Per Se, nestled on the fourth floor of the Time Warner building in Columbus Circle, has been on my food bucket list for years. In fact, Facebook just reminded me that ten years ago, my college self was posting statuses about how I wished I had the money to eat there. Fast forward to 2022, and I finally did it. For our fifth anniversary, we decided to splurge on an incredible meal at one of NYC’s three Michelin star restaurants.
For those hoping to get a coveted reservation, you can do it on Tock. I highly, highly recommend setting an alarm for when reservations drop because they were all gone by the time I finished checking mine out. Reservations open on the 1st day of the month at 10am EST. Reservations require a $200 deposit per person, which is then applied to your check. They offer two tasting menus: the Chef’s Tasting and the Tasting of Vegetables. Both menus are $355 per person.
Upon arrival at the restaurant, we were greeted at the door and seated immediately. Everyone we encountered wished us a “Happy Anniversary” and we were offered a complimentary glass of their house sparkling wine, which was created just for the restaurant. Of course, we ended up ordering cocktails on top of the glass of bubbly. Their alcohol options are so large it’s presented on an iPad!
Our meal started off with an amuse-bouche of salmon tar tar in a tuile cone. I had noted on the booking that I did not want sesame seeds, so they made mine with an black olive tuile cone instead. I loved that small attention to detail.
Our waiter went over the menu with us, allowing us to pick any dishes that came with a supplemental cost. I opted for one supplement, while X stayed true to the original menu. Throughout the next 2.5 hours, we were presented with 8 delicious courses. At the end of the dinner, they presented us with a printed menu with our names and the date.
Oysters and Pearls – “Sabayon” of Pearl Tapioca with Island Creek Oysters and Regiis Ova Caviar
Slow-Poached Hudson Valley Moulard Duck Foie Gras with Oat “Tuile”, California Pistachios, Sour Cherry Compote, and Greek Yogurt ($30 supplement)
Dover Sole “A la Grenobloise” with Cauliflower Florettes, Crispy Capers, and Meyer Lemon Gastripue
Stonington Maine Sea Scallop with Ricotta Dumplings, Greenmarket Potatoes, and Black Winter Truffle “Beurre Blanc”
Griggstown Farm Pheasant with Salt-Baked Radishes, Broccoli Pureé, and Szechuan Peppercorn “Mignonnette”
Elysian Fields Farm Lamb with Delicate Squash, Roasted Chicories, Bon Bon Medjool Dates, and Sauce Navarin
Gougère with Aged Comté and Black Winter Truffles
Dessert – The dessert course consisted of 3 sweets and additional goodies. We were served a new take on coffee and doughnuts with an espresso mouse and tiny bioche doughnuts.
Starfruit Sorbet with Ginger Beer Granité, Lime-Scented Champange Mango, and Olive Oil Pâté de Fruit (top center)
Madagascar Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Brown Butter Pound Cake, Banana-Rum Jam, and Caramelized Sugar Tuile (bottom right)
Tarte Au Chocolat with K+M Chocolate Pudding, Whiskey Caramel, and Pearson Farm Pecans (bottom left)
We were also served macarons, caramels, and the cutest anniversary chocolates.
And last, but not least, we were presented with a box of colorful truffles. If you’ve still got place, you’re more than welcome to try as many as you want. I opted for three, because that’s just about all that fit in my stomach!
To recap, I think both of our favorite course was the Oysters and Pearls. The oysters were super creamy and paired so well with the salty and briny flavor of the caviar. A close contender for me was the Dover Sole, where the Meyer lemon really made the subtle flavors of the fish shine. X’s favorite was perhaps the 5+ desserts that we were served, as the resident sweet tooth.
Service throughout our 2.5 hours was absolutely perfect. Our dishes were presented expertly and cleared efficiently. Everyone was super friendly and decidedly not stuffy, which has been an issue at some other fine dining establishments I have been to in the past. I cannot rave enough about how special our meal was. If you’re looking to splurge for a special occasion, I cannot recommend Per Se enough.