Holy Toledo! Jon told me we had plans for dinner, but I was expecting something more along the lines of pizza or maybe cheeseburgers from BRGR, not a full-fledged, jacket-required feast at Per Se. The place is beautiful and has an awesome view of Columbus Circle and the southwest corner of Central Park. I was a little bashful about taking pictures of my food here, but I did my best to snap each dish as quickly and as quietly as possible. Did I mention that jackets were required? Talk about cuture shock...I was wearing jeans and a T-shirt at work all day. But the food was amazing; the service, as Zagat's says, was "telepathic"; and the view couldn't have been better. The only problem is that I'm so stuffed that I don't think I'll eat for the rest of the week.
1. Oysters and caviar in a sauce whose name I can't remember. I'm usually not a fan of oysters or caviar, but this was really good. The few times I've had either of these ingredients, I've swallowed them quickly because I was afraid that chewing them would release all sorts of fishiness into my mouth. But this time I chewed, and boy was it good! Just bear in mind that Mumma recently outed me as a connoisseur of condiment sandwiches, so I'm really a white-belt foodie. At bottom, I'm just a smalltown boy with a love of ketchup and oatmeal cookies. 2. Sweet corn agnelloti. Pasta and corn. Carbohydrate addicts, rejoice! If I could cook like this, I'd be as big as a house.
4. A fish who's name sounded like "mai tai" with baby vegetables and a really tasty sauce. 5. Poached lobster (or lob-stuh, if your from New England) with fennel.
6. "All-day braised" pork belly with blackberries and baby turnips. Basically, this was a huge chunk of bacon. How bad could that be? 7. Steak with potato, green beans (haricots verts), and deep-fried bone marrow. The steak was good, but the potato was out of this world. The potato looked like a single French fry, but it was really a dozen or so individually sliced, fried, and then recombined layers of potato. (Mmmm...where's my ketchup when I need it?) The bone marrow didn't have much of a flavor, but it did have a fatty texture and mouthfeel. "Suck[ing] out all the marrow of life"? Check!
8. Cheese course. It was stinky. It was cheese. I ate it all. 9. Plum sorbet with gingerbread. A perfect follow-up to stinky cheese.
10a. My dessert was called "Blueberries and Popcorn" and had sugar-coated popcorn, popcorn sorbet, and blueberry parfait. I have to say this popcorn thing intrigues me. 10b. Jon had a more traditional dessert: chocolate and salted peanut butter. There were also several mini-courses of nibbles before and after the main meal. Oh my, I'm still full. The food was great, but I feel a little like a bear who's getting ready for winter hybernation. It's salads from here on out...for a while!