Food & Drink

Restaurant, a Love/Hate Story

This isn’t meant as torture. Really. We debated sparing you the news but felt duty-bound to report. Still, those with fragile egos are advised to stop reading.

Restaurateur Thomas Keller, of the much-lauded French Laundry in Napa, opens Per Se in the Time Warner Center today, and critics are scouring their thesauri for fresh superlatives.

There’s no gentle way to break it to you: You’re not getting in before 2006.

Here are the talking points, so you won’t be left high and dry at the water cooler:

  • The French-by-way-of-America cuisine is inventive, the prices high. There are three menus: chef’s tasting ($150), five-course ($125), nine-course tasting of vegetables ($135). (Must be one mighty fine carrot.) The only “flaw”? An overzealous use of quotation marks.
  • Yes, taking an elevator to get there feels weird. But once settled into the high-ceilinged Adam Tihany-designed space (warm woods, glass, neutrals, insane views), you’ll forget you’re in that Columbus Circle mall.
  • Nods to French Laundry: the blue doors (obvious), the dry cleaning symbols on the lampshades (cheeky).
  • There’s a beautiful room for private parties.

    So start kissing up to your sugar daddy. And pray he has an in with the maitre d’.

    Per Se, Time Warner Center, 10 Columbus Circle, at 60th Street, fourth floor (212-823-9335).