NYC: Per Se (Feb. 2014)
Authors: Victor and Michelle
Restaurant: Per Se
Exec Chef: Thomas Keller
Chef de Cuisine: Eli Kaimeh
Date: February 22, 2014
My friend’s birthday recently passed, and I wanted to celebrate with her by getting lunch at Per Se. All four of us really like Per Se, so we were very excited about having the opportunity to go. We made our reservation a few weeks in advanced and waited in eager anticipation for the upcoming foodfest!
The meal was wonderful as always. The “Oysters and Pearls” were fantastic (but this isn’t really new), the poularde/hen was wonderful, and the slow-roasted carrots were unusually soft and flavorful. The desserts were also better than I remember.
Also, my friend Michelle is going to be adding her own comments for this one. They’re the best hahaha. We have got to have her commenting more often…
Gruyère cheese gougeres
Salmon tartare with sweet red onion crème fraîche and black sesame tuile
Victor: We started off with Per Se’s usual starters, the Gruyère cheese gougeres and salmon cornets. These, as always, were delicious. I totally forgot to take pictures here… Oh well. You can see them in the other Per Se posts!
BUTTERNUT SQUASH “VELOUTÉ”
Parmesan mousse and black winter truffle
Michelle: This was tasty. I ate the flower.
“OYSTERS AND PEARLS”
“Sabayon” of pearl tapioca with Island Creek oysters and Sterling white sturgeon caviar
Michelle: This was also tasty. No flowers.
WHITE TRUFFLE OIL–INFUSED EGG CUSTARD
“Ragoût” of black winter truffles
Michelle: Oh I remember I liked this. But no flowers either.
FOREST MUSHROOM “TARTE”
Sunny-side-up quail egg, broccolini florettes, heirloom cauliflower, and winter chicories
Michelle: Purpley flowers!
SLOW-ROASTED CARROT “EN CROÛTE”
Petite onions and raisin-caraway seed vinaigrette
Michelle: I like carrots. And the purpley things look like flower petals.
Cocktail artichokes, Jingle bell peppers, Cerignola olives, Sylvetta arugula, and “Bagna Càuda”
Michelle: I think I captured the light well in this photo. See the leafy things and how transparent they look. And the fish tasted a bit like sashimi. Very yummy.
BUTTER-POACHED NOVA SCOTIA LOBSTER
“Ris de Veau”, wild rice, Vadouvan curry–compressed apples, French breakfast radishes, and “Sauce Blanquette”
Michelle: Also yummy. The red things looked like flowers but were not flowers. I think they were a vegetable of some kind. Deceptive.
FOUR STORY HILL FARM’S POULARDE
Wrapped in applewood-smoked bacon, “Purée de Pommes de Terre”, Persian cucumbers, sungold tomatoes, Miner’s Lettuce, and “Ranch” jus
Victor: They showed us the hen before cutting it up. It smelled wonderful.
Michelle: Those thighs. Should’ve gone to pure barre.
Michelle: The ranch jus did not taste like ranch. I’m glad because I don’t like ranch. Too many Doritos as a kid. Scarred for lyfe.
“Parmigiano-Reggiano” and shaved black winter truffles
Michelle: The truffles were very pretty. Like all veiny and weird and funky.
HERB-ROASTED MIYAZAKI WAGYU
Crispy bone marrow, wilted pea tendrils, and sweet carrot emulsion
Michelle: This cow had never seen a pure barre in its life. And for that I’m glad.
ELYSIAN FIELDS FARM’S “CÔTE D’AGNEAU”
Green asparagus, fava beans, cipollini onion shoots, and Thousand Island “Gastrique”
I have no real comments about this other than that:
1) That one lonely stalk of asparagus was very tasty. It’s got some funny stringy things wrapped around it that made it crispy.
2) The square thing in the front reminded of roast pork in dimsum.
WOODCOCK FARM’S “WESTON WHEEL”
Roasted salsify, Sicilian pistachio, Mâche, and apricot “Mostarda”
Michelle: Oh I love cheese. And the bread was so soft and warm.
Compressed pineapple, golden raisins, carrot soda, and dehydrated yogurt
Michelle: The soda confused me. But I really liked the color. It was like Revlon’s peach parfait lipstick.
Victor: The dehydrated yogurt complemented the acidity of the pineapple and soda and also gave the palate cleanser more substance (in texture). The pineapples were, as expected, firm and also popped with flavor. The carrot soda was unexpectedly good, softly complementing the yogurt and the sweetness of the pineapple and raisins.
COCONUT ICE CREAM
Rice water and “Mochi”
Michelle: Maybe my favorite dessert. Refreshing and the rice water reminded me of rice cakes. And I love rice cakes.
Victor: This was wonderful. I probably liked it a lot more than I otherwise would have because it was so familiar to an Asian palate. The ice cream (made via Pacojet) was very smooth, as expected, and the mocha provided some chewiness that worked well with the melt-in-your-mouth aspect of the ice cream.
Aerated chocolate, white rum–soaked “Génoise”, and “Crème Pâtissière” marshmallow
Michelle: The honeycomb thing reminded me of a fancy aero bar. The marshmallow at the bottom pleased Helen because it was heavily reeking of alcohol.
Victor: I actually felt that this was the weakest dessert of the three sweet courses. There were varying levels of sweetness and texture, but I felt like there was no “wow” factor. Maybe the concept just isn’t that interesting. Hmm.
-Toffee cookies with honey, lemon, and pine nut
-Caramel digestif biscuit
Michelle: I love the toffee the mostest.
-24 house-made chocolates
-Cinnamon-sugared brioche doughnuts with cappuccino semifreddo (“Coffee and Doughnuts”)
Michelle: I ate both things here. Victor did not. For the record.
Victor: Nope, I did not :(. I’ve had this a few times already haha. I’m okay with not having it now. Sugar and calories!
Top: Nougats and caramel
Middle: Lime macarons and black tea–and–honey macarons
Michelle: I also enjoyed all the desserts here. The green macarons were tastier than their brown counterparts.