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Jan 18, 2007 09:29 PM

Per Se price increase

Looks like it's up to $250 now. (French Laundry is at $240).

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  1. Maybe now there will only be a 59 day wait ;)

    1. Makes my return visit even more unlikely. At $210 I already didn't think the meal was worth it.

      Hopefully with the new price, there won't be additional supplements: foie gras ($40) and truffles ($60). If not, I think it's ridiculous for him to charge those prices and still ask for supplements. I'm sure I'll get attacked for this, but it's just my opinion.

      1. BUT keep in mind, service is included, which you won't find anywhere else. I believe they are still charging supplements for things like foie and truffles.....but I still don't think its expensive for what you get. Not that you can go everday or every week...but I still think its a wonderful experience.

        10 Replies
        1. re: nycfoodie

          What do you mean by "service is included"? When I went, it was $210 + $140 for wine pairing + $40 for foie gras = $390. After tip and tax, it came out to about $490. Did I overpay for service?

          1. re: JoLi

            Though I've not been to Per Se, I read that when the prix-fixe cost was raised to over $200, service was included. Did your bill not distinctly reflect that?

            1. re: RGR

              Unfortunately I don't remember.

              1. re: RGR

                The $210, or now $250, price INCLUDES service (ie. tip/gratuity). So you do not need to tip extra, any additional tip that you left is just that - additional tip.

                1. re: eatfood

                  yes, it includes the tip. my husband and i went, not sure what to expect, but left convinced that it was absolutely worth the price.

                  1. re: twiggles

                    I agree, after my meal, I had no doubts at all that the meal was worth it.

                    In fact, I can't wait to go back!

                  2. re: eatfood

                    Wow, I wonder how people have done what I did. I feel rather stupid now.

                    Those waiters must make a lot on people's mistake.

                    1. re: JoLi

                      I've been twice and paid twice since the gratuity included
                      policy went into effect (ugh, the pain)....both times it was
                      told to me by the staff at least a couple of times each night that service was included. They clearly went out of their way to tell me.
                      There was no way I could accidentaly tip more, but I did anyway.
                      There is no way the staff would ever try that old trick.

                      1. re: JoLi

                        No, "JoLi", they just think you were really happy, and that you are generous. We knew the tip was included, but left an additional tip on top anyway.

                        Per se is our idea of heaven (except for the price), and we are so giddy with happiness after that dinner that we feel compelled to do silly things like that.

                        Then we eat rice and beans for the rest of the week... er... month. :-)

                  3. re: JoLi

                    Some posts related to tipping on wine have been moved over to our Not About Food board. If you'd like to follow that discussion, you can find it here:

                2. Once a year super treat for me.

                  1. There's a story out today (confirmed by his publicist) that Keller uses frozen fries at the Bouchon restaurants. Maybe he needs to charge $250 at Per Se to cover fresh tater costs!

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: jasmurph

                      The Bouchon Bakery is a separate, much more casual and affordable entity than Per Se.

                      1. re: Lucia

                        I wasn't suggesting that they were the same. I was just calling attention to his willingness to cut corners at Bouchon as indicative of Keller's greed. TK long ago left the realm of reality and decency when it comes to pricing his food. In 2003 at French laundry you could get a 5-course meal for $115 and a 9-course meal for $135. Per Se in 2004 had a $125 5 course tasting and $150 9-course. What has happened in the past 2.5 years to make his prices go up 66% at Per Se? Is he putting oil in the food? His food may be great; his prices are gross.

                        1. re: jasmurph

                          Are you comparing the right numbers?

                          When did Per Se start including the service charge into the menu prices?

                          I doubt the 2003 price of 135 included service charge!

                          1. re: eatfood

                            It didn't. I don't know exactly, but I think it was around the beginning of last year or shortly before that that service was included in the Per Se bill.

                            1. re: Lucia

                              We dined at the French Laundry about five years ago. A service charge was already included with our $105 5-course prix fixe. We did add on to it because the service was exceptional and our head server took my BF on a tour of the kitchen after our meal.

                      2. re: jasmurph

                        If you can not produce a consistent product with fresh potatoes then a quality frozen product is the better choice.

                        And for the record. Those frozen fries have a higher food cost the whole potatoes.

                        1. re: oysterspearls

                          I read the article and found the story quite amusing.
                          According to one of the sources cited, the speculation is that the only reason to use the frozen potatoes is to save in cost.

                          1. re: oysterspearls

                            I have to disagree. Peeling, cutting, blanching and re-frying potatoes (in the Belgian style) is the only way to make great fries. When you factor in labor (peeling, cutting etc.) and the high price of good potatoes, making them in-house is more expensive. Keller is taking a short-cut, which is fine if he wants an inferior result, but call it what it is: a cost saving short-cut.

                          2. re: jasmurph

                            We had lunch at Bouchon in Yountville last May and absolutely loved the food; fries and all! Fresh, impeccably prepared fish, delicious cauliflower gratin and perfectly prepared, crispy and tasty, perfectly browned, delicate fries. Quite frankly, I could not care less if they were frozen or not, they were delicious.

                            Not that Keller needs me to defend him, but can you imagine how brutal the cost of running a small restaurant like per se must be at the Time Warner center. And I can just imagine how expensive it was to build the sleek and elegant interior of the restaurant.
                            And when you consider the impeccable service, with nothing left to chance, every attention given to the diners, the whole thing must be a scary (expensive) operation to run.