Understated but sublime cooking at Thomas Keller’s NYC spot
While Thomas Keller’s French Laundry in California will always hold a special place in the history of American (and even global) cuisine, its sister restaurant in New York certainly doesn’t live in the shadow of its elder sibling.
Per Se, whose kitchen is headed up day-to-day by chef de cuisine Eli Kaimeh, has three Michelin stars of its own and has been on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list without fail since it opened in 2004. Perched on the fourth floor of the Time Warner Center, the dining room is an elegant space sporting dark wood furniture, the crispest white tablecloths and views over Central Park from the huge floor-to-ceiling windows.
The nine-course tasting menus have an understated confidence that reflect the stylish décor. Keller’s signature dishes, such as oysters and pearls (a sabayon of pearl tapioca with oysters and caviar), are present and correct, but there is also plenty of innovation
and creativity. Seasonal American ingredients are fully expressed in ever-evolving recipes that draw on classical French cuisine. A luxurious dish of Hudson Valley duck foie gras with confit duck comes with ‘pommes maxims’, black winter truffle and toasted brioche, while 100-day aged beef from Snake River Farm in Idaho is accompanied by tongue pierogi and borscht.