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Graduation dinner- Per Se?

My parents are coming in town for my graduation and we were planning to have a celebratory dinner. I made reservations at Per Se already but is it really worth it? I am deciding between that or jean-georges, which is relatively less expensive. Any other recs?

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  1. Dunno what you consider worth it, but my dinner at Per Se is probably the best dining experience I've ever had. Would do it again in a heartbeat. My parents are coming to visit in May and we're doing Daniel this time - I'm hoping for a similarly amazing experience there!

    1. Keep the reservation and enjoy! I also think the food at Per Se is more approachable for most people than JG.

      1. I think that graduating from college (i'm assuming) is a very rare occasion and should be celebrated with at a place that you would rarely get the opportunity to visit and Per Se certainly fits that bill. I don't think you will be making a bad choice either way, but I don't think you will be disappointed with Per Se and I think it is a bit more whimsical than Jean Georges or something similiar.

        1. I haven't been to JG, and I've only been to Per Se once but it was utterly amazing.

          1. Having been to both, I agree that Per Se is far superior. As a matter of fact, I do not recall my experience at Jean George to be a top one in any way. I prefer either Gordon Ramsay or Aquavit to JG. Not sure how the new Ducasse is, but I loved my experience at the old one as well, and just do not have any particularly fond memories of my dinner at JG.

            1. To me, it's not a question of Per Se's quality or bang for your buck. I think it is more a question of family dynamics and how you "celebrate" when you get together? Not to sound like a dork but it is a question of closeness. The thought of having dinner at P-S with some family members would be a nightmare, with others it would be a delight.

              7 Replies
              1. re: thegreekone

                I agree. Also a graduation dinner might not be the time for new taste sensations, or fussing with the details of your dinner's presentation, and all that. Just sounds like it might be distracting given the focus of the day.

                1. re: thegreekone

                  I agree with this also. I have not been to Per Se but my impression is that it is a serious foodie experience, so unless all your family members are really into food, it may be intimidating or just unnecessary, and they might not fully appreciate it. Jean Georges is certainly a place for serious food, but I think it may have a wider appeal.

                  1. re: rrems

                    I actually think it's the opposite. Per Se's flavor combos seem to appeal to a wider audience than JG. A lot of JG's profiles won't jive with a meat and potatoes person. I can eat almost anything, but thought that some of the combos just didn't go at JG. While Per Se may have a few offerings on the menu such as caviar and foie gras, I think it's a much more approachable and more familiar dining experience than JG.

                    And the service at JG would probably be more intimidating to people than Per Se's service which is courteous, warm and friendly.

                    1. re: Miss Needle

                      That's very interesting. Sounds like the impression I had is wrong. I hope to try it someday to really find out for myself.

                      1. re: Miss Needle

                        We've not been to Per Se yet (we've got a res in June), but we have been to Jean Georges and as far as the service is concerned, it was not in the least intimidating. We found it to be cordial, courteous and faultless.

                        1. re: RGR

                          I agree. I think that's a huge part of it's appeal. When I went, there appeared to be a pretty good number of families there as well.

                          1. re: RGR

                            Oh, I agree the service was great at JG. In fact, there's a post on the Not About Food board where I list the best service I've received to be at JG. But for some diners who haven't done a lot of upscale dining, I can see how they may feel intimidated because JG is a bit stuffier than Per Se. Even though it's a jackets required place, the staff at Per Se has great interpersonal skills and can make anybody feel welcome (this is not to say that JG doesn't). It actually takes a very skillful crew to pull that off. To me, Per Se is a more comfortable experience than JG. In terms of overall service, however, I preferred JG because they were just more on top of their game. And I also was at Per Se on a night there were a lot of visiting chefs. So we didn't get as much attention as the chefs (which comprised half the restaurant) did.

                            And RGR, I'm looking forward to your report when you dine at Per Se in June. And rrems, I hope you get to try it as well one day.

                    2. Just a little perspective-xx years ago, my parents took me to the Cork and Cleaver (the menu was printed on a real Cleaver) for my graduation…so this is a nice problem to have.
                      I vote for Per Se. It is a memorable meal for a memorable occasion. And I found the service to be the closest to perfection I have ever experienced-and not at all stuffy.
                      You’d have a great meal at JG, but it won’t compare.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: David W

                        If not Per Se, which is wonderful but perhaps too stiff and formal for a graduation I'd recommend Eleven Madison Park.... just a touch cozier.

                        1. re: David W

                          lol! That whole cleaver thing sounds very cool in a weird sort of way! I maintain it's the people that impact the memories made, so when my family gets together to celebrate an event, where we celebrate is no big deal.

                          1. re: Tay

                            Tay-I think it's time for a road trip for you...

                            I'd agree it's the people you are with who make the celebration...but really good food and service make for a better time.

                            And I really don't remember Per Se being stiff and formal, at all--the staff have the perfect mix of correct and casual...and sorry, msny98-I love Eleven Madison but cozy is not a word I would associate with that space.

                            1. re: David W

                              I'm adding it to my 'List'...:-}.. I love 'extensive salad bars)
                              Next time I;m in Ft Wayne, that's where I'm heading..:-}
                              RE: Per Se: I agree with you. I don't find Per Se at all stiff or formal. I'm a big fan. I'm just reminding the OP that a great time can, and should be had, regardless of where the celebration takes place. :-}

                        2. Keep the rez. I've been there 3 times and have had amazing meals every time. Definitely the best dining experiences in my life.

                          1. Go for it! I wouldn't necessarily suggest so if not for such a celebratory occasion. Yes, it is pricy but it'll be one great meal to be remembered by you and your parents in the years to come.