Columbus Circle: According to various sources at the restaurant, Per Se is in the planning stages of launching an a la carte menu in its salon and bar area. A reservationist tells us the menu is in trials but has yet to get the final go-ahead. PR confirms a decision has yet to be made; however, Chef Johnathan Benno's wife, Liz Benno, is already pimping the menu in a Facebook status update. Once the menu's confirmed, we hear it should be available to the public in the next few weeks.
We probably don't have to tell you this is huge—21 Club Losing the Tie, Chanterelle Dropping the a la Carte Menu—huge, a seismic shift for the restaurant.
On the one hand, it means both fans of Per Se and the uninitiated don't need to commit to a full nine-course meal, the accompanying price tag, or the two month advance notice usually required for getting a resy to get a taste of Sir Thomas Keller. But this major departure for the restaurant could change the vibe substantially while proving every restaurant—even New York's most four-starriest—must adapt with the economy in the crapper.
More on the menu when the restaurant and PR confirm it's been green-lighted and/or the eastern seaboard cleaves away into the Atlantic Ocean once and for all.
· Eater Requiem Coda: Zagat, Lose the Asterisk [~E~]
· Achatz and Keller Team up For Epic 20-Course Menu [~E~]