With the regular tasting menu, lunch or dinner begins with salmon cornets and gruyere gougères. But with the dessert tasting, your meal starts with Rhubarb "Gougères." Two bite-size scoops of rhubarb ice cream are dipped in caramelized white chocolate. Chef Boyles plans to change up the ice cream flavors often, but the concept will remain the same.
And in place of salmon cornets, you have Pineapple Cornets. The black sesame seed-studded tuile is filled with passionfruit crème fraîche and topped with a crown of compressed and finely chopped pineapple. It's finished with lime zest and a bit of black pepper.
Dessert Tasting at Per Se
A $65 five-course all-desser tasting menu at Per Se is a downright bargain. The sweets change often, but you can count on delicate pineapple cornets and Per Se's coffee and donuts making an appearance. Above was my favorite dish from our vist: matcha-dusted poached meringues with white tea foam.
Pastry Chef Elwyn was raised in the English countryside, and one of his favorite childhood snacks consisted of fresh raspberries with cream and biscuits. Here he gives that flavor combination a sophisticated reinvention with layers of lemon cream, a nutty toasted oat crumble, vanilla ice cream, and raspberry soda and granité.
This dessert was inspired by a Pimm's Cup—you'll find cucumber slices appearing in a sweet, pickled form, and the lime element present as a delicate génoise. The rose sorbet itself is kissed with a touch of gin, and to round things out, a supple scoop of Greek yogurt "panna cotta."
"Coffee and Doughnuts"
A Per Se signature featuring a single golden doughnut (along with the hole) made from brioche dough and dusted in cinnamon sugar. It's served warm with a frothy cappuccino semifreddo.
Double Chocolate Praline
The final plated dessert course. Chef Boyles is a fan of rum raisin, and here it appears in the form of rum raisin ice cream perched atop slices of double chocolate (light and dark) praline on a hazelnut biscuit base. Dollops of a light cherry mousse are incorporated to balance out the richer flavors of chocolate and hazelnut.
And the final flourish, an assortment of soft caramels, raspberry nougats, chocolate bonbons (of which they have 24 different flavors at any given time, all made in-house), and pâtes des fruits.