Per Se…an anniversary to remember!

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My wonderful husband, Adam, and I celebrated our five year anniversary at the world renowned restaurant Per Se.  Part of Thomas Keller’s French Laundry and Bouchon Bakery family, this dining experience can’t be topped.  The philosophy of Per Se is quite relevant to our experience, “In the end, a great meal is not about the food and wine.  A great meal is about the emotional experience.” I’m not kidding when I say EVERYTHING was incredible.  I’m a bit reserved when it comes to some dishes like caviar and fois gras, but Per Se honestly made it an emotional experience through food.  My husband and I were overwhelmed with pure delight.  Located in the Time Warner building, the ambience is comforting with a stunning view of Columbus Circle and Central Park.  Our nine course meal was beyond words and the SIX COURSE dessert was from my dreams!

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The desserts began with a palate cleanser of a watermelon soup.   Light and refreshing with beautifully cut fruit, I felt ready to take on the sweets!  Next came the BEST ice cream I’ve ever tasted.  I’m serious, I’ve never had an ice cream this superb.  Per Se uses milk from a family owned farm, Battenkill Valley Creamery, in upstate New York for this dish.  The ice cream was creamy, thick, and light.  The flavor from the milk’s cream was from the land of perfect dairy, and I couldn’t believe the amazing flavor of something so simple.  This was the best dessert I had at Per Se.

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I might have some of these out of order (I blame the emotional experience!) but this chocolate torte was like an elegant Kit Kat bar.  A crunchy base, soft chocolate top, milk shavings, and candied hazelnut.  It was also Adam’s birthday so we celebrated with a candle, of course, and a stunning citrus ricotta cheesecake.

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Most girls want a box of jewelry, but at Per Se, I got the box of my dreams!  Our waitor (who by the way was awesome), set this silver beauty in front of us and BAM, opened it up to an array of dessert delights.  Strawberry shortcake and lemon macarons, truffles, caramels, and a side of chocolate dusted hazelnuts!  I was sitting on the edge of my seat!  To add more excitement, homemade donut holes and a coffee semifreddo was placed in front of me as well!  What to choose first?!  I decided to eat the warm donuts…holey donut moley!  The cool coffee with the warm sugar dusted donut was out-of-this-world.  The macarons were chewy and crisp and were a nice light flavor against the chocolate candies that accompanied them.  The chocolates were rich and decadent.

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As if there wasn’t enough, we were surprised with a box of house made chocolates to choose from.  Among my picks were peanut butter and jelly, cinnamon chocolate, green tea, and passion fruit.  Oh fresh chocolates without fillers, I love you!  This was the perfect finish to an incredible and memorable evening.  A final highlight to our evening was the waitor taking us on a tour of the kitchen!!!  I met the sous pastry chef (above photo) as well as the other talented staff.  The kitchen was IMPECCABLE.  I’ve never seen a more beauitful kitchen and prestige of cooking that was happening.  The baking area was a dream with the biggest mixer in the world.  The entire staff at Per Se is welcoming and warm.  There was no pretention and everyone made us feel like we were part of the restaurant’s family.  As tradition runs in families, I believe the Nicely family has added Per Se to our family dining tradition.

Did I mention they sent us home with a box of shortbread and chocolate cookie sandwhiches?!!!

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