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MICHELIN Guide's Point of View

An experience at Thomas Keller’s Per Se is one to be savored, recounted, and remembered. Even with its stellar views and the clever décor whereby each ...
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Three MICHELIN Stars: Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey!
About
Opened in 2004, Per Se is Thomas Keller’s acclaimed New York interpretation of The French Laundry in the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle. Designed by Adam D. Tihany, Per Se features a serene and intimate environment with spectacular views of Central Park and Columbus Circle. The restaurant is Chef Keller’s second three-Michelin-starred property featuring his daily nine-course tasting menu and a nine-course vegetable tasting menu using classic French technique and the finest quality ingredients available. An award-winning wine list, boasting more than 2,000 bottles, complements the menu. The list highlights a collection of older wines as well as wines from small producers that are released
PRICE RANGE
$25 - $100
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Meals
Dinner, Late Night
CUISINES
French
FEATURES
Reservations, Private Dining, Seating, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service
Reviews (1,844)
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All reviews oysters and pearls tasting menu foie gras wagyu beef amuse bouche white truffle tagliatelle lobster macaroons ice cream salad french laundry thomas keller columbus circle central park special occasion eleven madison park
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Reviewed yesterday

I could not wish for a better celebration of my birthday. The experience fully lived up to the expectation in smallest detail. From the food which was a divinely crafted composition, through wine pairing, that elevated the experience even further, to the service that was...just perfect. I felt grateful to be alive and able to enjoy the moment I will truly never forget. Thank youMore

Date of visit: May 2022
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Reviewed 1 week ago

What a setting to enjoy post-Covid lockdown! Classy decor, very professional and at the same time friendly service (funny sommelier!), unforgettable food services with researched ingredients, selection of wines to die for. Thanks to all the team for such wonderful evening!

Date of visit: April 2022
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Reviewed April 17, 2022

We dined here just before Thanksgiving 2021, and the meal was outstanding. We didn't mind the upselling at the beginning, and the white truffle was well worth it anyway. The staff was very attentive, and the food was excellent. There was even a brief kitchen...tour at the end where we saw Chef Keller on CCTV from the French Laundry. We will definitely return and are considering turning it into an annual holiday tradition.More

Date of visit: November 2021
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Reviewed April 8, 2022

Just an incredible experience. Décor is simply gorgeous, service is just the best. And the food is to die for. Beautifully presented, and a wonderful range of tastes. Great views of Central Park, and definitely worth the splurge.

Date of visit: March 2022
Helpful?1  
Reviewed March 28, 2022

"Are we at Per Se or are we at Applebee's?" This was the question on our minds as we ate dinner. Buyer beware - do not come to Per Se if you are expecting a refined and elegant dining experience. Per Se has no expected...standards of attire and behavior being enforced confirmed by its own maitre d Alex Pimentel. This failure of the purported three Michelin star institution greatly reduced the quality and enjoyment of our experience and was far below what we have experienced in the past at Per Se or other three Michelin star restaurants. One table in our direct view had two very old men with two teenaged-looking girls. One girl was wearing sweatpants, a crop top, and flip flops. The other girl was wearing a sweatshirt and sneakers. One of the old men had a little black puppy with him and Per Se allowed the puppy to run around the floor of the dining room throughout the dinner. Another table next to us was obnoxiously loud throughout the evening, taking over the space and taking away from everyone else's enjoyment. It was clear from the circus around us that Per Se has no standards for guest attire or behavior and does not care about guest experience at all. When I wrote to the restaurant after our dinner to share our feedback, the maitre d Alex Pimentel asked me to call him to talk. After playing phone tag a couple times, we were finally able to connect. Alex began the phone conversation by flippantly stating "I understand you had a problem with some guests who weren't dressed as nicely as you would have liked?" Wow. This is the guy they put in charge of guest relations? What a great attitude for the job. Alex ended up wasting 20 minutes of my time by making up excuses for every single aspect of our underwhelming dining experience. According to Alex: 1) Per Se does not have a dress code for women, only for men. Women can apparently dine in a string bikini and flip flops. Alex says: "Per Se gets people from all walks of life and unfortunately we really only enforce a dress code for men." 2) Alex said the old men were hotel guests and that they were dining with their "nieces or daughters." I told him that we could not care less where the old men were lodging or the nature of their relationship with the teenaged girls, but that the young women should at the very least not be wearing sweatpants, crop tops, flip flops, sweatshirts, and sneakers. Alex once again reiterated that there is no dress code for women. 3) Alex could not come up with an excuse for the puppy running around. 4) Alex said that if we were disappointed at any point in the evening with our experience, the burden was on us to try to create the experience we want. Alex said we should have complained about the other guests (all seated within earshot) and we may have been reseated space permitting. So a three Michelin star restaurant is putting the onus on its guests to create a fine dining experience. Why would it be on guests to make sure Per Se enforces basic standards of attire and behavior of other guests? When Per Se allows a circus in its dining room, Per Se is not going after a three Michelin star experience. When the maitre d tells guests that it is actually their burden and responsibility to create a pleasant and enjoyable experience, there is something terribly wrong with the training and culture at Per Se. 5) Food: lobster was extremely chewy like bubblegum. The chicken was bland and a bit rubbery. Loved the crispy skin on the bass. Lamb was just lamb, but on the tougher side. The wagyu was unremarkable. Black truffle pasta was delicious with a generous shaving of truffles. 6) Service: star is for Maris who was fantastic and we appreciated her excellent service and professionalism. Maris seemed to be the only one we encountered at Per Se who was aware that the restaurant is supposed to provide a three Michelin star experience. The wine pairing was $350 and the sommelier was perfunctory and inattentive. Alex concluded our phone conversation with an underwhelming, "well in the future please reach out to me to coordinate your next visit to Per Se." He didn't even offer a genuine apology without excuses or any gesture of good will from the restaurant. Will we be coming back to Per Se after this experience and Alex's response to our feedback? As Randy Jackson once eloquently stated, "Yeah that's gonna be a no from me, dawg."More

Date of visit: March 2022
Helpful?10  
Reviewed January 23, 2022

We are probably a little bit of a challenge for high end restaurants to impress. Debbie puts Per Se at number 4 and I put it at number 5 on our all time starred restaurant experiences. Pricewise, it was more than double the next closest,...but that was because it was a black truffle and caviar menu. Their standard menu would have put them at about 3rd or 4th pricewise. If you have ever wondered about truffles, after this menu, you will wonder no more. Our favorite restaurant in Atlanta--La Grotta—pushes truffles when they have them. We may never be able to order truffles again. We are truffled to the max. As far as caviar, it was not nearly as heavy. I suspect they over bought truffles, and because of covid they did not sell as well as expected. To get rid of the truffles, they had this special dinner, and layered them on. They even covered the chocolate dessert course in truffles. Interestingly, the course we called best, the dover sole, was truffle free. Perhaps it was the contrast. Let me compare tonight with our number one restaurant experience. Number one was Guy Savoy in Paris. We did their tasting menu, but Guy Savoy also has ala carte offerings. While we were dining, a mother/son pair was served ala carte salmon cooked tableside on dry ice. My wife was fascinated and the headwaiter noticed. The head chef appeared at our table and added an extra course to our menu—salmon cooked tableside on dry ice. That, in and of itself, set the service bar at an impossibly high level. At the end of the meal, my wife asked if they had tea. A cart appeared cover with tea trees—10 feet high. A waiter interrogated her on her tea preferences, and clipped leaves from various trees and prepared her tea tableside from those leaves—extraordinarily impressive. Per Se was very good, but they did not hit the extraordinary level. Per Se’s sommelier was probably the best we have ever had. Not only could he lecture on all of the technical attributes of the various wines, he had a confident personality. Here is an example of what we appreciated about Per Se’s sommelier. We tend to take note of the stemware a restaurant uses. Per Se had a variety: some hand-blown Riedels, some machine made Riedels, one Zalto, and toward the end, they served a glass marked “Riedel Restaurant.” So I was jabbing him about serving such pedestrian glassware. He immediately retorted, “Sir, those glasses are so exclusive they are unavailable to the public.” Touché. However, there was one minor service gaff. Our dessert course was served before the dessert pour, even before the dessert wine glasses were placed. We had to remind them to serve the dessert wine, and our frozen desserts were melting as we waited. Although, after we reminded them, they were prompt. We are thrilled that we did Per Se. I will however offer one criticism. The wagyu course was not A5. We know what A5 wagyu tastes like, and this was not A5. Admittedly Per Se did not tout that it was A5, they touted it as “genuine Japanese wagyu—the real thing.” Apparently, they anticipate that most of the customers do not realize that “genuine Japanese wagyu—the real thing” is graded, and this was a lesser grade. It should have been A5 at this price point. I asked the number 2 waiter whether I could check Thomas Keller off of our to do list. I will paraphrase his answer. The French Laundry has a California Vibe that contrasts with the New York Vibe of Per Se, but the food sensations will be similar. We will return to Guy Savoy, before we do the French Laundry.More

Date of visit: January 2022
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Reviewed December 20, 2021 via mobile

Beautiful restaurant, amazing dining experience, excellent staff. This was the best dining experience this trip, and we did Daniel and the Modern the two evenings prior. We have had the opportunity to dine at French Laundry twice, the Meadowood, Single Thread, and Eleven Madison Park...before it went vegan. There are many similarities btwn Per Se and French Laundry from the salmon amuse bouche to the chocolate truffles. Although I do like the shortbread cookies at French Laundry a bit better. This was a very enjoyable divert and I would definitely go back next time I'm in NYC.More

Date of visit: December 2021
Helpful?1  
Reviewed October 25, 2021

I think it's important to contextualize this review. Per Se is certainly an excellent restaurant with outstanding food and service. However, I'm writing my review based on the expectations I would have of a 3 Michelin Star establishment that is supposed to be at the...pinnacle of cuisine. Thomas Keller and his restaurants have an immaculate reputation, and my experience at Per Se didn't live up to that. I'm going to focus on the things that didn't pass muster in my opinion, so you can assume that if I don't mention it, it was excellent. Service - The meal starts off on a bit of a sour note with an upsell of "accompaniments" which include truffle tagliatelle, wagyu beef, and foie gras. I understand these items are more expensive, but I don't find it appropriate to have to purchase them as additions at the meal. I'm happy to pay more for the meal up front and just have these items as part of the menu. When I show up, I'm expecting the best the restaurant can offer, and it's really disappointing to start off a meal knowing I won't be getting it. It just felt cheap. The drinks service was a little slow. Our second round of cocktails took quite a bit to come to the table. The staff refilling our water repeatedly spilled some few drops during the pour. Again, none of these items are a big deal, but they fall short of expectations. Food - This is the more important part. Simplicity is important in high level cuisine. The salad, however, seemed almost lazy in its simplicity, with only 3 elements on the plate aside from the dressing. While the carrots were stunning, the tempura broccoli and fennel bulb didn't seem like well thought out and constructed complements. An alternative would be to not call it a salad and just construct it as a carrot dish. Otherwise, I expect additional elements that are more harmonious. The duck dish was the most disappointing. The duck was a little tough in parts, not as tender as I'd expect. The radicchio was bitter, and the accompanying grapes were bland (where'd the grape flavor go?). The Jus de Canard had a burnt flavor to it which was unpleasant. The duck fell quite far below standard. On the lamb dish, the dates were the highlight. They were the most flavorful component, while the lamb was a little bland and didn't really shine. All in all, I think the experience was a bit of a disappointment. Going to a restaurant like this, I expected perfection, or as close to it as one can get. That's not what I experienced during my visit.More

Date of visit: October 2021
Helpful?4  
Reviewed October 22, 2021 via mobile

Given CA Napa's french laundry is more pricey and booked a year ahead, per se is a good option if you are in NYC for a special occasion. I believe it was named Per we because the founder said " this is not French laundry...per se'" We ordered a 5 course menu for my sisters 50th birthday with a vegetarian menu. The first course was a French onion soup with purple yam, crispy shallots and hazelnuts. The second was a parsnip pastrami with farm radish, capers and celery leaf aioli The borscht with brussel sprouts and ravioli type cabbage dumplings was amazing. .. As we were getting full, the poached egg with malabar spinach was average but the consistency was great for the poached egg. The next course with cheese and truffles was just too heavy for us but the portion size was small luckily. The dessert menu was just amazing and the bet part with sticky toffee pudding, vanilla bean ice cream, dark chocolate torte, triple chocolate birthday cake, semi freddo coffee foam and ice cream.for sharing they gave donuts, macaroons and chocolate to go. It was about USD 200 to 250 per person and the experience was very memorable. They can make a personalized menu.More

Date of visit: October 2021
Helpful?2  
Reviewed October 13, 2021 via mobile

I made reservations and paid in advance as required 200.00 for 4 people on Fridays October 8th 2021 , one could not attend had break through COVI -19 ( vaccinated ) 3 of us attended the dinner and spend over 1500 dollars , they would...not credit us the 200.00 paid in advance for person 4More

Date of visit: October 2021
Helpful?7  
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Questions & Answers
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585marlysc
January 20, 2020|
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Response from jan_vandenbosch | Reviewed this property |
Living in Europe at the moment so won't be of help. Kind regards
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GeoffH170
November 25, 2019|
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Response from jan_vandenbosch | Reviewed this property |
Sorry i am in Europe at that time. kind regards
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Frequently Asked Questions about Per Se

Per Se is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 5
  • Value: 4
  • Atmosphere: 4.5