Answers from Our Experts (1)
Per Se, the acclaimed New York restaurant from chef Thomas Keller, is known for its two expansive tasting menus that change daily to incorporate fresh, seasonal ingredients. Every dining experience at Per Se is different and it’s hard to predict what will be on the menu, but you can anticipate a few signature dishes that Keller regularly serves at both Per Se and The French Laundry in Napa Valley, California. A few of our favorite things:
1. One of the restaurant’s most popular dishes, the "oysters and pearls," often appears on the chef’s tasting menu. The dish consists of Island Creek oysters and a sabayon of pearl tapioca, topped with Sterling white sturgeon caviar.
2. Whether you’re vegetarian or not, we highly recommend the tasting of vegetables. It’s pricey at $295, but beautifully showcases Keller’s ability to use seasonal produce to create elegant, complex masterpieces. The menu changes daily, but a summer offering might include dishes such as fried green tomatoes with ricotta and smoked onion purée, an English cucumber sorbet with compressed strawberries, green almonds and Greek yogurt or a mascarpone-enriched corn “agnolotti” made with corn kernels. For dessert, you can expect treats made with fresh fruit, such as apricot cheesecake or raspberry mousse with lemon-thyme ice cream.
3. The chef’s tasting menu, also priced at $295, consists of several small courses — we’ve seen the menu range from nine to 12 dishes — that are perfect-sized bursts of exciting flavor combinations. The Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star restaurant's tasting menu changes daily, but a recent summer menu had foie gras with sweet tea gelée and pickled watermelon rind, a butter-poached Nova Scotia lobster with grilled farm peaches and a fricassée of farm-fresh Peking duck with creamed corn and wilted spinach. For dessert, you might find a plum purée with ginger sherbet or chocolate crémeux with bourbon-maple syrup ice cream.
4. You can enjoy a specialty cocktail in this New York restaurant’s more casual salon, which offers a drink menu that changes every two to three months. During a recent visit, we enjoyed a sweet and spicy Charbay rum mixed with elderflower liqueur and pink peppercorns.
5. Desserts can be as complex as some of the savory offerings at Per Se, but we personally love the restaurant’s signature "coffee and doughnuts" — an upscale twist on a classic New York duo. The coffee is actually a semifreddo topped with milk foam, paired with a cinnamon sugar doughnut. This treat is a mignardise, so be sure to save some room for it.