Per Se is a restaurant located at Columbus Circle in New York, New York, on the fourth floor of the Time Warner Center. The owner is Thomas Keller who is also involved in the restaurants French Laundry and Ad Hoc in Napa Valley, Bouchon, in Napa Valley and Las Vegas, and Bouchon Bakery, which is also located in the Time Warner Center in New York, New York. The chef de cuisine is Jonathan Benno. It opened in February 2004 in the Time Warner Center in New York City, and was a hotly anticipated restaurant, given Keller's high profile. The restaurant features Keller's distinctive hands-on approach, including his intense focus to detail that extends to cuisine, presentation, mood and surroundings.
Keller chose restaurant/hotel designer Adam Tihany to draw together subtle references of The French Laundry and elements from both his and Keller's pasts. The blue door entrance is modeled after the famed blue door at The French Laundry.
The dining room boasts extensive views of Central Park. There is also a salon, bar, and wine cellar. Like Keller's previous project, The French Laundry, Per Se features two daily prix fixe menus, one of which is vegetarian.
In August 2006, it was one of only three restaurants in the United States to be awarded three stars in the Michelin Guide, along with Joel Robuchon at The Mansion and The French Laundry. They received the same honors in the 2007 and 2008 guides. In their December 2006 issue, Travel + Leisure Magazine named it one of New York's Top 50 restaurants. The restaurant has received four stars, the highest rating, from the New York Times since its opening. Additionally, it was named as the 6th-best restaurant in the world by Restaurant Magazine.
Per se's former head sommelier, James Hayes is currently the associate beverage director for the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group.
Phoebe Damrosch's Service Included, a non-fiction account of her employment as a waiter at Per Se, was published by William Morrow and Company in September 2007.
On a typical night, each diner is given the choice of one of two prix-fixe menus: a nine-course vegetable tasting menu or a nine-course chef's tasting menu; each costs $275, which includes non-alcoholic beverages and a 20% service charge. Menus frequently include up-charges for luxury ingredients such as foie gras and truffles. The price has steadily increased since the restaurant's opening when a tasting menu was $150 without tax and a service charge.
The private room can accommodate approximately 10 people, while the "West Room" can accommodate approximately 60.
Reading devora's review of The French Laundry has spurred me into writing about its sister restaurant, Per Se. I was lucky enough to go in 2005 with a group of ten and one of the guests had a friend of a friend who worked there - otherwise, reservations just weren't going to happen. The meal was a 13-course tasting menu with optional wine pairing, and even though I dropped around $400, it was without doubt the most memorable meal I've ever had. The quality, presentation … more