This post is about 364 days late since I actually dined here exactly a year ago on November 1st, 2011.
Here's the back story: When I moved to New York City a year and a half ago, I was lucky enough to find the best roommate ever, my big bro! When I told him that I was thinking about moving to the Big Apple, he decided to move with me. I'm actually really close to my brother, so while a lot of people told me that they could never imagine living together with their sibling, I was really excited to have us both under the same roof again. Before this, we hadn't lived together for about 11 years, and this would probably be the last time, and all without parental supervision!
|The Iconic "French Laundry" Blue Doors inside Columbus Circle, leading into Per Se|
I moved to NYC first and acted as the broker, going to different apartments and exploring all the neighborhoods before he came over. After a quick search, I quickly settled on an apartment near Columbus Circle. And, a month later, Big Bro and I became roomies! When he first got here, he mentioned that he wanted to take me out to a nice meal to celebrate our big move, almost like my broker fee for all my hard work. About 5 months later, we finally settled on going to Per Se, since it was right in our neighborhood and was only a 5 block walk away! That was definitely a "OMG, I live in New York!" moment for me, being able to walk to a three michelin star restaurant right from my apartment.
|My date for the evening, my big brother with our 10PM reservation.|
Getting a Reservation
To get a reservation at Per Se, you have to try to make a reservation one month to the calendar date in advance. (For a November 1st reservation, you have to call on October 1st, not sure what happens if you want to make a resi for October 31st and September 30th is the last calendar date) You need to start crazy dialing at 10AM in the morning to get a reservation. I tried this method and it didn't really work out for me. The other option is to ring them up one or two days before you want to dine there to see if they have any cancellations. This worked better for me since I was randomly trying to make ANY reservation at Per Se, and they had one available at 10PM the next week, made available by a cancelation.
|View of Columbus Circle from our table|
At 9:50 PM, BB and I walked on over from our apartment, into the Time Warner Building at Columbus Circle, and took the escalators to be welcomed by the blue doors, a detail imported from French Laundry, Thomas Keller's famous restaurant in Napa, California. It's funny that I never went there while living in California, but this was hopefully a comparable equal.
It was really nice having the reservation for November 1st since my birthday was in November. It was what I liked to think as the beginning of my "Birthday Month"! Per Se was nice enough to print Happy Birthday on my menu.
|My November Birthday celebration begins!!|
|Gougères - little French Gruyère Cheese puffs|
|Salmon Coronets, a signature amuse - salmon tartare that comes in a cone and topped with red onion crème fraîche|
The next dish to come was the one I was looking forward to the most since everyone raves about it when they come back from French Laundry.
|First course, guess what it is....|
|Oyster and Pearls, a signature French Laundry dish - Pearl Tapioca and Island Creek Oysters and Sterling White Sturgeon Caviar|
Alas, the Oyster and Pearls lived up to its reputation, it was definitely one of the highlights of my night. For our next course, we had the option of a palm of hearts dish or for $40 more, we could have a Foie Gras Torchon as a supplement. BB and I decided to have one of each to try.