Fifty Best New York Restaurants
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  Cuisine: American, French  
  Location: Columbus Circle  

PER SE              American Nouveau,

With its ethereal view four stories up overlooking Central Park South, the uber-pricey restaurant Per Se offers ethereal food fare, as well. No wonder, since the restaurant was conceived by the much acclaimed chef, restauranteur, and author Thomas Keller--owner of the Napa Valley based French Laundry, a place often hailed as the best restaurant in the States. When Per Se debuted in February 2004, Keller knew he had established it as one of NYC's best restaurants in short order. With only 64-seats in the main dining room, a 10-seat private dining room, lounge, bar and remarkable wine cellar (standing like a viewable vault right before the dining area), Per Se suggests both a discreet hideaway and a place of elevated, refined luxury.

Keller's New York presence is maintained by Executive Chef Jonathan Benno, and continues to present Keller's high standards. Those standards include such succulent dishes as Coddled Eggs tipped with Black-Truffle purée and the Chef’s famous “Oysters and Pearls” (Island Creek Oysters, pearly tapioca, Osetra caviar); various unique Foie Gras based creations; and a flight of Lobster Tails poached in butter and painted with a remarkable medley of saffron-vanilla sauce, red-beet essence, or vermouth. Per Se offers two prix fixe tasting menus--there's a nine-course Tasting of Seasonal Vegetables or the nine-course Chef’s Tasting Menu, which changes daily, in addition to a shorter five-course lunch menu.

From its strict jacket/no-jeans dress code and no walk-ins accepted rule, down to the draping of the white pristine table cloths, Per Se defines the idea of an exorbitant, luxurious dining experience.

10 Columbus Circle in the Time Warner Building

Per Se


  Cuisine: American, French  
  Location: Midtown  

THE MODERN     American Nouveau, French

Though situated inside the Museum of Modern Art, The Modern is no mere adjunct to the Museum--but a work of art in design and cuisine. Inspired by the Bauhaus movement of the '20s, this haute café from Restauranteur/proprietor Danny Meyer is adorned with furniture and tableware from the modernists, with a focus on the Danish style.

The Modern is actually two environments--the Bar Room and Dining Room. A little more casual and abuzz with energy, the bar offers an abbreviated version of the dining room menu with an array of over 30 savory dishes. While the bar suggests a lively, aesthetic debate, the dining area offers a more austere space ideal for reflection and conversation. The two spaces montage through a frosted glass partition. In the clean, stately dining room, patrons can admire the sculptures from the adjacent garden while enjoying the finely crafted menu.

Chef Gabriel Kreuther’s nouveau French-American cooking partly inspired by his Alsatian roots is as refined and aesthetic as the room itself. He applies a finely tuned palate that can devise unique dishes of familiar ingredients, as in the Hamachi Tuna with a tart Grapefruit sauce and spice crust, a Potato Escargot Gâteau, or a Cod graced with thin discs of Chorizo and Harissa oil. Kreuther transforms the generally prosaic Liverwurst or Roast Duck into something truly special. The restaurant offers three tasting options: three courses for $85, chef's seven-course tasting menu for $125, and a seven-course seasonal tasting menu for $138.

A meticulously chosen international wine list features more than 900 selections deep in Alsatian choices, including wines by-the-glass, and an innovative cocktail menu available both in the bar or dining space.

9 West 53rd Street      212-333-1220

The Modern


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