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May 22, 2013 07:48 PM

0 for 2 for Per Se reservations with 1 day left

Despite having Amex concierge and my wife trying, I have not been able to secure reservations for dinner at Per Se. Tomorrow is the last chance for the dates that we will be able to go. Not all is lost. My wife was able to get lunch reservations. My preference was dinner however.

Any comments on the difference between lunch and dinner?

Also, below is a listing of my reservations. Any suggestions for changes?

Day Lunch Dinner
Thu Le Bernardin Junoon
Fri Per Se Babbo
Sat Bouley Anissa
Sun (Jean Georges) Picholine

I have not reserved Jean Georges yet but should be able to do this tomorrow.

I am also going to try and book lunch at Ko on Sat or Sun and if successful, I will change lunch at Bouley to dinner and cancel Anissa or Picholine. I am also looking at kappa at ma peche for dinner one night as well. Too many choices and too few days!

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  1. I've done Per Se for both lunch and dinner, and prefer lunch since the meal will last more than 3 1/2 hours. I'm a big fan of Bouley, Picholine, Ko and Ma Peche. Love the new Kappō at Ma Peche.

    1. I'd say you've done very well for yourself.

      My only concern, and it's a personal one, is doing so many high-end places in such a short amount if time. It doesn't give the mind, much less the body, to fully digest and assimilate the experience before being confronted with another equally powerful one.

      But whatever, that's just me. Enjoy your trip and happy eating!

      3 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        "My only concern, and it's a personal one, is doing so many high-end places in such a short amount if time. It doesn't give the mind, much less the body, to fully digest and assimilate the experience before being confronted with another equally powerful one."

        Absolutely agree. There was a time when i thought I had to have the ultimate experience for breakfast, lunch and dinner when traveling. I found it was just too much after a while. When I finally decided to limit my high end experiences to one a day, I found I appreciated it and looked forward to it much, much more. JMHO.

        One other note: Last year we had a highly anticipated dinner booked at Junoon for my birthday. The night came and we started with a wonderful cocktail in the bar/lounge area. The service was top notch. I couldn;t wait to get to the table and enjoy our meal. What a letdown! The food was good, but no better than Indian served at my favorite little places in Hoboken, where I live. The service was...hard to describe. We never wanted for anything and the staff was attentive, but other than a greeting and taking our order, our waiter never said a word to us. He did not walk us though the menu options (as most restaurants of this caliber do), suggest a dish or two, ask if we had any questions, invite us to check out the spice room as other people have said their waiters have done, etc. Nothing. Plus, after the lovely ambiance of the bar/lounge area, the dining room was a bit sterile-looking and noisy. I would suggest enjoying your lunch at Le Bernadin and then going to Junoon for dinner, but sit at the bar or in the lounge and have a less formal meal of appetizers and shared plates. Again, JMHO.

        1. re: ttoommyy

          I agree that too much high end places can detract from really appreciating how good some are.
          I would add some dim sum lunch, or Ippudo lunch or Danji
          or possibly katz's. or maybe Motorino for pizza. Bouley lunch however , is a really good deal.
          I would add 15 East to get some sushi in the mix.
          I second Kyo Ya. and would surely add Jungsik over some of the other choices you've made.
          Osteria Morini or Ed's lobster would be a more casual choice for dinner to get into the mix.
          I look forward to the OP's report after the eating marathon.

          1. re: foodwhisperer

            I would also mix in a jog or at least a brisk walk around Central Park, and avoid taxis and the subway whenever possible.

            A few intermissions at Stiles or Green Symphony wouldn't hurt either.

      2. As ipsedixit stated, I too feel as if you are going for too much of a good thing. A couple years back we did Le Bernardin lunch, Jean George dinner, Per Se Lunch, EMP dinner. I vowed to never do it again because it lost all meaning. Several times since we have done big lunch, restrained dinner or restrained lunch, big dinner for several days and it was much more enjoyable.

        Regardless of my opinion I would say there isn't much difference between lunch and dinner from a food or service point of view but, along the lines of what ellenost stated, lunch can sometimes be a great way to leisurely enjoy your meal, and regarding Per Se and Jean George the sunlight is kind of nice. OUr very recent lunch at Bouley was extremely nice and leisurely paced.

        1. I'll go with the what seems to be the consensus here and say you might be in for sensory overkill.

          You might want to consider something equally luxuious but on the lighter end of the spectrum - something Japanese (Soto, Kajitsu, 15 East, kaiseki at Kyo Ya perhaps) to break it up maybe? You could also fit in someting Nordic, which tends to be a bit lighter and brighter - Aska in Williamsburg for something modernist, or Aquavit for a more luxe kind of Nordic experience.

          I'd keep Babbo if you have rez, mainly because they're one of the hardest rezzies to get, but also because they're awesome, and will be of a very different style (if rather heavy as well) than the other places you'be chosen.

          Anissa I'm not bonkers about, but others seem to like them quite a bit. Bouley is a great lunch deal - and it's a BIG lunch if you do the the amazingly reasonably priced 5 course tasting / prix fixe. I'd certainly do something lighter for dinner after that.

          I would NOT do Ko lunch and Bouley dinner the same day - that would be insane. I might not even HAVE dinner after lunch at Ko, honestly - or if I did it'd just be a late snack.

          Junoon - I like, but I wouldn't send someone there from out of town unless they were REALLY craving Indian food (and even then I might suggest Tulsi instead - Junoon feels fancier in ambience, I just dig the food a little more at Tulsi)

          1. Make sure you put yourself on the wait list for Per Se, I think you specify the date. That's how I got my reservation the last time. Depending, the cancellation could be last minute, but in my case, it was well in advance of the date that I left.