Per Se (New York, NY) 
10 Columbus Circle
New York, NY 10019
Dining date: 9/25/16
I’ve dined in Per Se’s dining room once, but this was my first time dining at the restaurant’s lounge, called the Salon. In the Salon, right outside the main dining room, the restaurant offers an a la carte version of that day’s tasting menu. Desserts are also offered a la carte, as well as a dessert tasting menu priced at $70 for 5 courses. I picked out a few items from the evening’s menu – one appetizer, a fish, a meat and a dessert.
The Salon offers the same view as the main dining room.
The restaurant’s signature amuse bouche was served in the Salon as well. These were both as good as I remembered – the salmon tartare balanced by creme fraiche in a crispy cone and the warm cheesy gougere.
“OYSTERS AND PEARLS” “Sabayon” of Pearl Tapioca with Island Creek Oysters and Sterling White Sturgeon Caviar
Oysters and pearls was classic, just excellent.
The bread basket arrived next featuring four breads this evening from Bouchon Bakery downstairs.
WHITE TRUFFLE CUSTARD Black Truffle Ragout
Compliments of the kitchen, this course featured a creamy rich custard and plenty of truffle flavor – both infused within the custard and from the black truffle ragout on top.
SAUTÉED FILLET OF MEDITERRANEAN ROUGET Hakurei Turnips, Castelfranco Radicchio, Black Winter Truffles and “Soubise”
This fish had a great crispy skin, moist flesh, and was paired with a creamy soubise. Subtle truffle flavor came through on this one as well.
48 HOUR BRAISED BEEF SHORT RIB Pickled Sweet Peppers, Cocktail Artichokes, Red Veined Arugula and Pimentón Jus
This short rib was so good. It was meltingly tender, very rich and well-marbled, with a sticky jus to add depth.
COFFEE AND DOUGHNUTS
I got the restaurant’s signature coffee and donuts for dessert. Warm donuts were tossed in cinnamon and sugar, paired up with the cappuccino semifreddo.
More sweets, including chocolate/toffee-covered almonds, completed the meal.
Shortbread cookies were packaged to take home.
I thought this was an excellent meal and found the Salon to be a really good option here. All of the food, service included, was about $150 – less than half of the regular tasting menu price. It’s not the complete Per Se experience, but it’s the exact same food with a very high level of service at a more reasonable price. The flexibility is key, particularly if there’s a couple of items on the tasting that you don’t want. And the dessert tasting sounds like something to try one day too.
My friends have gone there for 2 special occasions. I hope to get there over the holiday season.
Definitely a good choice for a special occasion!