Per Se vs. Eleven Madison Park

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by hopkins_student, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Having a Ball

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    Yes. If you were to order nothing else and give them $295 at the end of your meal, you would leave in their good graces.

    Even though they have a service charge, if you left exactly $295, you wouldn't exactly be in the good graces of the FOH staff.
     
  2. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    Even though they have a service charge, if you left exactly $295, you wouldn't exactly be in the good graces of the FOH staff.

    Then what is the point of including service? And what is the expected tip beyond that?

    Seriously, at least when service is not included everyone knows what is expected. When it is, no one does. So either include it and make it clear that's it, as in Europe, or don't included it and let everyone tip as per custom.
     
  3. Concordia

    Concordia Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I don't know what it costs to run those places but that wine list bascially says to me "Don't dine here unless A) You know nothing about what wine should cost and B) you are so rich that you don't care." I expect to pay more, perhaps even a lot more, than retail at very nice places but that list is still nuts.

    I went to Robuchon, not the Atelier but the big brother, in Vegas earlier this year and it costs more than Per Se and the list was much better and even had some very good deals (in addition to the to-be-expected "OMG it's DRC/Lafite let's get it honey!!" bottles). So it can be done.


    I just skimmed the list, and if you're resigned to a $60-90 markup, some of the very cheapest wines on the list are actually quite well chosen. The problem is that they also go for 4x markups further up the chain.

    Another interesting tidbit-- while they have a lot of good Bordeaux, it's not a comprehensive list. Very few 2000s, for one thing. Since I had the stupidity to buy a bunch of those before release, the $90 corkage fee could lead to some relatively good values there.
     
  4. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    I just skimmed the list, and if you're resigned to a $60-90 markup, some of the very cheapest wines on the list are actually quite well chosen. The problem is that they also go for 4x markups further up the chain.

    Another interesting tidbit-- while they have a lot of good Bordeaux, it's not a comprehensive list. Very few 2000s, for one thing. Since I had the stupidity to buy a bunch of those before release, the $90 corkage fee could lead to some relatively good values there.


    I looked through the list very carefully earlier this year and found nothing like that. I would have been delighted to see a mere $60-90 markup. Maybe it's changed a lot in the intervening months.
     
  5. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I have a question, folks. A friend tells me that if you go to a pricey restaurant and order an expensive bottle of wine before tipping you should subtract the cost of the wine before tipping your 20%. Is this common, or he is just cheap? I mean I see his point are you supposed to tip 20% on a bottle of Petrus?
     
  6. edinatlanta

    edinatlanta Senior member

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    Seriously, at least when service is not included everyone knows what is expected. When it is, no one does. So either include it and make it clear that's it, as in Europe, or don't included it and let everyone tip as per custom.

    I have a question, folks. A friend tells me that if you go to a pricey restaurant and order an expensive bottle of wine before tipping you should subtract the cost of the wine before tipping your 20%. Is this common, or he is just cheap? I mean I see his point are you supposed to tip 20% on a bottle of Petrus?

    And I hate how now,any type of "service" is expected to include a tip.
     
  7. Concordia

    Concordia Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I looked through the list very carefully earlier this year and found nothing like that. I would have been delighted to see a mere $60-90 markup. Maybe it's changed a lot in the intervening months.

    Probably not a lot. But in white halves, you have a good generic Riesling, a Matrot Meursault, and some Vouvray Sec from Huet. Red halves you get some Cote Rotie and St Joseph, and (pushing it), a Bandol, and several Italians for $80 or less.

    In full bottles, there are quite a few at $100 or less that I'd suspect are worth opening, even with good food. Obviously, if you're in Burgundy or Bordeaux and leaving the generic/regional turf, it gets ugly. But the provincial stuff, as well as the Spanish and Italians, might be a useful test of the sommelier's ability to come to terms with the chef.
     
  8. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    Probably not a lot. But in white halves, you have a good generic Riesling, a Matrot Meursault, and some Vouvray Sec from Huet. Red halves you get some Cote Rotie and St Joseph, and (pushing it), a Bandol, and several Italians for $80 or less.

    In full bottles, there are quite a few at $100 or less that I'd suspect are worth opening, even with good food. Obviously, if you're in Burgundy or Bordeaux and leaving the generic/regional turf, it gets ugly. But the provincial stuff, as well as the Spanish and Italians, might be a useful test of the sommelier's ability to come to terms with the chef.


    I was semi-planning a trip earlier this year with gomestar and we both looked through the list and came away totally discouraged. This was around Jan or Feb.

    Now I am afraid to go because I don't know what is expected on the tipping side. [​IMG]
     
  9. gomestar

    gomestar Super Yelper

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    I still want to go and still have 3 $100 bills I set aside from bonus time.

    But now there are 2 more 'supplemental' menu items [​IMG]
     
  10. Concordia

    Concordia Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I was semi-planning a trip earlier this year with gomestar and we both looked through the list and came away totally discouraged. This was around Jan or Feb.

    Now I am afraid to go because I don't know what is expected on the tipping side. [​IMG]


    You're afraid that the waiters are all star writers at Devil's Island?
     
  11. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    You're afraid that the waiters are all star writers at Devil's Island?

    Seriously, what is expected? If I go to a place in France with "service compris" they really don't expect any additional money. So kyle is saying that Per Se does. Well, how much?

    Beyond that, I think it's annoying that they require this huge service charge and then expect you to tip beyond that, and I have no idea what the expectation is.
     
  12. gomestar

    gomestar Super Yelper

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    I just re-looked at the wine list and thought I found some decent values.

    my bad, that was the half-bottle section.
     
  13. nmprisons

    nmprisons Senior member

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    Seriously, what is expected? If I go to a place in France with "service compris" they really don't expect any additional money. So kyle is saying that Per Se does. Well, how much?

    Beyond that, I think it's annoying that they require this huge service charge and then expect you to tip beyond that, and I have no idea what the expectation is.


    I just assume the above is in jest, but, just in case, Kyle is wrong. Service is included. FOH staff are salaried. You can add more if you want, but it is NOT expected.
     
  14. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    No jest, I have never been there so I don't know.

    The first few times I went to TFL it was before they had this policy (I even went when they still had an a la carte menu). Then after they adopted the policy I just paid the bill and didn't tip. Everyone smiled politely but for all I know they were seething inside.
     
  15. mrbateman

    mrbateman Well-Known Member

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    I'd definitely choose Per Se over EMP and you can choose to do wine pairings which will give you a variety of well matched, fairly decent wines without paying enormous bottle mark ups.

    The best part of EMP for me is the dessert which you can do after a more casual dinner elsewhere.

    Also, if you are looking at more casual alternatives, check out ABC Kitchen. It is very approachable and fun and it just won a JB award.
     

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