In Swan Song as Food Critic, Sam Sifton Finds Religion At Per Se

Per Se.

After barely two years as food critic at The New York Times, Sam Sifton was shifted over to the National editor post by new executive editor Jill Abramson. While we will miss dispatches from Lower East Side Four Loko emporiums, Mr. Sifton did offer a very tasty promise for his final review. He would take on the place he believes is the best restaurant in New York City.

This place is Per Se. In today’s Times, the departing food critic bestows four stars upon Thomas Keller’s celebrated place. And thank God, he pulls out all the stops in the write up. Here’s a morsel to sample:

Per Se’s signature starter course is Oysters and Pearls, a dish Mr. Keller developed at French Laundry and brought with him when he moved East. It combines a sabayon of pearl tapioca with Island Creek oysters (small, marble-shaped, from Duxbury, south of Boston, fantastic) and a fat clump of sturgeon caviar from Northern California. These arrive in a bowl of the finest porcelain from Limoges. Paired with a glass of golden sémillon from Elderton, they make a fine argument for the metaphor of transubstantiation.

Ms. Abramson has yet to name a successor, but we doubt the Catholic mass will be invoked early in his or her tenure. Mr. Sifton, it’s been fun. In Swan Song as Food Critic, Sam Sifton Finds Religion At Per Se