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Manhattan

Per Se: tour of the kitchen

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Per Se: tour of the kitchen

Nor'easter | Jan 26, 2005 09:35 AM

Thank you to all who responded to my inquiry yesterday asking for a recommendation between Town and Craft. I ended up getting a call from Per Se at about 3:30 offering me a table last night (I had put myself on the waitlist in the morning after waiting on hold for 35 minutes), so I grabbed it. Craft will have to wait.

So I had a wonderful, if expensive, dinner at Per Se. We ordered the 9-course chef's tasting menu and asked them to pair wines for us. The total for two, before tip, was just over $800! Our courses were (1) oysters and caviar, (2) choice of sauteed fois gras or squash soup (as if there's really any choice!), (3) crispy skinned fish, (4) Nova Scotia lobster tail, (5) duck breast, (6) filet of beef, (7) cheese, (8) sorbet, and (9) chocolate dessert, all of which was followed by a selection of house made chocolates and miniardises. For those who haven't been, although each course was tiny and left you wanting more, by the end of the evening I couldn't force myself to eat the wonderful looking miniardises. (And I left behind the small bag of cookies they gave each of us to take home.)

As we were finishing up our dinner, our captain (I don't know if that's what you call him, but the guy who was in charge of service for our table) invited us to tour the kitchen. We eagerly accepted, so he had the front-of-house manager (again, I'm making up titles) bring us back and we got a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes magic, including visits to each of the two kitchens (one for the main dining room and one for the private function room), the room in which the pastry chef works, the chocolate room, and the bakery.

Have others been offered this? If anyone else is interested in seeing it, I wouldn't be at all shy about asking for a tour after dining at the restaurant. For $800 a couple, it should be included in the price of admission. Plus, they seemed to welcome the opportunity to show themselves off.

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