I have probably looked forward to dining at a Michelin-rated restaurant more than any other item on my 30 before 30 list. I ticked this one off the list this weekend, with an unforgettable visit to Thomas Keller’s Per Se. Per Se is everything everyone says it is, and more. Anyone who gives this restaurant anything less than 5 stars is the kind of person who can never be fully happy, and will always manage to find some little blemish in an otherwise perfect experience. Per Se is perfection. It was blissful, and in a way sad. After that meal was over, I realized that that was that. I have experienced the pinnacle of my dining experience. No other meal will ever compare. Even if I go back there for another visit, a second meal won’t live up to the magic and surprise of the first visit.
Mr. Beez and I excited for this adventure! Our friend, Anthony, joined us but he was busy taking the picture.
We fully expected the servers to be pompous and judgmental. They weren’t. They were friendly and joking, and perfectly attentive without being pushy. We had FIVE people waiting on us– constant, but unobtrusive. The wine list is loaded on an iPad…it had to be 50 pages long. I have an experienced palate for cheap wine. I was completely lost on this. Amongst crowds of wines $900-$15,000, I managed to find the “cheap-o” wine at $100. There wasn’t going to be a thing on that list that disappointed this girl, who rarely drops more than $12 on a bottle ($15 if I’m feeling fancy). I have no idea what the wine was that we picked. But it was fantastic. Because this is Per Se and that’s how things are.
At Per Se:
MY PURSE HAD ITS OWN CHAIR. Not like an empty chair at the table, a teeny tiny little stool JUST FOR A PURSE. I couldn’t take a better picture because I would have had to crouch down on the floor and that would just look too weird. (For the record, the girl at the next table over was taking pictures of everything TOO.)
I truly don’t have the vocabulary to describe Per Se. The first bite of each dish took my breath away, and I could only muster a “This is really good .” There are so many adjectives to describe a sublime meal. None of them worked for me here. All I could think to say, with each and every of the 9 courses (and then some) was “This is really good.”
A description of each course would fall flat in comparison to the taste and texture. The pictures are the best substitute I can offer.
This was the first dessert of FIVE consecutive desserts. First was this cheese and sweets plate, then a raspberry parfait, then we had chocolate layer cake (Anthony opted instead for a grapefruit concoction), then they brought over a tin of macarons and other sweets, THEN a waiter came by and offered us truffles and fancy chocolates from this enormous, exquisite box of chocolates (I forgot to take a picture of that part), and THEN they even sent us home with a little bag of candies. FIVE DESSERTS. IN A ROW. FIVE.
Ok, so this one isn’t a dessert. It’s just the sugar for my coffee. But even the presentation for that was impressive.
And here we are, fat and happy, at the end of our long and DELICIOUS evening.