NYC: Per Se (Mar. 2013)
Restaurant: Per Se
Exec Chef: Thomas Keller
Chef de Cuisine: Eli Kaimeh
Date March 3, 2013
My friends Ava and Fangda are celebrating their birthdays this month, so we decided to go eat here to celebrate!
The server spilled water on Ava twice while pouring water :(. She even spilled a little water on Ava’s “Fish and Chips” course and left as if nothing had happened. It was kiiiiiind of awkward, and it was a rare instance of less-than-perfect service here :(.
I would add more food commentary and whatnot, but… I’m really, really full. I somehow found myself eating at Minetta Tavern two hours after finishing this meal :(. (We sat near Common and Vanessa Williams at Minetta Tavern, though, so that was pretty cool!)
Also, I feel compelled to mention this: Ava somehow finished 20 of the 24 chocolates. That was
kind of REALLY impressive.
Gruyere Cheese Gougeres.
SMOKED SPINACH “VICHYSSOISE”
With “Deviled” Hen Egg
“OYSTERS AND PEARLS”
“Sabayon” of Pearl Tapioca with Island Creek Oysters and Sterling White Sturgeon Caviar
You’ve probably seen a bunch of pictures of this already haha.
MAINE SEA URCHIN
Cauliflower “Panna Cotta” and Sour Apple Granité
Ava and I thought that the flavors worked really well together. Ava thought that the textures did not really mix well, though! I’m… not sure what to think about the texture. I can see why others wouldn’t really like it, but I enjoyed it. There was the soft creaminess of the uni, the crunchiness of the granite, and the smoothness of the panna cotta.
CODDLED JIDORI HEN EGG
Sunchoke Mousse, Black Winter Truffle Purée, Garlic Melba, Brown Butter–Hazelnut Vinaigrette
The brown butter, hazelnut, and truffle purée really brought out and added different accents to the flavor of the hen egg. The yolk and brown butter–hazelnut vinaigrette were rich and creamy and were welcome surprises after having a few bites of the egg white layer at the top. The garlic Melba toast helped cut into the richness of the egg and vinaigrette. The flavors of this dish were very strong, and everything was incredibly delicious. I loved it.
“FISH AND CHIPS”
Grilled Spanish Mackerel, Hen Egg Emulsion, La Ratte Potato Chips, Frisée Lettuce, and “Sauce Gribiche”
This was a whimsical play on “fish and chips”. It wasn’t heavy at all; the potato chip and lettuce definitely helped to counter the mackerel and hen egg emulsion. Everything about the dish felt really light, though—it felt like a light-but-delicious snack between the two heavier courses that came before and after this course.
SALMON CREEK FARMS’ PORK JOWL “DUMPLING”
Pickled Scarlet Turnips, Spicy English Cucumbers, Wilted Pea Tendrils, and Kanzuri Purée
(Kanzuri is a paste made with red chili, yuzu, and salt.)
This was a whimsical and fun dish. It’s really fun to eat here when they make dishes like this! The pickled turnips, cucumbers, and Kanzuri purée basically represented the Chef’s interpretation of kimchi, and I thought the strong flavors of the “kimchi” balanced the pea tendrils and dumpling really well. I really, really liked the sauce; then again, that might be because I really enjoy Korean food!
On the other hand, Ava wasn’t a fan of the kimchi or the sauce, but she thought the dumpling was really good.
“Soffrito”, Red Wine–Braised Tardivo Radicchio, Parsley, and Caper “Ravigote”
Ava was pleasantly surprised at how delicious this dish was, and she thought it had the perfect amount of sweetness.
HAND-HARVESTED MAINE SEA SCALLOP
Charred Shishito Peppers, Almond Yogurt, Heirloom Sorrel, and Noilly Prat “Nuage”
Ava thought that the scallop was AMAZING, and I agree!
FOUR STORY HILL FARM’S POULARDE (Young Hen)
“Cervelas de Lyon”, “D’Anjou Pears”, Pearl Onions, Mâche, and Green Peppercorn “Gastrique”
The hen was really moist, and the skin was REALLY fatty and delicious (as you would expect from poularde).
DEGUSTATION OF ELYSIAN FIELDS FARM’S LAMB
Mint “Gnocchi”, Petite Radishes, Sweet Carrots, Pea Tendrils, and “Paloise Consummé”
We had lamb confit, lamb loin, lamb liver, aaaaaaaaand… I forgot the fourth :(.
I looooooooove meat. Seeing these different forms of lamb made me very happy, though I think it made Ava even happier—she LOVES lamb haha.
“CAMEMBERT LE POMMIER TRUFFÉ”
Rhubarb Gelée, Celery Branch, Meiwa Kumqaut Confit, Sicilian Pistachios, Balsamic “Bitters”, and a Black Pepper Roll
Ava thought the cheese was too strong, though I thought it was okay; then again, I think I’m starting to like stronger cheeses more and more… The rhubarb gelée and black pepper roll really helped to cut down on the strength of the cheese, though Ava still thought it was a little too strong even with those. Also, that kumqaut confit was DELISH and really, really sweet; it was a welcome sweetness that definitely added to our enjoyment of the meal!
Also, the plating is BEAUTIFUL.
CHAMPAGNE MANGO SORBET
Young Coconut Cream, Rambutan, and Coconut Meringue
Had this last time!
Chocolate “Marquise”, Cocoa Jelly, and Banana-Crème Fraîche Sherbet
Also had this last time!
-Orange Sherbet “Ice Cream Sandwich”
Top: Nut Nougat and Butterscotch Caramel
Middle: Amaretto (orange) and Grapefruit with Matcha Green Tea (pink) Macarons
Bottom: Lemon, Chocolate Ganache, and Salted Caramel Truffles
-24 House-Made Chocolates
-Cinnamon-Sugared Brioche Doughnuts with Cappuccino Semifreddo (“Coffee and Donuts”)
Again, Ava ate 20 of the 24 chocolates—that was really, really impressive.