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Spoiler Alert: It's Per Se

  • famdoc Oct 11, 2011 01:41 PM
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Yup. Sifton's final review calls Per Se NYC's best.
Let the discussion begin.

But first: I could never afford to eat in the dining room at Per Se.
Questions for fellow hounds: Is a meal in the salon nearly as good as a meal in the dining room?
What is the reservation policy for the salon?

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Per Se
10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

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  1. Salon is walk-in, but I have never eaten there.

    Congratulations to Chef Kaimeh and the team at Per Se.

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

    1. As Sifton intimated in the food issue of the magazine, his final review (and New York's best restaurant full stop) is Per Se.

      I've thought of returning to Per Se to try a few dishes at the Salon: the full menu in the dining room is awfully long (to say nothing of the 'extended' menu), but the dishes cost enough that $295 starts to look like a deal. On the other hand, I feel it would be more excusable to order a couple of glasses of wine in the Salon rather than hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars of grand cru vin de garde.

      When I walked through the Salon, I noticed a lot of young couples...

      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/12/din...

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/810121

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      Per Se
      10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

      1. I'm lucky enough to have dined at a good amount of restaurants in NYC and I agree with Sifty that Per Se is the best restaurant in the NYC area. There's definitely going to be some counterarguments on this board for EMP and maybe Le Bernardin or Blue Hill Stone Barns. Jean Georges and Daniel are very good, but I don't think they hold a candle to Per Se. I've never been to Masa.

        I've only gone to Per Se once two years back (in the dining room) and I can still recall fond memories of the food I ate there. It was "only" $275 a person then, including gratuity. I cannot comment on the salon, but I have considered going as to just eat my favorite dishes (or at least their current variants) from my only visit at a lower overall cost. The salon doesn't take reservations and is first-come, first-serve. Jackets are still required, I believe.

        5 Replies
        1. re: deepfry7

          I don't feel I can speak about Per Se with any authority as I've dined there only once (last October, post-Benno), but I recall the dishes were almost all technically faultless (the one exception, bizarrely enough, was Keller's trademark butter-poached lobster, which was overcooked and rubbery -- it was better at EMP and Ai Fiori!).

          However, I do think Per Se will never rank as best overall restaurant -experience- in New York because I find the room so sterile. I appreciate the implicit luxury of the spacing and the massive windows overlooking Central Park, but the room's anonymous corporate decor is not only a disappointment but a pall that drapes everything else in its soullessness. How I wish they would refurbish their space.

          Whereas, -everything- at Eleven Madison Park is lovely and a delight, even if only a handful of dishes I have eaten there come up to the standard of Keller's kitchen.

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

          Eleven Madison Park
          11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

          Ai Fiori
          400 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018

          1. re: Winterpool

            i go to a restaurant to eat the food...i guess you go to look at the flowers?

            1. re: jabowkE

              'i go to a restaurant to eat the food...i guess you go to look at the flowers?'

              I'm not a Michelin inspector, if that's what you're implying...

              I don't think it's silly to suggest the tone and atmosphere of a restaurant affect the dining experience. To take an extreme example, serving Keller's cuisine aboard a plane in flight would surely detract from the -food- (apparently one of the reasons everything tastes awful on a plane is the -noise-).

              http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-env...

              Another, slightly less extreme example: I'm sure many of us have had a dinner ruined owing to egregious service even when the food was perfectly fine.

              At this level of dining (and at this price), I don't think it's unreasonable to regret that a restaurant's atmosphere doesn't match its cuisine.

              1. re: Winterpool

                I would like to point out that the view from Per Se is really good. I am much more food focused than atmosphere focused, but I did enjoy the view very much.

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                Per Se
                10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

                1. re: Winterpool

                  Those are red herrings.

                  The service at Per Se is not only technically flawless, but surprisingly warm, comforting, and hospitable. While some might prefer the (wonderful) EMP approach (or even the Le Bernardin approach), you will find few allies in the "service at per se doesn't match its cuisine" side of the aisle.

                  As for atmosphere, I guess reasonable people can disagree about this one. That said, in the winter by the fireplace or the fall or spring by the window overlooking the park are, in my book, as nice a seat as you can get in a restaurant in New York. Now that I think about it, the most memorable meal that I have had there took place in a corner table by the window, but facing out towards the dining room. The atmosphere was just dandy then, too.

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

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

          2. I've eaten at the Salon. The seating's kind of awkward. You have to lean forward and down to eat. You get the same amuses, petit fours, and take-home cookies as the dining room.

            The photos of my meal can be found here if anyone's interested: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cheeryvi...

            3 Replies
            1. re: Cheeryvisage

              How much would you say it might cost to pay for, oh, 4 courses in the Salon? $150ish?

              1. re: Winterpool

                Here's the menu:
                http://www.tkrg.org/upload/ps_menu.pdf

                1. re: Winterpool

                  My meal of 3 courses was around $100. $150 for 4 courses sounds about right.

                  You can find the Salon's menu updated daily here, it's the last page: http://www.tkrg.org/upload/ps_menu.pdf

                  ETA: lol, kathryn was faster than me.

              2. "Is a meal in the salon nearly as good as a meal in the dining room?"

                - No, the dishes will seem meager and out of context. In the dining room, the experience is greater than the sum of its parts. The signature dishes like Oyster and Pearls are also not available in the Salon.

                "What is the reservation policy for the salon?"

                - First come, first served. Jackets required.

                6 Replies
                1. re: peter j

                  'No, the dishes will seem meager and out of context. In the dining room, the experience is greater than the sum of its parts.'

                  That's the impression others have suggested as well. Yet the full menu was a bit too much for my untrained stomach (my BMI is generally round 19-20, ha!). Perhaps I'd find 5-6 courses ideal, mmm.

                  1. re: Winterpool

                    I think that during weekends you can still do five courses for lunch in the dining room for about $195. It's still a spectacular meal with all the extras.

                    1. re: Winterpool

                      There is the five-course lunch option.

                      1. re: Winterpool

                        'No, the dishes will seem meager and out of context. In the dining room, the experience is greater than the sum of its parts.'

                        Agree with this. I was very ambivalent about my meal, detailed here: http://www.chow.com/topics/800179

                        1. re: Cheeryvisage

                          Ha! It becomes even tougher if I let my brain start calculating how for the same amount I could have dined at Eleven Madison Park, in a beautiful room with proper tables and chairs, even if the food isn't at quite the same level.

                          I've never been able to do the luxe luncheon thing. I'm not a morning person, and 1 pm is too early to appreciate what's being set in front of me.

                          -----
                          Eleven Madison Park
                          11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

                      2. re: peter j

                        Well then, put me on team meager-and-out-of-context. I agree with Cheeryvisage that the seating in the Salon is not ideal, although it was a good deal more comfortable than the torture-rack chairs at A Voce. But for those of us who want to eat Per Se food, but less of it, and at a (relatively) affordable price, the Salon is a godsend. I tip the scales at 88 lbs - of FURY! - and I wouldn't have a snowball's chance in Hell's Kitchen of making it through Per Se's full menu without dying. And as someone a lot closer to the 99% than the 1%, I also appreciate the opportunity to enjoy the occasional fancy-pants meal without having to sell a kidney to pay for it. Not that anyone would want my kidneys, at this point.

                        I'll also bet you dollars to donuts that if you want Oysters & Pearls in the Salon, you can have them.

                      3. "Before all that, however: “How are you doing?”

                        This is how meals often end at Per Se, with a captain checking in on his charges, the table crammed with candies and truffles, with coffee semifreddo and the stray ends of exquisite doughnuts. The question is sincere. If you asked for a Coke and a Marlboro, surely these would soon appear. (Most ask for a check, as if to say, “Uncle.”)"

                        Sifton nailed it. I won't forget when my boyfriend, cutting into his butter-poached lobster, thought, briefly, that it had splatted on his suit jacket. Our captain ran over faster than the speed of light, immediately offering to go get him a Tide-2-Go wipe. Shocking, and incredible.

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                        Per Se
                        10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

                        14 Replies
                        1. re: loratliff

                          My most recent visit to Per Se, a birthday lunch, full menu, was flawless and spectacular, easily one of the greatest dining experiences I've had. If I were Sifton and the meal I had was what I based my opinion on it would be an easy call to say NYC's best. That being said, I do feel EMP could give Per Se a run for their money.

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

                          1. re: Spiritchaser

                            At this point, when I have saved up enough to eat at one of the city's best, those are the only two restaurants that I consider.

                            1. re: nmprisons

                              Good strategy because let's face it, you'll get an incredible meal/evening at either of them.

                              1. re: Spiritchaser

                                I have been to Per Se four times over the last few years, and can probably still recollect every dish from memory. For me, it is the only truly extraordinary restaurant in New York.

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                                Per Se
                                10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

                            2. re: Spiritchaser

                              Agreed.

                              In fact, to EMP's credit, I do feel that it is more "approachable" for a regular, nice dinner, whereas Per Se feels like a "special occasion only"-type of place.

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

                              1. re: loratliff

                                I don't even think EMP should be mentioned in the same breath as Per Se.
                                Per Se is heads-and-shoulders the best and above any 2nd placer in NYC.

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

                                1. re: RCC

                                  The food at Masa is better. But overall? Sure, why not.

                                  -----
                                  Masa
                                  10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

                              2. re: Spiritchaser

                                Sorry, and this is my opinion .... Imho, there's no way should EMP be mentioned in same level as Per Se.

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

                                1. re: RCC

                                  So I guess I don't get to voice my opinion of your opinion (fair enough) but just so the exchange makes sense, I disagree.

                                  1. re: RCC

                                    Well, Sifton mentioned EMP in the same review, though of course he ultimately judged Per Se superior. In as much as Per Se has peer-competitors, Sifton implies they are EMP, JG, Daniel, and Del Posto. I suspect the restaurants one sees mentioned the most on these forums as 'best restaurant in NY' are Per Se and, yes, EMP.

                                    Do I think Humm's cuisine is at the same level as Keller's. No, not yet, aside from a few dishes, but he's still relatively young. And some punters have speculated that buying the restaurant from Meyer will liberate Humm to some extent.

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

                                    Del Posto
                                    85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                                    1. re: Winterpool

                                      If anything, Sifton implicates Le Bernardin as his second favorite:

                                      "And I had a serving of shaved razor clams with sea urchin sauce and Osetra caviar in the beautifully renovated new dining room of Le Bernardin that was the most fully realized and delicious combination of flavors I have experienced in 2011. Maguy Le Coze and Eric Ripert, that restaurant’s owners, stand tall amid these ranks."
                                      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/12/din...

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

                                      1. re: hcbk0702

                                        Oops, I knew I was forgetting one. Yes, Sifton's favourite dish of 2011 was at Le Bernardin, and I too got the impression he would rank it second in New York.

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

                                        1. re: Winterpool

                                          At Le Bernardin, it looks like that clam (geoduck) with gnocchi, caviar, and see urchin sauce is a $70 supplement. Although the foie gras at Per Se is a $40 supplement (which I assume most 2-tops would get at least one of and share).

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

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

                                    2. re: RCC

                                      "Sorry, and this is my opinion .... Imho, there's no way should EMP be mentioned in same level as Per Se."

                                      I have to agree with RCC, but everyone is entitled to their opinion.

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

                                2. Since the Salon has been open I have said I would never pay Per Se prices to eat on a sofa BUT that has recently changed based upon several comments from staff at another high end NYC restaurant. They, in seperate conversations, said the Salon is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy excellent food while conversing rather than the more formal atmosphere of the dining room. I value their opinions and they have always been spot on with other recommendations so I'm sure they are right on this as well, we plan on dropping in to the Salon very soon.

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

                                  1. Even if Per Se was judged the best restaurant in the entire solar system, I don't think I'd go there. $300 per person for dinner? Plus more if you have drinks? Plus tip?

                                    I spend $150 at the grocery store every 2-3 weeks to feed the two of us for that period of time. (and I'm a pretty good cook so we're not eating Hamburger Helper or Stouffer's frozen meals) I can't imagine any kind of occasion short of hitting the $200 million PowerBall lottery where I'd feel comfortable spending that kind of money on just one meal.

                                    I also don't think I'd like the menu. Foie gras? No thank you. Sweetbreads? Nope. Liver? Not happening. Raw sea urchin? Forget it.

                                    Per Se may be the best of the upper-crust restaurants in NYC, but it certainly isn't the best restaurant for NORMAL people with regular jobs. One meal there plus wine is about what I take home every two weeks.

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

                                    26 Replies
                                    1. re: Njchicaa

                                      (FYI, Per Se's menu prices already include tip. You only need to pay taxes on top of those.)

                                      1. re: Njchicaa

                                        Even though I could afford this place once in my lifetime, I won't ever be going because like you NJchicaa, I don't like the menu. And that's what I don't like about these "Best of" stories. Per Se may be the best for some of you out there. It would never be the best for me.

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

                                        1. re: Njchicaa

                                          Sifton's words were "the best and most delectable, the most interesting and important"(objectively the "best") not "the best for picky eaters and also affordable."

                                          There's a column for you already, it's called $25 and Under.

                                          Edited to add:
                                          Not trying to put you down or boost myself up (?), I'm saying Sifton is answering a DIFFERENT question: What is objectively the best restaurant in NYC, no holds barred, assuming money no object?

                                          What's wrong with reading about what the NYT restaurant critic thinks is the best restaurant in the city, and maybe dreaming of going there one day, or saving for a big splurge meal?

                                          If you're not interested, then you're not interested. No need to judge other people who are as not "NORMAL."

                                          1. re: kathryn

                                            Don't relegate me to the cheapskate category and I don't think people who don't want to eat offal or raw seafood not often seen on sushi menus should be described as "picky eaters".

                                            In my world, picky eaters won't eat mushrooms, zucchini, pesto, walnuts, garlic, etc. I'll eat almost anything except offal and random raw fish things.

                                            You may think that it is the best restaurant in the world. Good for you for being able to drop all of that money on one single dinner. I appreciate your opinion.

                                            For me and for MOST people in the tri-state area, that much money on just one meal isn't an option. Doesn't mean we will go out and only spend $25 on dinner and when we go out, it certainly isn't to a chain restaurant.

                                            What a shame that people have to try to boost themselves up by trying to put down others.

                                            1. re: Njchicaa

                                              Njchicaa, this isn't a sociopolitical discussion; it's, if anything, an aesthetic one. Does it surprise anyone that restaurants in the financial capital of America can cost as much as one week's wages for a typical household? Frankly I was surprised, after seeing the financial data posted below, that the median bill at Per Se isn't higher. There are other places, both online and in real life, to decry luxuria and cupiditas.

                                              By the way, I am not the 1 per cent. I am barely the 53 per cent.

                                              [Jah jah, my declensions aren't correct...]

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

                                              1. re: Winterpool

                                                Besides Per Se is a bargain compared to Masa.

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

                                                Masa
                                                10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

                                                1. re: Winterpool

                                                  It doesn't surprise me that meals at Per Se, EMP, and the rest of the cost several hundreds of dollars. It does suprise me, however, that a critic would name the best restaurant in NYC such an expensive one.

                                                  It may be the best (and I've read that many many people think it is the best) but it is simply out of reach for most people. We aren't the unwashed masses just because we can't fork over $500+ per dinner. People are very lucky if they can do such a thing. They should appreciate it instead of putting down others.

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

                                                  1. re: Njchicaa

                                                    I think it helps to bear in mind that -The New York Times- isn't merely the self-proclaimed newspaper of record, it is, for better or worse, the daily of the metropolitan ruling class (please note my qualifier 'metropolitan') and those who identify with or study them. When you combine the two roles of the paper together, it makes sense that -The NY Times- would choose as 'best' restaurant, one that would dominate the culinary universe of media and financial elites.

                                                    If you look at media entities that appeal to younger or less bourgeois readers (eg Eater and -The Village Voice-), you'll tend to see recommendations that are a universe (and very often a borough) away from the likes of Per Se and EMP.

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

                                                    1. re: Winterpool

                                                      Njchicaa I respect your opinion, but your argument that a NYTimes critic would pick such an expensive restaurant as the best one is like a sports reporter calling his son's Little League team's World Series game as the best sports event to watch in the country.

                                                      Obviously he will choose an expensive event (ie the superbowl or the yankees vs redsox).

                                                      When a car magazine chooses the best car does it pick the Kia Sorento? No it picks the Bentley.

                                                      Does a travel magazine choose a 10$ boat ride around Manhattan as the BEST cruise? No it picks the $20,000 cruise in Alaska.

                                                      and so on...

                                                2. re: Njchicaa

                                                  You don't eat offal and raw seafood? Then yes, you're clearly a picky eater to most people on this board, but there's nothing wrong with that: eat what you like.

                                                  1. re: hcbk0702

                                                    which is part of the reason why, even if I had several hundred dollars to spend on one meal, I wouldn't go to this kind of place. I don't think I'm a picky eater but I absolutely won't eat that kind of stuff and certainly not at $300 per plate.

                                                    1. re: Njchicaa

                                                      I am not sure what reaction you expect by telling a group of people who rank among the most food obsessed in the world that you will not eat entire food groups and then say you are not picky, but it is not a productive exercise. There is absolutely no way you will change our minds.

                                                      Obviously not directed at you hc.

                                                      1. re: Njchicaa

                                                        By the way, some people spend lots of money on art, some people spend lots of money on clothes, etc., there is nothing wrong or different about spending lots of money on food. Also, Per Se is not $300 per plate, you actually get served somewhere in the range of 15-20+ (forgive me if my numbers are off I have not been in a while but it is a substantial number of courses nonetheless) mini courses over a period of 3 hours. Many people routinely spend that kind of money to go to a rock concert or a sporting event, what is the better value? Depends on the person.

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

                                                    2. re: Njchicaa

                                                      Three Things:

                                                      (1) They have an entire vegetable menu.

                                                      (2) When I was a public school teacher supporting myself and my now-fiance (she was in school) on a limited income in Chicago. We saved money every week in a shoe box and, at the end of the year, instead of taking a vacation or visiting our family on the East Coast or going to the Bears game or buying a new television, we used that money to eat dinner at Alinea. So, it is an "option," but only if you prioritize it. (Not saying that you should prioritize it, just that it can be done.)

                                                      (3) I don't understand why you bothered to come on here and act as the voice of "NORMAL people." Are those of us who have been to Per Se not normal? No doubt it is extravagant and expensive and all that, but I just don't get what kind of response you expected.

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

                                                      1. re: nmprisons

                                                        I agree. We went to Per Se several years ago and cannot stop taking about it. The best meal of our lives. We are now saving to go to French Laundry. This isn't a weekly or even annual thing, we love the experience and would rather spend our money on a blowout dinner every few years instead of annual vacations.

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

                                                      2. re: Njchicaa

                                                        "I don't think people who don't want to eat offal or raw seafood not often seen on sushi menus should be described as "picky eaters". "

                                                        You mentioned raw sea urchin up-thread as something you don't eat and seem to imply that it's an abnormal ingredient not even found on sushi menus. However, I think pretty much every good sushi restaurant does indeed have sea urchin (uni) on their menu. It's a staple sushi item.

                                                        I can understand that you think the menu at Per Se is too adventurous and the price tag doesn't appeal to you. Though, I can't agree that "normal" people with regular jobs would not appreciate Per Se. nmprisons above took the words right out of my mouth (points 2 and 3). I couldn't have said it better myself.

                                                        1. re: Cheeryvisage

                                                          Also the only bit of offal on the current menu is pigs trotter which when deboned tastes like a fatty pork chop

                                                          1. re: Cheeryvisage

                                                            I'd love to hear how people with "normal" jobs are paying for their Per Se and similar tasting menu meals. I didn't say that they wouldn't appreciate it... I just don't see how regular people like myself could justify paying such a price for one dinner.

                                                            I'm one of those evil public employees that everyone says makes too much. My take-home pay each week is about the cost of a meal for 2 at Per Se. Probably why I can't just wrap my mind around spending so much for one meal when I'm just trying to get the bills paid.

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

                                                            1. re: Njchicaa

                                                              nmprisons up-thread had described how he managed to do it at Alinea (it charges at a similar price point as Per Se):

                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8118...

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

                                                              1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                I have always been an evil public employee (except for a stint as a fisherman), either in education or working for the federal government. When I was pretty low on the payscale, I would save money each week. All change at the end of the day went into a shoebox, as did a ten at the end of the week. You get a grand at the end of the year. Dinner for 2 at Per Se.

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

                                                                1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                  Most likely DINK
                                                                  (Double income, no kids)

                                                                  So do you have no hobbies that you spend money on? It's not just about food and sustenance. It's entertainment. It's an experience.

                                                                  1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                    I am not the 1 per cent. But I have friends who are. It is possible this makes me particularly susceptible to false consciousness. My parents are not the top 1 per cent, but they have been in some years.

                                                                    I've no children, no long-term debt (this is where having bourgeois parents is frightfully convenient), and I no longer have a girlfriend. I am barely at the 50th percentile income-wise. I should not be spending money on Michelin-starred dinners. Food and wine are my principal indulgence in terms of consumption, followed by clothes, which I can excuse as necessary for work. Or interviewing for prospective work. I wish I spent more on books.

                                                                    'Yes, it's indulgent of me, but it all comes out of capital, you know...'

                                                                    Edited: the staff 'serving' me at meals surely earn more than I do. Mmm.

                                                            2. re: Njchicaa

                                                              I don't understand. Since most people can't afford it, it shouldn't be called the best?

                                                              1. re: donovt

                                                                Precisely. Just like the best car is the Honda Civic.

                                                                1. re: nmprisons

                                                                  I was going to make an Occupy Per Se joke but, ummm, decided against it....

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

                                                                  1. re: nmprisons

                                                                    thank you nmprisons. you took the words right out of my mouth. I didn't see your post until after I posted above.

                                                              2. One of my favourite financial bloggers (and an enthusiastic gourmand), Felix Salmon, has fascinating analysis of Citi card restaurant spending. Per Se is one of the restaurants examined.

                                                                http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2011/10...

                                                                Per Se has a larger spread of payment totals than other restaurants. And 10 per cent of its revenue derives from dinners over $3000. The median (and mode) total appears to be $800... dinner for 2 + perhaps $150 of wine + tax?

                                                                Edited: to be precise, median expenditure at Per Se = $768.07. So that means a median table spent only $116 on beverages?

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