The Per Se Experience

Please go to Per Se. If you like food and enjoy going to restaurants, then do yourself a favor — Go. To. Per Se.

Yes, it’s still just food on a plate, but dining doesn’t get much more exciting than this. It knocked the high-heeled pumps off the City of Light’s famously French restaurant La Tour d’ Argent — which was indeed incredible. But, view of the Eiffel Tour aside, Per Se, quite simply, made me moan.

I will dream about the delicate ribbons of cheese chef Thomas Keller paired with a persimmon cake. I will compare every steak tartare to his. And, who knew a perfectly prepared hunk of sturgeon could make me close my eyes and sigh with pleasure? I don’t even have a sweet tooth, but I only managed to take my hands off the freshly fried doughnuts long enough to open a surprise little blue box from Tiffany’s  — they were THAT GOOD.

It was a dining experience well worth having.

The only mistake of the evening? Thinking it would be a one-time dining adventure for us. Not a chance. I cannot imagine NOT going back for more.


Preparing for Per Se

So my leaves and seeds plan? Not working out so well. I had been trying to eat light with limited sauces – poached/grilled chicken, salads, no carbs, etc — and then my work had the audacity to send me home with a spiral ham the size of three heads. Having zero plans for dinner outside of squirrel/birdie food, the ham was beginning to sound like a good idea. As I tore off the black netting and peered at the oily, pink meat, all I could think about was the amount of salt and fat in the pig that would surely puff up my fingers and render my wedding rings and my slinky Per Se dress too tight. Do I really want to feel like a sausage on the drive to NYC? Not such a hot plan. And, my dear husband certainly doesn’t need a crabby, puffy wife complaining for three hours that she is too sausagey to ever eat again. Alas, the ham went to very grateful neighbors instead. And, rather than send piggie off with its accompanying packet of “glaze” with a scary listing of ingredients (one of which resembled the medical term for a toenail fungus I regularly treat at work), I whipped up a homemade glaze in a fury of Christmasy cheer. Especially since the forking over of the ham was not even remotely altruistic. So piggie went to a good home, my husband was spared an annoying wife and I now, not only do I NOT feel like a sausage, but I have a new recipe for ham glaze: fresh tarragon, strong Dijon mustard, maple syrup and, but of course, leftover champagne (I know, I know, should be an oxymoron in a DINK household). I promise to do better next time.

New York, New York

My husband and I are going to Per Se this weekend. YES! YES! YES! This level of utter excitement could really only be topped if my husband pranced me into Tiffany’s and said,  “anything you want, it’s yours.” So YES! YES! YES! I am eagerly anticipating foodie nirvana.

So, anyone perusing a blog entitled Dining With DINKS should know that Per Se is a restaurant. Supposedly a highfalutin one. In New York City. For those who are unfamiliar, it’s one of only seven Michelin-rated three star restaurants in Manhattan. And one of only 93 world-wide. It’s the kind of restaurant that can drive you bonkers trying to get a reservation. You might find yourself jabbing your redial button repeatedly over the better part of an hour until you finally get something besides a busy signal — only to find you are now on hold for another 20 minutes. And then you finally get a glorious voice on the line, only to discover that all of the “two-tops” are gone and all that remains is a table for four. And no, you cannot just waltz in as a couple and claim your “four-top.” You must either take the table and hope to find two more to join you on said date, or you plan to play the phone game again the next day, and perhaps the next day, and perhaps the day after that …

But, we managed to get in AND score a coveted table for two. So will it all be worth it? I am certainly expecting so, otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered. Now all I have to do is eat leaves and seeds until the big night so I can prepare for the onslaught of 9 heavenly courses with paired wines.

So that is what us DINKS are up to this weekend. I cannot imagine a better way to launch my new blog then with an upcoming foodie heaven trip to NYC — with 4 nights and 5 days-worth of breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Once again, nothing but squirrel food until we depart.