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May 2, 2013 03:48 PM

Per Se Questions

My wife and I are coming to NYC in June. My wife gave me dinner at Per Se for my birthday and my mother has offered to pay for the wine paring.

I don't see the price for the wine paring listed on their web site. Does anyone have any information about this?

Any strategies for getting a reservation? Lunch or dinner easier? (I have several phones and staff in my office that could be used to call at a specific time if needed.)

Instead of a full dinner there, I have been tempted to go to the salon at opening and share a few dishes with my wife. Then we would wait several hours and have a late dinner somewhere else. Any comments on this idea? What time does the salon open and is it open for lunch?

Lastly, the menu says "service included" does this include tax and tip or just the tip? When dining in France at service included restaurants I always leave a little extra especially if the service was good.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. No strategies for getting reservations other than be flexible. Call at 10:00 a.m. NY time, and be prepared to be on "hold" for a while. Lunch may be easier than dinner, but it took me several tries to get my last lunch resy. Service includes tip only. I leave another 10% in addition. Per Se is definitely worth the trouble of getting the reservation.

    1. The reservation isn't too hard, if you call exactly when the lines open. I got my reservation for two on a Friday night fairly easily—one or two busy signals and then got right though. Maybe weeknights are even easier? (Not sure what night you're planning to dine.)

      Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe there is a set price for the wine pairings—I think it varies depending on how many courses you wish to pair and what type of pairings you'd like.

      1. "Service included" means just the tip. It does not mean tax.

        1. I have not seen a set wine pairing at Per Se or French Laundry. When we have gone, we have given the som a "wine budget" for the table, then let them figure out what can be done. But, beware, if you are going to have the full tasting menu, a wine budget of, say, even $100 per person is going to be considered on the low end. I'm sure they can work with anything and others may have differing opinions, but more like $250 per person for wine (gasp) allows the som more flexibility and allows you to have some nicer wines.

          You should get more opinions, though, because you don't want your mom to have a heart attack over the wine pairing cost. Or just have her provide what you think is a reasonable cost and bump up the budget on your own if you want to.

          For the "service included" part, you can walk out the door with that cost, but the service is exceptional and we usually leave a little extra as well (10% ish).

          It is sometimes harder than you think to get reservations. You need to call exactly 30 calendar days ahead at 10 am Eastern time. Start calling for your first night/day in NYC and go from there for your second, thirds nights if you don't get your first choice. It doesn't always work out, so I would not make the mistake of thinking that your ideal night is a Sunday night and then only call for Sunday night when you are also going to be there the Friday and Saturday nights before (because then it is too late to call for the earlier days). I would be flexible on lunch and if all else fails, I would still consider the lounge as an option (as opposed to missing out altogether. Have fun!

          1. For reservations use your Amex concierge if you are a card member.

            I always tip between 15 and 20% regardless of the disclaimer.

            3 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit

              I've always had better luck calling myself than ever using Amex.

              1. re: loratliff

                Well after the first post I called Amex and gave them the info for the dates I wanted. I gave them 3 dates F-S for lunch or dinne, but dinner prefered. They said that they have a good relationship with Per Se (whatever that means).

                Should I also call to increase my odds?

                1. re: 3StarsFoodie

                  My concierge has never let me down. But do what makes you feel the most comfortable.