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EMP or Per Se?

Which one for dinner on a Friday night -- regarding both food and service (food being more important, of course). I am lactose intolerant (wah!), willing to swallow lactase pills for something really worthwhile, but I still stay away from really milky or cheesy things, so if that should steer my choice, let me know. Thanks!

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  1. EMP - Per Se was the best meal of my life but I am 99.999% sure you won't get a reservation.

    1 Reply
    1. re: tpigeon

      Whoops, I read "on Friday" instead of "on a Friday". Sorry. I have never been to EMP. I am going next Wednesday though and I'll get back to you. Though I would be entirely shocked if Per Se wasn't much better than EMP.

    2. I think this thread should answer your question emphatically: www.chowhound.com/topics/451521

      -------------------------------
      I like to eats.
      http://dru.gobbl.com

      1 Reply
      1. re: druz99

        EMP is wonderful, but Per Se is really on an entirely different level.

      2. Different level, caliber and costs. All higher for Per Se.

            1. re: MMRuth

              facinating. why have i never heard of this place? should i be making reservations and trying this place asap? or is more of a "when you get a chance" kind of place?

              anyway, don't worry about the lactose intolerance thing at per se. i'm lactose intolerant, brought my lactaid with me ... it was no problem whatsoever. further, one of my friends doesn't eat red meat so the kitchen adjusted her 9-course accordingly. not only that, but the substitute dish that she was served instead was one of the best dishes of the evening.

              1. re: krunkymunky

                No question-- Per Se.
                (not a fair comparison actually)

          1. Thanks everyone! I'll have to try Per Se whenever I can get a reservation, I guess that would be a few months out (or after the holidays??!)

            4 Replies
            1. re: christene

              Chef Thomas Keller is recognized for being accomodating with food allergies. I think Per Se is the best fine dining experience in nyc. Per Se in my experience is the most accomodating restaurant in nyc regarding food allergies,

              1. re: jordana

                Per Se is very accomodating regarding food allergies, likes and dislikes on their menu. I know this firsthand. I'm sure you should have no trouble having them substitute something for the cheese course etc.

                You may want to let the restaurant know about your food issues in advance, when you make the reservation. Also, although there are many courses, the portions are small, so if you do decide you're going to want to try some dairy and use your lactaid tablets, it's not like you will be eating a HUGE portion of dairy.

                1. re: jordana

                  just to be clear - Chef Benno is far more involved (on a day by day basis) in the restaurant than Chef Keller. Benno should, in my opinion, be recognized more often when talking about Per Se.

                2. re: christene

                  christene
                  If you can do last minute dining, especially if you can go mid week, It never hurts to call the restaurant "the day of", or see if they have a wait list. On more than one occasion we've been able to book via opentable. Sometimes, you just happen to be on site at the right moment.