restaurants
Per Se
10 Columbus Circle
Time Warner Centre
212 823 9335

Any foodie who's been through Napa has been to French Laundry. Including us. We actually fell asleep amongst the vineyards outside in a food coma from our meal. But Thomas Keller has an increasingly uphill road. In Napa, his is the only game in town, but this is Manhattan and it hasn't been translating. Specifically, detractors point out the major attitude, surprise bills (when they keep pouring you wine but don't ask, it is actually being tallied) and tiny portions. The widely reported several year wait to get in here has shortened significantly (who wants to wait to go to the mall?) and prices remain staggering ($130 for a veggie platter, Thomas?) aren't so... inspirational. Despite 80s redux, the era of begging and clamouring to give someone else your money is pretty much over. Proven by the departure of even such worthy institutions as Lespinasse. Now comes another blow. Laura Cunningham, his long time right hand, is no longer at the helm of his operations since their split. So good thing this spot is in such a prime location. Demand and the view will keep it going. When the food does come, it is super tasty. Cuts of meat are tender, sauces are delicate and the wine selection is, naturally, spectacular. However maybe the bill wouldn't be so much if they weren't paying the waiters to obsess over which way the houndstooth on the plates is pointing.

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