I love French food; I could eat a pate of foie gras with baguette every day for the rest of my life. There is something different about French food, it is calm and beautiful. French food reminds me of family.
French food in the US = Thomas Keller. I’ve had meals at Bouchon in Yountville and Los Angeles, both very great meals, but they haven’t prepared me for my quick dinner at the Salon at Per Se. On Monday afternoon right before my flight back to New York, my dad treated me to some quick bites at the Salon. It was amazing.
We didn’t have time for the whole prix fixe dinner, so we only had two dishes. It started with a salmon cornet with a sesame tuile and red onion crème fraiche, it was good but it inevitably reminded me of airplane food. Smoked salmon reminds me of airplane food.
Next, I had the salad of marinated sweet carrots. It was extraordinary. The carrot was soft and crunchy. There was this amazing mousse of a curry and crème fraiche that paired so well with the carrots. I’ve never had such an amazing vegetable dish in my life. Dad had the foie gras with strawberries. It was also extraordinary. The duck liver paired so well with the strawberry, it was the most amazing combination, I didn’t know if I was tasting the foie gras or the strawberry because the flavors blended so well. What was so mind blowing about Per Se was that there were so many different layers to the flavor. It was like that scene in the movie Ratatouille when Remy has the cheese with the grapes and he closes his eyes and the different colored lights are dancing.
For our main I had the halibut with green olives in a buerre blanc. Unbelievable. It was the right amount of creamy and salty and was just perfect. My dad had the lamb with mushrooms and peas. Also very delicious.
Looking back at this experience I now realize that food can become a work of art. But it isn’t just any delicious meal that becomes a work of art. It is about the ingredients, how its cooked, how it is presented, and the experience of eating.