Per Se, looming over Columbus Circle since 2004, has grown to become synonymous with haute French-American fine dining. It’s all one would expect from Chef Thomas Keller, the man responsible for internationally lauded French Laundry —widely considered to be America’s best restaurant. In the most formal of dining rooms, a straight-laced and buttoned-up staff serve refined and extravagantly plated (and priced) nine-course contemporary tasting menus that entice the eye as much as the palate. No single dish has elicited more gasps of delight than his signature starter: warm oysters and a scoop of caviar in a savory tapioca pudding. In the time since its peak, critical applause has wained somewhat, but Per Se remains emblematic of haute, and costly, dining in the city, nonetheless.