Per Se

New York's grand culinary statement
Per Se bears the same blue front doors as The French Laundry (its country cousin in Napa Valley) and has similar high-end flourishes (like nine varieties of salt), as well as chef Thomas Keller's legendary "oysters and pearls" signature dish of Island Creek oysters, creamy tapioca and caviar.

The 64-seat Per Se in the Time Warner Center, with its neutral brown palette and silver accents, feels more cosmopolitan and overtly ambitious in ways the pastoral French Laundry is not.

Yet at its heart, Per Se offers the fine-dining indulgences fans worship Keller for (artisanal butter; a fierce focus on fresh ingredients), and it'll still take you five hours to stuff yourself silly on foie gras and truffles as a cavalcade of servers fawns over you. So what if the East Coast setting is a bit more buttoned-up? You won't miss the original a bit.
Our Inspector's Highlights
• The New York restaurant boasts outstanding service and attention to detail, and the tasting menu, which takes about four hours to get through, is a culinary adventure.

• The dining room itself is also quite special; located in Midtown Manhattan in the Time Warner building, the Five-Star restaurant is a modern space with beautiful views of Central Park — so you‘ll want to look your best.

• Per Se is committed to using fresh, seasonal ingredients and changes its two tasting menus daily, so every dining experience will be unique. You'll never find the same menu twice.

• The nice thing about this New York City restaurant is that you’re guaranteed to have a good view wherever you sit — the two-tiered main dining room has large windows and only 16 tables.

• When we’re not doing the full tasting, we like to visit the salon, where you can walk in without a reservation and order from the à la carte menu. Not to out ourselves, but there’s a couch facing Central Park South that’s a cozy spot for a delicious bite and a cocktail.
Things to Know
• Per Se is open seven days a week for dinner, so you don’t have to worry that it will be closed if you’re making a quick trip to New York (just be sure to call in advance, as reservations go fast).

• You can make a reservation one month prior to the date you want to dine by calling the reservation line or through OpenTable. Reservations are required for the main dining room, though the more casual salon accepts walk-ins.

• Dinner is served from 5:30 to 10 p.m. You can also visit the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star restaurant for lunch Friday to Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

• Both dinner and lunch at New York’s Per Se calls for the proper attire. That means to dine at the Five-Star restaurant, gentlemen must wear a jacket and no jeans are allowed in the dining rooms.

• The popular New York restaurant's prix fixe tasting menus offer intricate and delicious food prepared using French techniques — but come with a hefty price tag. Both the vegetable and chef's tasting menu cost $325, which includes the cost of service, but not wine or tax.
The Food
• Per Se offers two tasting menus that change every day. That’s two unique nine-course tasting menus that the chefs have to come up with day in and day out, while continuously pushing the envelope on what they’re offering.

• While the menu at this New York restaurant is always different and exciting, rest assured that you can still often get the signature dishes that chef and owner Thomas Keller is famous for, including "oysters and pearls," a sabayon of pearl tapioca with Island Creek oysters and Sterling white sturgeon caviar.

• Whether you’re vegetarian or not, we highly recommend the tasting of vegetables. The menu changes daily, but a summer offering might include dishes such as fried green tomatoes with ricotta and smoked onion purée or an English cucumber sorbet with compressed strawberries.

• 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.
The Chef
• Per Se's chef and owner Thomas Keller gained fame for his Five-Star restaurant, The French Laundry, in Napa Valley, California.

• Though he never attended culinary school, Keller worked as an apprentice under master chefs in France and the United States, and is now celebrated as one of the best chefs in the world.

• Keller runs eight restaurants and five bakeries, with locations in California, New York and Las Vegas.
Getting There
10 Columbus Circle, New York, New York 10019