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Is The Most Expensive French Restaurant in New York City Worth It?

Thomas Keller's famous "The French Laundry" in Yountville, CA is famous for its fine cuisine and elegant dining setting. So much so that Per Se, Keller's East Coast counterpart, drew the attention of several gourmets when it set up shop in New York City in 2004. I had to find out if it was worth the pricey buzz. A nine course vegetarian of Chef's tasting menu will set you back $295, which is actually a respectable figure for the sheer number and quality of courses you get. The views of Central Park are unforgettable, and the dining decor is elegant without being stuffy. The staff raise the bar when it comes to service and the food does not disappoint: from the fresh baked, crackly bread to the mini macarons served in "high tea" fashion at the end. While this is not your daily luncheon special, it's a great place to visit for a special occasion, or a meal to impress. Ph: 212 823 9335

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the chef is not even french! he's mexican! how can it be considered a french restaurant? Besides on its website presentation there's a mandolina to cut the truffles which are typical Italian tubers. I think the identity of this restaurant is pretty much confused. The owner should better understand what kind of restaurant he wants (italian/french?) before beefing up too much stuff otherwise it would look like a mid-westerner fast food other than a french restaurant.

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"Is The Most Expensive French Restaurant in New York City Worth It?"

Not if you're only eating vegetables it isn't. How can a vegetarian review a restaurant anyway?

I can see the options for 'Like' and 'Save'. Where are 'Dislike' and 'Erase'?

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Leopoldo, have you been or spoken to Keller? If not, your comment may be the most arrogant and ignorant piece I've read in quite some time. Unless websites are all that you need....more body lotion?

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@ Scott Hughey, Do you know Leopoldo makes a valid point. I see too many mexican dish washers move up to cooks, That do not get the flavors right. Sad to see a busy Thai restaurant and no one Thai cooking with the understanding of what thai food actually tastes like. In Utah I saw a place that served Italian/Chinese food. Did they get anything right?
This WannaBe French restaurant is another eatery for fools with money and the Clown owner is cleaning up. Just like the Fools that buy Range Rovers that fall apart and get 8mpg and cost 110k.

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What are you bloody people talking about?? (Daniel sahara and leopold whatever) This is Thomas Keller!!! These are true craftsmans....Pick your favorite restaurant (Unless you regularly dine in Michelin Star restaurants) , heir Chef would not last two weeks a the kitchen of Per Se or the The French Laundry....And Leopold, you knob, truffles have been used in french cooking for over 100 years.
Mr. Sahara, starting a sentence with "In Utah" immediately renders any further culinary judgement null and void.Also can we tone the racism down a wee bit? Someone who is Mexican, or of Mexican decent can't learn to cook french food??? Yet, Rick Bayless, a white dude, does high end Mexican food in Chicago and that's all good???
Get a bloody clue people

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How does one opine about a restaurant with eating there? Sort of like watching pornography without really doing the act.

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That's such a ludicrous piece. Who CARES that the author "sacrificed bonding time with her infant daughter" in order to eat at Per Se? And the writing is just so bad...

some groaners:
- the restaurant beckons you to truly “experience”
- from [x] to to the Menu Approach
- This is food DNA—each serving is so unique and complex
- The French Laundry’s philosophy is at work here: [...]. And Per Se echos that philosophy.

Just lazy writing in need of an editor...

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But this line is the most hilarious:

"Thomas Keller's famous "The French Laundry" in Yountville, CA is famous for its fine cuisine and elegant dining setting. So much so that Per Se, Keller's East Coast counterpart, drew the attention of several gourmets when it set up shop in New York City in 2004."
The *famous* French Laundry is *famous* for its cuisine... well, no sh*t! And Per Se didn't "set up shop" (restaurants can't really do that, restaurateurs or chefs can), and it drew the attention of "several gourmets"??? That's got to be understatement of the decade...

Who is this written for, the people who live under large rocks? The semi-literate?

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@Iain McWilliam, you sound very angry. Stick to the topic and stick to facts.

Profile stringio

Nothing is more dangerous than a combination of ignorance and arrogance. And Getinfused, Leopoldo, and Sahara along with the illiterate reviewer demonstrate these characteristics big time! I have had the great pleasure of dining at both French Laundry and Per Se and I am French! The techniques, menus and philosophies of both these restaurants are very French and the current staff trained under Thomas Keller who is a genius. Frankly, I do NOT care what race or religion the chefs are as long as they maintain quality and updated versions of classic French cuisine. I doubt that Leopoldo and Sahara have ever been to France or even to a high quality French restaurant in USA. Leopoldo does not understand how important truffles are historically to French cuisine! And I doubt that Sahara has ever left Utah. There is no confusion as to the dedication of Keller's teams at both French Laundry and Per Se to principles of French classic cuisine with a bit of experimentation. And I agree that restaurant critics who are vegetarian should only review vegetarian restaurants!!! So please go back under your rocks along with the stupid California law that outlaws foie gras and let the rest of us enjoy the gourmet experience while you can dine at Denny's or MacDonalds.

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@Sara S. S. Florent, your careless ignorance is almost comical. Apparently to you good taste is based purely on cost, how sad. Don't be afraid to assess, compare and distinguish on many factors to provide cohesive and coherent criticism. I've had great bottles of wine that have cost hundreds but also great bottles of wine that cost $20. Price is just one factor of many and price should not impress or discourage. Good luck to you! And consider getting a better profile image...

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Here in the Bay Area we aren't as uptight about categorizing things and making them conform. That crap stifles creativity. No wonder you all have to import new ideas from us in California.

Profile stringio

I've always found Mexican cooks, especially those from Veracruz, to be particularly subtle and sophisticated. We may call if French cooking, but French cooking at it's best takes in influences from other places. I can't recall any of the French talking about how Julia Child wasn't French. They weren't the ones to come up with this nonsense. Per Se may not be crusty classical French so much, but it's the real deal.

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Apart from the commercial plugs, there are only so many things one can do in three days. Cloisters and C.Park are OK, but I would not waste a day on the Statue of Liberty, and the Met takes weeks to see properly. I would suggest a little more downtown (Museum of Holography, maybe?), MOMA or Frick, Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center, and Circle Line. And the U.N.--we could all use a little more of that.

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I forgot to mention the new High Line Park downtown.


Per Se

10 Columbus Cir #4
New York, NY, United States
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  • Phone:
    +1 212-823-9335
  • Website:
  • Hours:
    Fri - Sun 11:30am - 1:30pm
    Sun - Sat 5:30pm - 10pm