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Oct 23, 2012 02:34 PM

per se advice, please (dinner coming up on Friday)

We are headed to per se later this week and I have noticed that a couple of the daily menus posted on line this week have listed an alternative to the Oysters and Pearls. It is listed as follows on the regular tasting menu:

Tsar Imperial Caviar
Nantucket Bay scallops, hearts of peach palm, navel orange, and mustard cress
$75 supplement

1. Has anyone had this and is it special enough to skip the O&P (which I have had before)?

2. Also, I read post from sometime last year where there was mention of leaving a supplemental tip on top of the "service" that is already included...somewhere around an additional 10%, or so. I have left an additional tip as well in the past (at French Laundry), but i've never known if I really should or how much is reasonable. For those who have been to per se or French Laundry, do you do this routinely, and if so, how much do you tend to leave? I ask because we are going with another couple who have not been previously and I would like to advise them as to the "norm" before we get there.


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  1. 1. My mom received the caviar supplement, and it is nice, and made my dad jealous (how petty!). On the other hand, you could spend that amount on a 3-course lunch at The Modern. Just sayin'. I doubt you will be disappointed either way. Ask your captain how the dish is done; that will help you decide when the time comes.

    2. I think the tip-on-tip should be entirely optional; people shouldn't be made to feel bad if they don't have either the *inclination* or *means* to pay more than the advertised cost of the meal. Yes, there are two camps on the issue, but out of the debate arises little wisdom. My current opinion is that people should overtip whatever they feel comfortable with, whether that is 0%, 5%, 10% (the so-called standard), or even more. The restaurant should be smart enough to account for this; let them deal with it.

    Above all, have a great time!

    P.S. If on Friday they mention a truffle supplement at this time of year, go for that instead!

    2 Replies
    1. re: calf

      Thanks, calf! I agree about the supplement, but then again, one does not go to per se to pinch pennies...also, I don't know if I can pass up on the Oysters & Pearls.

      I was wondering about truffles as well. Given that other restaurants seem to be featuring them already, I am a little surprised there have been no dishes with truffles (yet) on the posted menus.

      Thanks for your thoughts on the tip-on-tip; well said.

      1. re: cobpdx

        Get both. The bay scallops are going to be amazing. Last I was at French Laundry I had several extra dishes. If you pay they will accommodate all your desires. Go for it. I always leave supplemental tip if the service is exceptional.

    2. Thanks, all. Just posted my VERY belated trip report:

      1. we left about 100 dollars extra because they deserved every penny. the service made the meal we wanted them to know how much we appreciated their casual yet not at all intrusive or push style.