NYC: Per Se (Apr. 2013 #2)
Exec Chef: Thomas Keller
Chef de Cuisine: Eli Kaimeh
Date: April 28, 2013
Victor: My friend Simon has wanted to try Per Se for a long time now, and he finally got the chance to try it back in April! I’ve been lazy about posting this; sorry about that! The meal was pretty great, and I finally got to try the famous cauliflower panna cotta and caviar dish, which took the place of the traditional oysters and pearls that people see so often at Per Se.
Gruyere Cheese Gougeres
Salmon Tartare with Sweet Red Onion Crème Fraîche and Black Sesame Tuile
Simon: Given the mostly familiar ingredients, it isn’t hard to see that the flavors would work well together, but this one bite was still surprisingly good. A good sign of things to come.
CHILLED ARTICHOKE “VELOUTÉ”
Compressed Cucumber and “Romesco”
STERLING WHITE STURGEON CAVIAR
Cauliflower “Panna Cotta” and Island Creek Oyster Glaze
Simon: Absolutely delicious. The first course that really impressed me. The caviar was obviously good, but the cauliflower worked amazingly well, and it isn’t something I would’ve picked in a thousand years.
CHARCOAL-GRILLED SPANISH MACKEREL
Marinated Cherry Tomatoes, Per Se Pickles, and Olive “Relish”
Salmon Creek Farms’ Pork Belly, Poached Hen Egg, Black Winter Truffle, and “Sauce Choron”
Simon: We were asked if we had breakfast when we arrived, and answered no. It was a treat seeing this.
MARCHO FARMS’ RIS DE VEAU “PICCATA”
Cauliflower Florettes, Marcona Almonds, Nasturtium Capers, and Parmesan Mousse
Simon: Sweetbread was sliced table-side. I have to say I’m still not a huge fan of sweetbread, but this was definitely the best I’ve had.
SALAD OF SLOW-ROASTED RUBY BEETS
Rye Crisp, Granny Smith Apples, Celery Branch, Dill, and Caraway Crème Fraîche
Simon: The apple ball in the middle was compressed, and the flavor was definitely more concentrated.
“TORCHON” OF ÉLEVAGES PÉRIGORD MOULARD DUCK FOIE GRAS
Pistachio “Financier”, French Laundry Garden Green Figs, Pickled Ramps, Sunchokes, and Claytonia
Simon: This course was definitely the highlight of the meal for me. Served with warm brioche (that the staff brings out periodically) and various salts. The torchon of foie was rich and creamy like butter, which we spread onto the brioche to eat. This little disk took each of us quite a while to finish due to how rich it was. It was amazing.
Salts, from the top and going clockwise:
-Fleur de sel.
-Salt from Essex, England.
-Salt with clay from Hawaii.
-Volcanic salt from Hawaii.
-Jurassic salt from Utah.
SAUTÉED FILLET OF ATLANTIC HALIBUT “SHANK”
Wild Cocktail Onions, Heirloom Carrots, Meiwa Kumquats, Agretti, and Brown Butter “Gastrique”
HAND-HARVESTED CAPE COD BAY SCALLOP
Sacramento Delta Green Asparagus “en Feuille de Brie”, Rich Bishop’s Potatoes, Petite Radishes, and “Sauce Gribiche”
Simon: They just got these scallops the day before, and said that these were the largest scallops they’ve seen in a while. When they opened the scallops, there were still fish and shrimps inside.
THOMAS FARM’S PEKING SQUAB
Steamed Dumpling, Cucumber “Kimchi”, Greenmarket Tatsoi, and “Sauce Japanaise”
HERB-ROASTED ELYSIAN FIELDS FARM’S “SELLE D’AGNEAU”
Garbanzo Bean “Croquette”, Hakurei Turnips, and Charred Eggplant Mayonnaise
Simon: The lamb was spectacular. The “croquette” is just like a falafel, and tasted amazing.
“CAMEMBERT LE POMMIER”
Preserved Green Strawberries, Piquillo Peppers, and Acacia Honey
Simon: A very friendly cheese course. Loved it.
Compressed Persian Cucumber, Green Tea, and Sake Granité
Simon: This was a very fun course, and tasted really great. Extremely refreshing and a great palate cleanser.
Mango Rice Pudding
“TEA AND TOAST”
Chocolate “Crémeux”, Whipped Black Tea, and Toasted “Pain au Lait” Ice Cream
Simon: Beautiful presentation, and delicious.
-Orange Sherbet “Ice Cream Sandwich”
-24 House-Made Chocolates
-Dark Chocolate–and–Coconut Wafers
-Cinnamon-Sugared Brioche Doughnuts with Cappuccino Semifreddo (“Coffee and Donuts”)
Simon: The “coffee” was a cappuccino semi-freddo, and goes amazingly well with the doughnuts.