Two weeks ago, New York Times restaurant critic and noted Señor Frogs fan Pete Wells ripped apart one of New York's most expensive fine-dining establishments, Per Se, in a two-star review that likened a "lukewarm matsutake mushroom bouillon" to bong water. Yesterday, Per Se's owner and chef, Thomas Keller, responded to the review in a public Facebook post.
But instead of firing back at Wells and the Times, as Altamarea Group did after Wells' negative review of Vaucluse, Keller owned up to Per Se making mistakes and not meeting its own very high standards, and promised to "work even harder" to "deliver a most memorable experience."
The full post reads:
"To our Guests:
At all of our restaurants, in our kitchens and dining rooms, we make every effort to provide you with the best possible experience. We consider it our professional responsibility to ensure that every one of you feels special and cared for. To us, it is imperative that we improve and evolve every day. We constantly examine ourselves, our menu, our service and our standards.
Regretfully, there are times when we do not meet those standards. The fact that The New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells’ dining experiences at Per Se did not live up to his expectations and to ours is greatly disappointing to me and to my team. We pride ourselves on maintaining the highest standards, but we make mistakes along the way. We are sorry we let you down.
We are not content resting on what we did yesterday. We believe we can do better for ourselves, our profession and most importantly our guests. We have the opportunity, the tools, the self-motivation and the dedication to do so.
When we fall short, we work even harder. We are confident that the next time you visit Per Se or any of our other restaurants, our team will deliver a most memorable experience.
— Thomas Keller, Chef / Proprietor"
Grub Street notes that last night's tasting menu already showed price drops (though this in no way means you can now afford a dinner at Per Se).
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Lucy Meilus is Thrillist's New York Editor and would like a Pete Wells review of her life. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.