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. February does not provide the most vibrant scenery but the floral arrangement offered a promise of spring to come. 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. 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:
THE MISSING PHOTO OF THIS DISH WAS OUT OF FOCUS--SO MUCH WAS I ENJOYING EATING IT MY HAND TREMBLED.
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. This dining experience will go into the archives of my memoirs to be resavored.