The beef ones tend to be haha.)
ALSO, SOMEBODY PROPOSED TO HIS FIANCÉE THIS MEAL!!! It. Was. Awesome. A waiter carried this huge covered dish to their table (I had never seen a covered plate that big and was wondering what the heck it was…), and the proposal and ring were underneath. It was a subtle proposal that definitely surprised her, and she said yes to him!
All the symptoms of sudden euphoria were there haha: the increased heart rate and breathing, dilated pupils, and higher-pitched speech. She was basically radiating joy. Heck, she was so happy that we couldn’t stop smiling for quite a while. To quote Michelle, “she made my day!”
Good food + good company + a proposal that I got to witness = a successful meal!
Gruyere Cheese Gougeres.
“SOUP AND SANDWICH”: Celery “Potage”
Pumpernickel Toast Sandwich (I forgot what cheese) and Black Winter Truffle (in the soup)
“BARIGOULE CONSOMMÉ EN GELÉE”
Heirloom Sorrel, Toasted Pine Nuts, and Armando Manni Extra Virgin Olive Oil
“HEART AND SOLE”
Sterling White Sturgeon Caviar, Crispy Spätzle, Horseradish “Royale”, Compressed Cucumber, and Sorrel
This caviar dish had two forms of meat: veal heart and sole; they were combined together to form the cylinder. This dish felt really complex. The spätzle, heart and sole, horseradish royale, and caviar all contributed to the dish, which was greater than the sum of its parts.
JAPANESE SHIMA AJI
Sunchoke, Pine Nuts, Meiwa Kumquag Confit, Hass Avocado, and Nori
The sunchoke and pine nuts did a really good job of complementing the shima aji, and the avocado added some extra richness. I’m not going to lie, though; I personally still prefer sushi compared to crudo.
WHITE TRUFFLE OIL–INFUSED CUSTARD
“Ragout” of Black Winter Truffles
A classic. Excellent as usual.
“CHOU-FLEUR A LA GRENOBLOISE EN TERRINE” (Cauliflower Terrine)
Verjus, Slivered Almonds, and Rosemary Bialy
(“Chou-Fleur” is French for “cauliflower”.)
THIS WAS SPECTACULAR. I think it was one of the top vegetable courses I’ve ever had in my life. It was rich and creamy like foie gras terrine… but vegetarian! So, so much pleasure from eating this dish.
I had this uncontrollable smile on my face while I was eating this dish, and my friend commented, “It’s like you were just proposed to!” And… I totally agree. The dish was that amazing.
Applewood-Smoked Bacon and Chestnut Relish, Savoy Cabbage, Caramelized Torpedo Shallots, and Burgundy Mustard
I really like savoy cabbage, so I was happy to eat it with the monkfish, which was perfectly cooked. The bacon added a nice smokiness to the monkfish, and it also provided an excellent finish to the course, leaving me wanting more.
Butter-Poached Maine Lobster, San Marzano Tomato “Pain Perdu”, Persian Cucumbers, and “Sauce Gribiche”
YUKON GOLD POTATO “RAVIOLI”
Fingerling Potato Chips and Black Winter Truffle from Provence
Truffle truffle truffle! Win.
WOLFE RANCH’s “CUISSE DE CAILLE” (Quail)
Sunny-Side Up Quail Egg, Scarlet Turnips “Cuits Sous Vide”, Warm Parmesan Gelée, and Green Garlic Cream
For the next course, they showed us the huge beef wellington that they were going to use.
ALL-DAY–BRAISED SNAKE RIVER FARMS’ BEEF SHORT RIB (Beef Wellington)
Yukon Gold Potato “Bouchons”, Glazed Pearl Onions, Broccolini Florettes, and “Sauce Colbert”
The beef wellington was excellent. I love Snake River Farms’ beef, and I’ve never failed to thoroughly enjoy the beef courses at Per Se. This was no exception.
“ABBAYE DE TAMIÉ”
Buckwheat “Mille Crêpe”, Apricot “Membrillo”, Pickled Sunchokes, and Burgundy Mustard
There was a lot of cheese, and it was kind of strong, but the buckwheat crêpe did a very good job of complementing and helping to cut down on the richness of the cheese.
Foie Gras Sherbet with Praline Powder
I made the mistake of trying to eat this in one bite. The praline powder had a kick to it; I felt like I was doing the cinnamon challenge for a second there…
CHAMPAGNE MANGO SORBET
Young Coconut Cream, Rambutan, and Coconut Meringue
As usual, the palate cleanser was light, refreshing, and not too sweet. The coconut meringue was sooooooooo good!
Chocolate “Marquise”, Cocoa Jelly, and Banana-Crème Fraîche Sherbet
This was really, really sweet… but really, really good. It was the first time in a month or two that I fully finished a dessert hahaha :(.
Granny Smith Apples, Hibiscus Purée, Vanilla Custard, and Blis Maple Syrup Gelée
BITTER ORANGE AND CHOCOLATE
“Pavé Niçoise”, Caramel Mousseline, Chocolate “Crémeux”, and Burnt Orange Reduction
-Orange Popsicle–Flavored “Ice Cream Sandwich”
-Crispy Chocolate Wafer with Mint Chocolate Ganache (in a gold wrapper!)
Top: Nut Nougat and Butterscotch Caramel
Middle: Amaretto (orange) and Green Tea (red) Macarons
Bottom: Lemon, Chocolate Ganache, and Salted Caramel Truffles
-24 House-Made Chocolates
-Cinnamon-Sugared Brioche Doughnuts with Cappuccino Semifreddo (“Coffee and Donuts”)
Props to Michelle, who ate 8 of the 24 chocolates and 1/3 of the rest of the petits-fours. (She ate her portion like she said she would!)