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Per Se Price Increase

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When did Per Se increase their price to $295? With the $40 supplement for foie gras (which I would order), my minimum food charge at Per Se is now $335. EMP's $195 tasting menu is now the bargain of the year! Don't get me wrong, I adore Per Se, but I have a hard time with my food portion of my dinner costing $335. And then of course, Bouley has a multi-course tasting menu for $125 that I love too! Guess I'll have to go more often to EMP and Bouley.

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  1. Expensive, yes, but still lower than places like La Pergola or Guy Savoy, with the current exchange rates.

    1 Reply
    1. re: H Manning

      I'm limiting price comparisons to NYC restaurants. I remember dining at Guy Savoy (Paris) about 15 years ago, and with the US$/French franc currency exchange, Guy Savoy and Taillevent were relative bargains.

    2. Yea, I just noticed that too (I will check Per Se's menu from time-to-time). I went back in summer 2009 and it was $275 with $30 for the foie supplement. Also, it seems unusual to do this with the reduction to the 1-month reservation limit (from 2) and the fact that I see much more openings pop up on Open Table when doing general searches. This past Sunday for lunch, there were many open times.

      -----
      Per Se
      10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

      1. The increase was January 15th, I happened to see that update when planning my trip.

        http://uhockey.blogspot.com

        1. Yeah the price did go up...sad. But the last time i went (late October) the supplement was totally worth the 40 bucks. Not that I would go there very often for $300 per person plus gratuity plus wine, but I have to say each time it is a memorable experience for me.

          1 Reply
          1. re: citykid426

            gratuity is included

          2. Recent (Jan 22) cover articles in The Economist indicate that the ultra-rich have recovered most of their losses since 2008 and are again spending freely, and high-end providers of comforts to the wealthy are ratcheting up prices in lockstep.

            27 Replies
            1. re: Veggo

              Too bad I'm not (and probably not many Hounds) are of the ultra-rich sort. Don't get me wrong, I think I've dined at Per Se 5 times, and they were all spectacular experiences, it's just that with the cost, I'll have to save Per Se for true milestone events instead of just going out for a great dinner.

              1. re: ellenost

                Well, ellenost, that's 4 times more than Mr. R. & I have been to per se. Our one time was for our 40th anniversary. Chef Humm had been urging us to go, telling us that the cuisine was on a level all its own. So, since our day fell on a Sunday, and EMP was closed, we booked for lunch with our daughter and son-in-law. It was a lovely afternoon and, with the exception of a disappointingly bland veal dish, the food was superb. However, as we told Chef Humm the next time we saw him, in our opinion, his cuisine is every bit the equal. So, why would we want to pay the considerably higher price at per se. Plus, that foie gras supplement really frosted my cockles!

                Speaking of EMP, have you been there yet for the tasting menu? We did it on Saturday. Spectacular! Well worth $195pp. We also had a stellar lunch there today.

                EMP tasting dinner photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                1. re: RGR

                  *frosted my cockles*

                  Okay, I'm stealing that phrase from you RGR.

                  Lovely pictures, by the way. I enjoyed my recent lunch at EMP and have another reservation in a couple of weeks. Can't wait.

                  1. re: H Manning

                    Thanks for the compliment, H Manning! :) And to be honest, *I* stole that from one of the political bloggers I read regularly. I'd never heard it before and found it hilarious coming from someone not posting about food.

                    http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                  2. re: RGR

                    We're going to EMP on Friday for the tasting menu. Loved your photos; I forwarded them to E. Please wish Mr. R a very happy birthday!

                    1. re: ellenost

                      ellenost, It's possible that there could be changes by next Friday, but no matter. I'm sure you and E will love the tasting menu.

                      Lunch today was totally amazing. They really went all out! It may be a few days until I get those photos up on Flickr.

                      I will extend your birthday wishes to Mr. R. I know he will appreciate them. :)

                      http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                      1. re: RGR

                        If the lunch managed to top that dinner then I must say I'm really looking forward to my return visit to EMP. The more I look at your pictures the more I see they have really elevated their game. The trail of amuses and mignardises nearly triple the number of "courses" on the menu.

                        Happy birthday to Mr. R. :-)

                        http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                        1. re: RGR

                          I'm so disappointed, but due to the weather (19 inches of more snow!), we've cancelled our reservation at EMP for tomorrow night. Somehow the thought of trudging through all of the snow just wouldn't have been conducive to an elegant night of dining. We'll reschedule soon!

                          1. re: ellenost

                            I feel your disappointment, ellenost. :( We were originally supposed to have dinner there last night, but made what turned out to be a very smart move and in the a.m. changed it to lunch

                            http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                            1. re: RGR

                              In case anyone's interested, EMP has several prime time openings tonight, according to OpenTable.

                              1. re: H Manning

                                BTW, Per Se has availability tonight too. However, EMP is fully booked for tomorrow night (my reservation was snapped up within the hour that I released it on OpenTable), while Per Se has availability tomorrow night. Hope someone takes advantage of the snow storm!

                                1. re: ellenost

                                  What's the bar menu like at EMP? Is it as good as the salon menu at Per Se?

                                  -----
                                  Per Se
                                  10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

                                  1. re: H Manning

                                    I have never eaten at the bar at EMP. You should call the restaurant directly to inquire (and I hope you post the answer-thanks).

                              2. re: RGR

                                I was there last night!

                                Review to come later. But yes trying to find a car/cab to leave definitely took some effort.

                        2. re: RGR

                          While I am sure EMP has become even more impressive since my last visit (and I simply cannot wait for 2/18 for that very reason,) I do wonder if you and Mr. R being known to the house helps elevate your experience.

                          I will fully admit to spending $450 on my extended tasting at Per Se last year, but I wouldn't even hesitate to do it again (of course, that is once I sample my way through the ever growing list of NYC places I want to visit.)

                          http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                          -----
                          Per Se
                          10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

                          1. re: uhockey

                            I would be foolish to deny that that has an effect on our experiences at EMP. However, there are many posts from other Hounds not known to the house extolling the virtues of EMP and attesting to the high caliber of the dining experience there. Of course, there will always be dissenters, but that's the case with every single restaurant in NYC, including per se.

                            We're totally psyched about 2/18! :)

                            http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                            1. re: RGR

                              Can't please everyone everytime - thus the reason there are thousands of restaurants on the not-so-little island of Manhattan.

                              I will note that it was at EMP that I officially fell in love with Foie Gras and I simply cannot wait to see what Chef Humm is doing with it when I visit - heck, I'd eat 3 course of it (I'm sure if they could make it work in a dessert I'd do 4) if possible. :-) My sister still talks about the basil sorbet to this day, as well.

                              It will actually be my first "second visit" to any restaurant in New York.

                              http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                            2. re: uhockey

                              I ate there once (EMP) and nobody knew me.
                              There were tons of extras and it was brilliant in all respects.
                              I think part of the beauty of the place is that they make you feel special whoever you are.

                              1. re: pauliface

                                I've no doubt - I was wowed at both Gramercy Tavern and The Modern so I'm certain Danny Meyer knows how to treat a customer.

                                And Having been to both Per Se and The French Laundry I'd venture to say they do the same.

                                When you get into the top tier of dining the differences are subtle and I think that is why EMP even came up in this conversation - at $130 less (not accounting for the inclusive service at Per Se,) is it perhaps a better "bang for the buck."

                                http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                -----
                                Per Se
                                10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

                                Gramercy Tavern
                                42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

                              2. re: uhockey

                                We had an extended tasting booked for next Wed. The price is now up to $500 pp. In the end we decided to cancel and are going to EMP instead.

                                1. re: rob1234

                                  While $500 is a huge chunk of change, certainly not the sort of thing you'd do every day, I guarantee it would've been worth it in terms of the food. I was there nearly 6 hours and got 20+ courses, including items from the VIP stash.

                                  http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                  1. re: uhockey

                                    I would probably agree with you and would have paid it had we not also booked 12 other fairly expensive restaurants in New York and Washington for our trip (some based on your blog and posts here so thanks).

                                    There was also the issue of our international flight arriving at 4:45 in New York and having to be at Per Se by 7:00 to be early enough for the extended tasting.

                                    -----
                                    Per Se
                                    10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

                              3. re: RGR

                                Why has a thread about Per Se turned into a thread about EMP?

                                -----
                                Per Se
                                10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

                                1. re: gutsofsteel

                                  Rather, I think it became a thread about relative value - that thing we all look for in a meal which is comprised of the price vs. the food, seating, service, quality of ingredients, and intangibles. IE: Is the experience at Per Se worth $335 when much cheaper meals can be had with (potentially) as good of food/service/intangibles.

                                  http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                  -----
                                  Per Se
                                  10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

                                2. re: RGR

                                  RGR great pics. I actually dined at EMP the same night as you and Mr. R and also ordered the tasting menu. I've "only" dined at EMP three times, and although, Kevin (our captain) made a note to ensure we would have a kitchen tour, we are otherwise unknown to the restaurant.

                                  We had all the amuses and petits fours you enjoyed. Our menus were identical, save for our request to substitute the a foie course. @Uhockey since you stated you loved EMP's foie, as of last Sat they were serving a torchon of foie with Venezuelan Cocoa in a Quince gelee with a Quince Vinaigrette thats served with Brioche with Venezeulan Cocoa, it was incredible.

                                  Pictures and review will be up shortly, but I feel the same way I did after my lunch a few weeks earlier, that the restaurant has really elevated itself and is clearly one of the more ambitious kitchens in New York.

                                  1. re: TheDegustationAsian

                                    Thanks for the compliment, TDA! :) Also, thank you for underscoring my contention that the goal of the staff at EMP is to give all patrons, irrespective of how many times they have been there, THE best dining experience possible.

                                    Looking forward to reading your review and seeing your photos.

                                    http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                                    1. re: TheDegustationAsian

                                      I have no doubt the experience is always top notch - I have a great Danny Meyer story from my very first visit to any of his restaurants (Gramercy Tavern) - it is the sort of thing that I'll never forget and I'll patronize his restaurants until he quits the game for that very reason.

                                      That foie sounds amazing.

                                      http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                              4. The problem with restaurants like Per Se is that if the food does not falter they could really almost charge whatever they want. Rich people will always be able to go to Per Se, but if the price keeps on raising less people that are passionate about food will have the oppurtunity to go there.

                                http://teenchefteddy.blogspot.com/

                                -----
                                Per Se
                                10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: tldmatrix

                                  Agreed. It's a matter of supply and demand I think. Wall Street bonuses are up... another 20 bucks would be negligible at that price point.

                                2. To be honest if I am committed to paying $275, what is an additional $20? It is still the best restaurant I have been to in NYC

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: MVNYC

                                    It used to be $150 for the tasting menu when it opened, it just keeps going up and up. If it keeps up, which I expect it to, the price could easily be $400 in a couple years.

                                    http://teenchefteddy.blogspot.com/

                                    1. re: tldmatrix

                                      When it was $150, service was not included either. Not that that justifies the price increase but it does bring it a bit closer.

                                      1. re: tldmatrix

                                        To be accurate, that $150 did not include service, which the current price does. It was $275 when we were there in June '08. It had been at that price point for a while and stayed there for 2-1/2 more years. Thus, it doesn't surprise me that they've finally upped the ante.

                                        ETA: Within that time period, other 4-stars have hiked their prices as well.

                                        http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                                      2. re: MVNYC

                                        I agree with this, though if EMP is as good as many say and it can offer an equal experience for $100 less I'd have more difficulty justifying $335 at Per Se.

                                        http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                        -----
                                        Per Se
                                        10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

                                        1. re: uhockey

                                          I haven't been to 11 Madison Park since they redid the menu but I very much enjoyed the times I was there before that. I didn't feel it was as good as Per Se though but opinions vary.

                                          -----
                                          Per Se
                                          10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

                                        2. re: MVNYC

                                          I agree with you, MVNYC.

                                        3. I guess my big concern is that if Per Se increased their prices by $20, will the other 4 star restaurants follow? I understand that some restaurants might want the prestige to be known as the highest price restaurant to attract the people who care more about boasting to their friends that they dined at the most expensive restaurant (and may have no appreciation for the actual quality of the experience).

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: ellenost

                                            Its going to take a while to catch up to the insanity that is MASA.

                                            http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                            1. re: uhockey

                                              That's why I've never dined at Masa; $450 is "insane".

                                              1. re: ellenost

                                                As far as other 4-stars following suit, before the increase at per se, EMP raised the price of the tasting menu (fka the Gourmand) from $175 to $195. So, maybe that's where per se got the idea.

                                                Since we had to cancel Yasuda twice, I've still not had my maiden sushi voyage, and so I can't be sure if I'll like it. However, Mr. R., who is way more adventurous food-wise than I am, decided to make *his* maiden voyage at Masa and took along our our son-in-law, the sushi addict. They were also joined by u.e. While they all agreed that the sushi was exceptional, and they were glad they did it, they also agreed it was a one-time experience. At the time, Masa had lowered the cost to $400. But they also added what they called an "administration" charge of 20%, which was a baloney way to keep the cost higher. However, like many others, Mr. R. and u.e. considered it the gratuity and did not add anything else to the bill

                                                http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                                          2. Not to be a Pollyanna about it, but that includes the tip.
                                            I ate at 11 Madison a few weeks ago: That came to $565 for two (including a $75 bottle of wine) so it's about the same, give or take $25.

                                            www.shrinkinthekitchen.com

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: scotty27

                                              Sorry Scotty, but your math is a bit off: At Per Se the minimum food cost (with foie gras) for a party of 2 is $670 before wine. Most people (including me also leave a bit extra for a tip-last time I left an extra 10% for exceptional service). So if we add your $75 for wine and BTW, the cost of wine at Per Se is about 50% more than EMP, the cost of the dinner at Per Se would have been about $820 ($670 + $75 (wine) + $75 (extra 10% tip) = $820); that's a big difference from your $565 which was a bargain!

                                              1. re: ellenost

                                                Ah, right, the wine. Forgot the wine. What's the tip percentage included at Per Se, by the way?

                                                I do know what you mean: I was at French Laundry recently and madly told the wine guy to send stuff out. Oh, sad day. Sad, sad day. I laughed, I cried.

                                                www.shrinkinthekitchen.com

                                                -----
                                                Per Se
                                                10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

                                                1. re: scotty27

                                                  Not worth it. Save your money and hit Jean-Georges/L'Atelier instead

                                                  1. re: i8NYC

                                                    Why choose? I like all three.

                                            2. The price is now double what it was when they opened - and the menu hasn't changed to reflect it. It's not like they're using more expensive ingredients than they were, or that the cost of fundamentals - staff, electricity, butter, eggs - has doubled.

                                              No, every time they've upped the price it's been for one reason: because they can.

                                              Keller made a decision at one point: Per Se is for people who don't look at prices. It's for hedge fund managers with the company card trying to impress clients. It's for their trust fund kids trying to impress their dates. It's not for a special night out for regular people who save up for it - they don't really care if those people come or not. They are as anti-egalitarian as a business can be. They fill the tables with the ultra-rich, and they're fine with that.

                                              And I'm fine with that too, honestly - it's just one business model among many. Make your money how you can, man. If it works for them, so be it.

                                              But they should stop pretending it's all about the food - it's not, and hasn't been for some time. Per Se is simply a status symbol, the Louboutin of food. And in the same way that people actually convince themselves that there's $600 worth of materials and craftsmanship in a (cheap) pair of Loubs, they're convincing themselves that the extra money they're spending at Per Se is for something concrete. Because to think the opposite is, frankly, unthinkable: that we're actually paying (quite a lot) for... nothing.

                                              What does the rest of the money buy you? Not more butter & eggs. Not more foie gras or truffles - there's only so much of that they can pile on the plate.

                                              It buys exclusivity. That's it.

                                              Well, there's only so much I'm willing to pay for an abstract concept.

                                              The fact is, they know full well that anyone who can afford $275/pp for a meal can afford $295/pp. And by this time next year, he'll be saying if you can afford $295/pp, well, you can afford $325/pp... or $350... You can't make the jump too drastic all at once, it has to be doled out in increments. But it wouldn't surprise me if the five-year plan was to hit $500.

                                              Sound impossible? Oh, no way anyone would ever pay that? Well, they've doubled the price in seven years - in a bad economy, no less. There's no reason to think that seven years from now it won't have doubled again.

                                              -----
                                              Per Se
                                              10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

                                              20 Replies
                                              1. re: sgordon

                                                Excellent post and very likely true - but it is an "experience" like few others. If one has the money it is worth doing once - not because of $500 butter and eggs, but because for 5 hours I was treated like the only person in the room who mattered. Sure I've gotten that experience cheaper a couple times in the past, but new experiences are what keeps dining out fun for me.

                                                http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                                1. re: sgordon

                                                  Here's the thing. When they opened at $150 Per Se was probably under-priced for what it is and the location. It quickly went up to $180 I believe and stayed there for a year or so before they changed it to $210 which included tip which is a somewhat lateral move. They then went up to $250 in Jan 2007 and $275 in 2008. It took 3 years to go up to $295.

                                                  So did the threshold increase to where it was over-priced? In my opinion probably yes at around $250 or so. However I have never felt ripped off any time I have been there. Different people enjoy spending there money in different ways. I am an excellent home cook and what I look for in meals out of the house are things that I could not replicate easily at home and an overall "experience". Per Se has delivered flawlessly every time I have gone. I am not rich but this is how I truly enjoy spending my money, on memorable experiences. I do not enjoy spending my money on "things" as others might, so we all value money differently. I have been more annoyed spending $40-$100 on some Italian food that I could easily make at home for a lot less.

                                                  For the record I do not think that at $295 the Foie Gras should be a supplement.

                                                  1. re: MVNYC

                                                    I'm with you in that much of my expendable income - the little luxuries of life - goes to food. And I'm not rich by any stretch, so every dollar counts.

                                                    But to me "experience" is... I don't want to say overrated, maybe just I think of it differently. Want me to have a good experience? Put good food that's worth what I'm paying on my plate. Of course they're flawless - they better be - but I can say "flawless" of a number of other restaurants in this city.

                                                    To me, the idea that the near-exact same menu was served for nearly 1/2 the price not very long ago, and that I could have an equal experience at EMP or somewhere for significantly less, would detract from any "experience" I was having.

                                                    It comes down to: I think EMP and others are worth it. I don't think Per Se justifies their prices. YMMV, of course.

                                                    ----------

                                                    Speaking of paying for nothing, I just noticed that at Daniel the Valentine's Day menu this year will cost $275... if you get it on Feb 13. If you get it on Feb 14, it costs $295. For the exact same meal.

                                                    1. re: sgordon

                                                      Have you been to Per Se?

                                                      Also you are not paying for nothing on Valentine's day. There is a greater demand, so they can charge more for those services.

                                                      1. re: MVNYC

                                                        Agreed - this is the argument Achatz is making at NEXT by selling tickets that cost more for the prime-time slots.

                                                        http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                                        1. re: uhockey

                                                          uhockey,

                                                          Do you know what the different prices will be for NEXT; I like eating early so maybe I can get an "early bird's special" :-).

                                                        2. re: MVNYC

                                                          I think that's a very valid question. If one has not been to Per Se, how would you know whether it is of any value?

                                                          I have had a couple of meals that have exceeded Per Se in price. I thought one meal was a fabulous value because it was just absolutely stupendous from beginning to end. Worth every penny. I still think about that meal from time to time because I was in awe of the technical precision, flavors and whimsy that went into everything. There's another meal that I still get sick of when I think about it. While it was very good, I didn't think the price justified the experience.

                                                          Value is very subjective and personal. Perhaps for those willing to pay Per Se prices to impress their business associates or young dates feel that Per Se is of good value.

                                                          -----
                                                          Per Se
                                                          10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

                                                          1. re: Miss Needle

                                                            Which expensive meal beat Per Se but was more expensive?

                                                            -----
                                                            Per Se
                                                            10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

                                                            1. re: tpigeon

                                                              It was the tasting menu at Pierre Gagnaire in Paris. It was innovative and pushed boundaries while still respecting classical French techniques. Really stunning -- head and shoulders above any other dining experience I've had. The dessert alone was ten courses (not counting mignardises)!

                                                              But I think one can find extremely delicious refined food without paying an arm or a leg. My favorite dining experience in the States would have to be Cyrus in Healdsburg, CA. Much less expensive than Per Se and French Laundry (and many others), but thought the food was better. I know it's rated 2 Michelin stars instead of 3, but think it should be 3. I don't put much stock in Michelin stars anyway in the US. Come on, EMP was given only one star. Maybe price is one of the things holding it back from its third star. Prices have risen over the years but still remain relatively reasonable -- currently, an eight-course tasting menu is $130. And you still get a bunch of extras. Their amuse-bouche alone is five items -- all to hit different tastes -- salty, sweet, sour, bitter, umami.

                                                              But sometimes all I want is a $5 plate of lamb cumin noodles from Xian Famous Foods!

                                                              -----
                                                              Per Se
                                                              10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

                                                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                I hear you. I am a big fan of Xian too. I was just curious. I don't put much stock in michelin either outside of france.

                                                          2. re: MVNYC

                                                            1. @MVNYC - yes. Nor have I been in three (four?) years. No interest in returning, certainly not on my own dime. Keep in mind, though, that I generally don't go for "stuffy" places. If you read the boards, you'll know I'm not the biggest fan of Daniel, Jean George, or Le Bernardin either.

                                                            2. As to Achatz, I disagree with what he's doing price-wise at NEXT as well. Again, it's an example of charging more simply because you can, because you know someone with money to burn will pay for it. It's like paying a premium to a scalper for tickets to a show or something, only in this case the scalper is the establishment itself.

                                                            Or, another analogy: it's sort of like how hotel bars will charge more for the exact same glass of scotch you'd get elsewhere, simply because they can. If the product is the same... it should be (at least close to) the same price, simple as that. But hey, if people are willing to pay the premium... I can't really totally fault them. Make your money how you make your money, like I said. It's just not the business model I'd choose.

                                                            I've had meals that matched Per Se in (old) price that I found equal if not superior. I think the drastic price increase is all the proof one needs that you're not paying, entirely, for the food on the plate. In a vacuum, it might be an amazing meal - but we don't live in a vacuum, and in a city as rich in culinary offerings as ours I, personally, have a high standard as far as price/value ratio goes.

                                                            Like I said, I'm not really holding it against them. But I wouldn't recommend them to anyone, either.

                                                            Okay, I knew that dissing Per Se would open a can of worms. It always does - they have their supporters as much as any other place. Granted, I didn't start the thread, but that's all I'm saying on the subject. We'll just have to agree to disagree agreeably.

                                                            1. re: sgordon

                                                              "If you read the boards, you'll know I'm not the biggest fan of Daniel, Jean George, or Le Bernardin either."

                                                              That's all well and good, but in the context of this thread, that's like telling a group of sushi lovers not to eat sushi because you don't like it and don't think it's worth the price..

                                                              -----
                                                              Jean Georges
                                                              1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

                                                              Le Bernardin
                                                              155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

                                                              1. re: peter j

                                                                Was just about to post the same thing.

                                                                1. re: peter j

                                                                  +1

                                                                  Also, it would be naive to think that diners should only pay for the ingredients. We're also paying for intangibles like culinary expertise, creativity, and imagination. As others have pointed out, the cost is not unreasonable compared to top restaurants in Europe.

                                                                  And with all due respect to EMP fans, in terms of inventiveness and complexity, EMP isn't quite on the same level as Per Se.

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Per Se
                                                                  10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

                                                                  1. re: Riverman500

                                                                    "And with all due respect to EMP fans, in terms of inventiveness and complexity, EMP isn't quite on the same level as Per Se."

                                                                    That's a matter of opinion. No surprise that I disagree. And what really shocked me was that per se is capable of producing a dud. The veal dish I had there was bland, bland, bland. Frankly, at per se's prices, unforgiveable.

                                                                    http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                                                        3. re: fooder

                                                          "What it buys is real estate. It's renting a table in Time Warner Center for the night. If you have trouble accepting that "abstract concept", why are you living in NYC, where for the price of a studio apartment you can buy a sizeable tract of land in other parts of the US?"

                                                          Like the above a lot.

                                                          Will disagree on Daniel though, I was treated like a king as a solo diner there and I wasn't flashing big dollars or fame. They seemed to care a great deal that I enjoy my evening.

                                                          http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                                          1. re: uhockey

                                                            My post was removed. I thought I stayed on point in responding to sgordon's original post.

                                                            Anyway, uhockey, from my own experiences I do feel that many of the top end places have treated me better when I dined alone. Maybe in today's food world they're always worried that a solo diner snapping pictures is a critic with an audience somewhere. When I dined there we were just four guys in suits.

                                                            1. re: fooder

                                                              I would just point out that the prices at Landmarc in the TWC are the same as at their other location. So the idea of paying for midtown real estate on your food bill, to my mind, remains nonsensical.

                                                              As to the everything being more expensive in NYC argument... well, we're comparing the price/value of Per Se to other NYC establishments, so that's irrelevant. If they were in Vegas they'd be priced to the local market, I suppose.

                                                              And I live in NYC for many reasons, but mostly because it kicks every other city's butt. (And hell, that's coming from a Red Sox fan...)

                                                              -----
                                                              Landmarc
                                                              179 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

                                                              1. re: sgordon

                                                                Like I said, my post was removed. The real estate argument was only one of the points.

                                                                The main point was that charging "because they can" is not necessarily a bad thing and does not necessarily mean they don't have the food or the experience in mind. My comparison was El Bulli, where one of Adria's claims was that he was running at a deficit. If that was indeed his problem, he should have charged more a long time ago.

                                                                How many restaurants that were once considered the best have folded? Charging more allows you to think down the road, to keep up with innovation, and keep and develop talent. It really is more than just about food on a plate, when it comes to cost.

                                                                1. re: sgordon

                                                                  Landmarc TWC's kitchen is probably about a tenth of the size of Per Se's. I've read that Per Se has it's own part of the loading dock.

                                                          2. I've always disliked the terms "extras" and "complimentary" in relation to amuses and so on. These items are priced in the cost of the meal, incorporated in other prices; they are not free. I know that all of us factually know his, but I feel the emphssis on these items' quantity and quality is often as if they are "given". Would we be so excited if they were called "toys" and given a price?

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: yebo

                                                              Since all of the top-tier restaurants provide the amuses/mignardises, the playing field is level. I think I'd be surprised if one of the top restaurants didn't provide them.

                                                              1. re: ellenost

                                                                Yes, it is part of high-end presentation and service. But it's not a gift -- just as being comped is an investment on the restaurant's part. Doesn't undo it, but it is not a fabulous gift. I think the sometime tone of adulation for "gifts, kitchen tours, handshakes sometimes gets to me.

                                                                1. re: ellenost

                                                                  Darn right - if the meal is >$200 I'm offended when I don't get an amuse, palate cleanser, and mignardises. ;-)

                                                                  http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                                              2. Hi
                                                                I"m a reporter exploring a story on restaurants increasing food prices, including the Per Se increase. Would love to hear any consumer thoughts on this. You can reach me at 212-416-2945 or sumathi.reddy@wsj.com. Thanks.

                                                                -----
                                                                Per Se
                                                                10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

                                                                1. Just got off phone with reservationist. Per Se is increasing their prices once again to $310 starting January 9th.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: fooder

                                                                    $15 won't make a huge difference but thanks for letting us know!

                                                                  2. Pardon my ignorance but what does EMP stand for?

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: wincountrygirl

                                                                      Eleven Madison Park

                                                                      1. re: Elizabeth E.

                                                                        I knew I'd say "duh!"

                                                                      2. re: wincountrygirl

                                                                        eleven madison park
                                                                        http://elevenmadisonpark.com/

                                                                        1. re: wincountrygirl

                                                                          http://elevenmadisonpark.com/

                                                                          Eleven Madison Park Restaurant