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If they can't get the pearls dish right, you might as well jump out of one of those windows.

Exactly. When I had that, it was prepared correctly and it was a four star dish. The lobster, on the other hand, was very ordinary. Nothing like the "melt in your mouth" description from Thomas Keller's book.

 

You have to ask what you are looking for in a restaurant. Room? Service? Food? Bragging rights? For rigorous home cooks, following well written books and scrupulously searching our product can produce extraordinary results...at well under the cost of Suzanne's questioned $333/person lunch. And in your own home you will share this meal with people of your choice, rather than the sometimes pretty grimly pretentious BTOs you might be seated next to at FL or PS et al.

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First of all, there's already a thread called "Per Se Successful Rescheduling" - so let's have that one be about scheduling and phone calls and whatever else. Let's have this one be about the actual

scamhi -- The second time I dined at PS, our dining party arrived at 5:30 pm and didn't leave until shortly before 11:00 pm. It was wonderful. I wouldn't mind dining for more than 4 hours (and might a

Really? I find the service SO clunky. Why are there SO many people helping each table? Who are you supposed to ask for what? Why is nobody ever there when you want something yet there are four peo

You have to ask what you are looking for in a restaurant. Room? Service? Food? Bragging rights? For rigorous home cooks, following well written books and scrupulously searching our product can produce extraordinary results...at well under the cost of Suzanne's questioned $333/person lunch. And in your own home you will share this meal with people of your choice, rather than the sometimes pretty grimly pretentious BTOs you might be seated next to at FL or PS et al.

When you're charging as much as Per Se, there's very little room for error in any of the above. I'm not sure I understand your point about cooking at home. Even if you're Thomas Keller himself, the ingredients still wouldn't be cheap and once you factor in the labor + special equipment you might need to replicate the same meal at home it wouldn't be worth it.

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It's relatively affordable when I experience the whole thing in wetware VR.

 

[i think the actual Elm was a few dollars cheaper than Rebelle, at least in the first months.]

 

I don't think so. It was only "cheap" for near-four-star food. It was mid-priced by any other measure.

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I posted a long time ago that Keller was living off oysters and pearls and the salmon cones and the dessert coffee and donuts. Making tiny dishes and being a proponent and champion of sous-vide "cooking" perhaps has cut him down to size. A few people I know who are dining maniacs have given up on the French Laundry.

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I've only dined at Per Se once [late 2010?]. Overall, I thought the food technically accomplished [with the exception of, yes, chewy lobster] and rather soulless. The room did not help [how differently might I have reacted to the same food in Eleven Madison Park's dining room?].

 

I also wasn't happy about the wine mark-ups, though they're probably quite reasonable by the standards of the 2016 New York market. Our red was a Burgundy from domaine de l'Arlot that we drank a few years too young.

 

Other than the chewy lobster, I can't remember much about the food except the unnaturally regular beef [sous-vide, I presume]. And there were many, many chocolates and petit fours.

 

Full disclosure: I did not 'tip' at Per Se.

This has been my experience of Per Se in every meal, none of which were recent. I have often called it fancy wedding food. Like Wells, I have experienced particularly ungracious sommeliers there, including one who responded to my request at a full tasting menu with wine pairings that I be served zero chardonnay and old world wines over new by serving me one glass of buttered popcorn wine and a second more tolerable white burgundy. I remember in particular that one of those two wines had been made expressly for Per Se/ FL in a very small quanity, a fact that did not make the wine even slightly more to my taste (nor one that necessarily argued for the wine). For a meal that had 7-9 wines, I found the experience appalling and insulting. Today I would never put up with it, but this was one of my more expensive and intimidating meals at that point in my life. My lobster was also far from tender in that same meal and when I stated that I was getting full and thus not finishing courses, they responded by sending me 2 additional courses to "ensure I was loving the food." And this was many years ago. I never returned on my own dime.

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The publicity can't be good, but the amusing thing is that the food doesn't seem to be any worse than it was when it had four stars--or indeed than when it opened. Wells may have had some service issues, but the reservations about the food echo those of Sutton a few months ago, which in turn echo what some people (ahem; but not just me) have been saying for years.

Except in extreme cases I don't think price should be taken into account when rating a restaurant [it should be left to the consumer to judge the 'value' of a purchase; also, what happens after the rave review when the restaurant raises prices?]. But Wells may be upset that the food's the same, but the prices have doubled. :unsure:

Well, this is an extreme case.

 

But in general, review systems of note always end up being tied to pricing systems through baseline standards that are expected for a given rating. e.g. in Tokyo, every additional michelin star means $75/person in total meal cost and not because most restaurants raise their prices based on michelin inclusion. Reviewers take price into account either explicitly or implicitly - as they are sitting down at a restaurant that is designed for a $75pp standard vs one that's designed for a $300pp standard they are evaluating it accordingly.

 

Many of the discussions we've had here about bidets, etc. and the collapse of the nyt star system were just proxies for that - how can we know something is a four star restaurant if it's a bunch of folding chairs in a garage? how can it be fair for such a place to be ranked that high, or for a sandwich place to get two stars, and what does it mean for someone who wants to open a new restaurant, or who's already made the investment in personal bidets installed in each chair?

 

p.s. One surprise is the lack of indignation about wine pricing - in fact there's something of a positive note at the end of the review. Maybe you're right that markups elsewhere have gone up sufficiently that Per Se's prices no longer seems abnormal.

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This review has generated an insane amount of comments in the Times....the best one was that throwing down your napkin has replaced clutching your pearls. I hope that a misplaced spoon wouldn't cast a pall over my meal,but doesn't matter,I'm not going anyway...

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This has been my experience of Per Se in every meal, none of which were recent. I have often called it fancy wedding food. Like Wells, I have experienced particularly ungracious sommeliers there, including one who responded to my request at a full tasting menu with wine pairings that I be served zero chardonnay and old world wines over new by serving me one glass of buttered popcorn wine and a second more tolerable white burgundy. I remember in particular that one of those two wines had been made expressly for Per Se/ FL in a very small quanity, a fact that did not make the wine even slightly more to my taste (nor one that necessarily argued for the wine). For a meal that had 7-9 wines, I found the experience appalling and insulting. Today I would never put up with it, but this was one of my more expensive and intimidating meals at that point in my life. My lobster was also far from tender in that same meal and when I stated that I was getting full and thus not finishing courses, they responded by sending me 2 additional courses to "ensure I was loving the food." And this was many years ago. I never returned on my own dime.

 

 

Aaagh. And Per Se was one of the restaurants that came off well in the infamous Wall St Journal wine pairing piece [though that was in 2008].

 

Edited: every once in a while, I grow weary of wrestling with three-figure lists with mostly four-figure wines, and I think of putting myself in the sommelier's hands, but then I read something like the Wall St Journal article that frightens me off. But as Chevalier's list was what I feared it would be, I let the somm choose glasses for us, and they were both good matches and good wines. I really ought to have expressed my gratitude more concretely...

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This review has generated an insane amount of comments in the Times....the best one was that throwing down your napkin has replaced clutching your pearls. I hope that a misplaced spoon wouldn't cast a pall over my meal,but doesn't matter,I'm not going anyway...

My favorite comment is the woman from Ohio who said her idea of an expensive restaurant meal is an $11 steak.

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I've only dined at Per Se once [late 2010?]. Overall, I thought the food technically accomplished [with the exception of, yes, chewy lobster] and rather soulless. The room did not help [how differently might I have reacted to the same food in Eleven Madison Park's dining room?].

 

I also wasn't happy about the wine mark-ups, though they're probably quite reasonable by the standards of the 2016 New York market. Our red was a Burgundy from domaine de l'Arlot that we drank a few years too young.

 

Other than the chewy lobster, I can't remember much about the food except the unnaturally regular beef [sous-vide, I presume]. And there were many, many chocolates and petit fours.

 

Full disclosure: I did not 'tip' at Per Se.

I distinctly recall chewy lobster as well in 2012. How have they not figured out how to cook lobster in 6 years?

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Wine list is still ridiculous. Comparing to The Modern (best comp I think think both are service included) prices are 20-25% higher on some low end bourgognes. Looking at higher end it's mixed, ranges from Per Se about 10% higher to 60% higher (2012 Fourrier Cherbaudes for example, 355 vs 525)

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From John Mariani...

 

Whatever the subjective and objective merits of the article, it needed to be said when you pay $3,000 for a meal for four. The paradigm is shifting. . . fast. No one has more respect for Thomas Keller than I but it's time to give restaurants back to the consumer. When Per Se opened I didn't include it on my list of Best New Restaurants in America because the number of courses was way over the top and the guests had no choice in the matter.

 

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