Per Se’s $610 Menu | BUY

Per Se has always offered one or two supplements to its $295 tasting menu. Think of it as a three-Michelin starred version of “super-sizing” your meal at McDonald’s. A foie gras course will cost $40; a plate of white truffle risotto during the winter will set you back an extra $175. But late last month, a menu on Per Se’s website listed four separate supplemental options — not uncommon at most fancy restaurants, except for the fact that at Per Se, if you ordered all of them, it would have more than doubled the price of your menu to $610, a de facto 107% price hike. Following are the supplements from 26 June 2011, and the dishes that they replaced: 

  • Tsar Imperial Caviar: $75 (replacing: Oysters & Pearls)
  • Hudson Valley Foie Gras: $40 (standing in for Salad Nicoise)
  • Risotto With Australian Black Winter Truffles: $100 (the alternate for Poulard with summer truffles).
  • 100 Day-Dry-Aged Wagyu: $100 (The “dollar-a-day” substitute for roasted Elysian Fields Lamb). 

Again, what’s different about Per Se is the question of cost and the question of choice. These four dishes were the ONLY four choices from the savory portion of the nine-course set tasting menu. They’re not outlier items on page 384 of the wine list. If just one person in a party of two had ordered all the supplements on 26 June, that would have hiked the REAL COST of the meal (after tax) to $985 before wine. 

  • Verdict: I’m rating Per Se’s truffle, caviar and foie gras supplements a BUY based on epic versions of those dishes I’ve had here. I’ll bite my tongue on their wagyu preparation as I’ve not tried it. 
  • Advice: Check Per Se’s online menu the day you visit (it’s posted by 5pm) and discuss with your date how much you plan to spend. The wine list is available on the web as well. (Note: as always, all of Per Se’s prices reflect a service charge. We approve of that). 
  • To Be Fair: The quadruple supplement, like a Triple Lindy dive, is a rare event. But it happens. This past month, Per Se has been offering the truffles, foie gras and caviar supplements quite frequently; the Wagyu, less so.  

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