Ode to Exquisite Dining Chez Per Se

Thomas Keller is one of my top favorite chefs. I've had amazing experiences both at The French Laundry in Nappa, and at Per Se in New York City so it seemed like the perfect place to celebrate my partnership with Gary Fallowes of NewMetro Design and my new Rose™ product line. And it was indeed a glorious dining experience. It was also a celebration of my imminent move from New York to Hope, New Jersey where eating like this will be happening much less frequently.Per Se is located in the Time Warner building from which we had an excellent view of Central Park, where I grew up. IMG_0845.jpg February does not provide the most vibrant scenery but the floral arrangement offered a promise of spring to come. IMG_0844.jpg We were offered a glass of Jose Dhon blanc de blanc champagne tasting delightfully of apple and accompanied by the classic Per Se tartar of salmon cone, and gougères. IMG_0823.jpg We then proceeded to order the five course tasting menu but what arrived was more like double the number. And each one was superlative blend of balance and finesse. The menu descriptions speak for themselves: IMG_0825.jpg

BUTTERNUT SQUASH "VELOUTE" Hearts of Palm, Ginger, and Pine Nuts

THE MISSING PHOTO OF THIS DISH WAS OUT OF FOCUS--SO MUCH WAS I ENJOYING EATING IT MY HAND TREMBLED.

PEEKYTOE CRAB STUFFED ARTICHOKE, Pickled Celery Branch, Hearts of Romaine Lettuce and Piquillo Pepper Mayonnaise

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HEN EGG CUSTARD, "Ragout" of Black Winter Truffles

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MAINE SWEET SHRIMP, Sea Urchin, Charred Padrón Peppers, Compressed Cucumbers, Cilantro and Applewood Smoked Bacon Vinaigrette

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'POT-AU-FEU," "Collier d'Agneau, "Savoy Cabbage, Hakurei Turnips, Sweet Carrots, Pea Shoots, and "Bordelaise Consommé"

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"SAINT-JACQUES EN CROÛTE DE POMMES DE TERRE," Broccolini, Michigan Sour Cherries and Whole Grain Mustard Emulsion

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CHARCOAL GRILED SNAKE RIVER FARMS' "CALOTTE DE BOEUF," "Spatzle Gratin," Heirloom Beets, Granny SMith Apples, Red Ribbon Sorrel and Horseradish "Mousseline"

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THE BREAD PLATE (Missing is the downy soft Parkerhouse brioche roll!)

Dessert was an embarrassment of riches. First came the two desserts on the tasting menu and then along came many many more! IMG_0834.jpg

CHAMPAGNE MANGO SORBET, Young Coconut Cream, Caribbean Papaya and Coconut Meringue

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CHOCOLATE-SHERRY "TRIFLE," Chocolate "Marquise," Cocoa Jelly and Banana-Crème Fraîche Sherbet

THE MIGNARDISES

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THE PERFECT FINALE--A GREAT CAPPUCCINO

Although I could hardly move, I couldn't resist accepting the invitation to visit the kitchen and it was well worth the detour! There is a large TV screen linked with one in the kitchen of The French Laundry in Nappa so that each group of chefs can see what the other location is doing and feel a sense of connection. IMG_0846.jpg This dining experience will go into the archives of my memoirs to be resavored.