Per Se First Timer Questions
My husband and I will be eating at Per Se in less than two weeks. I've got some questions and need answers please!
(1) I keep reading that dining guests have taken a tour of the kitchen. Is this only for special guests or can anyone do this? Should I feel funny asking this? In other words, is it inappropriate for me to ask if it's not just offered?
(2) While I'd like to keep the costs of the dinner down as much as possible, this is not my motivation in asking this next question: Will we look cheap if we don't drink wine or cocktails with dinner? I like to drink, but it often triggers a migraine, and I don't want anything detracting from this experience. I might drink one cocktail or one glass of wine. This is probably a stupid question, but is that acceptable?
We haven't been to Per Se, but with regard to question #2 -- not a stupid question, btw -- the answer is quite simple. No matter which restaurant you are dining in, drinking alcohol is never mandatory. And no staff person will -- or should -- ever question your refusal to order cocktails and/or wine. It isn't a matter of looking "cheap." People who do not drink refrain from doing so for a variety of reasons, so nobody at Per Se is going to question your motives, and you do not have to make any excuses. Presuming your husband will not be drinking either, just say, "We will not be drinking alcohol this evening," and that should suffice. I speak from personal experience since I don't drink.
Enjoy your dinner at Per Se and Bon Appetit!
1) I've had a private tour of the kitchen during service, but sadly haven't had a proper meal there yet (go figure). If you get the chance, you're in for a treat. It's an incredible kitchen in general, but to have such a large kitchen (or rather series of kitchens) exist in Manhattan is truly remarkable. It makes me think that the price for dinner is justified simply on the thought of what rent and the build-outs must cost. And we know how much the buildouts (x2 because of the fire) cost. That being said - there's no harm in asking.
2) You should never feel awkward about not drinking alcohol. That said, I'm sure they have some delicious non-alcoholic beverages that they make in-house.