Le Bernardin - New York City

Originally Published January 2017
Please accept my late wishes for a Happy 2017 everyone! I know you've all been anticipating my first post of the new year, and I promise it won't disappoint. When writing I usually stare at my screen for a few minutes and think about how I'm going to approach the post, remembering the vibe of the restaurant & appreciation of the dishes. In that regard Chef Eric Ripert and I are on the same page as he believes "Food is about memories, feelings, and emotions." My meal at Le Bernardin was quite eventful and so really, this post writes itself. The Midtown French seafood restaurant has a delicate contemporary design which gives off a trendy, elegant feel. This isn't your typical surf & turf restaurant though, it is more like Manhattan's tribute to refined seafood. The high level of artistry shows utmost respect for the fish and makes the seafood the star of the show. The menu is carefully separated by "Barely Raw", "Almost Touched" and "Lightly Cooked".

Owner Maguy Le Coze acquired her piscatorial appreciation while growing up in a fishing town in Brittany. In 1994 Maguy's brother Gilbert, Chef of Le Bernardin, passed away and Chef Ripert, a student and friend of Gilbert at the time, took the helm. Le Bernardin has earned and kept three coveted Michelin stars every year since 2005. It also holds the Relais & Chateaux banner and is ranked number 24 on The 2016 World's 50 Best Restaurants list. To mention all of Chef Ripert's accomplishments and Le Bernardin's accolades I would need a "Part 2" to this post, so we'll just get to the wonderful meal. Please enjoy my Dined There tasting menu at Le Bernardin.

July 2021
Le Bernardin reopened its doors March 2021 at 50% capacity, and has now returned to the new standards of full capacity. Of course, the famed restaurant still holds three Michelin stars, which it has maintained since 2005, and currently sits at #36 on The Worlds 50 Best Restaurants list (50 Best is still using the 2019 list, I'm assuming due to covid).

Tuna - Layers of Thinly Pounded Yellowfin Tuna,
*Foie Gras, Toasted Baguette. Chives, E.V.O.O
*In this dish the Foie Gras and Toasted Baguette is the rectangular shape you see under the tuna.

Scallop Ceviche, Tomato Gazpacho
Missing - Salmon Rilette I ate before realizing I didn't snap the photo

Poached Lobster; Chanterelle and Baby Turnips
Truffled Lobster Jus

Pan-Roasted Monfish, Wild Mushroom Stuffed Cabbage,  Tarragon-Red Wine Sauce

"Mille-Feuille" - Rhubarb-Blackberry Compote, Caramelized Puff Pastry, Yogurt Sorbet

Mignardise clockwise:
Hazelnut Poppyseed Macaron,
Candied Raspberry 
Homemade Chocolate,
Blueberry Bread

March 2019 - Le Bernardin is currently #26 on The Worlds 50 Best Restaurants list

Amuse Bouche served on rotating platter:
Top Left: Scallop Truffle
Top Right: Pâtes à Brick with Salmon Tartare & Salmon Roe
Bottom Left: Kampachi Sashimi
Bottom Right: Mushroom Soup with Parmesan Foam
Rear: Seared Tuna on Daikon with Ponzu

Yellowfin Tuna Carpaccio, Iberico Ham "Chutney", Sea Beans
Lemon-Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Baked Lobster, Butternut Squash Manicotti, Shrimp-Black Pepper-Brandy Sauce

Hawaiian Walu Grilled and Seared Japanese Wagyu Beef, 
Roasted Squash Roll, Spiced Red Wine Sauce

Brown Butter Mousse Apple, Apple Confit Stuffing, Armagnac Sabayon

The Egg - Milk Chocolate Pot de Crème, Caramel Foam, Maple Syrup, One Grain of Salt

Petit Fours from the left:
Peanut Butter Bonbon
White Peach Pâte de Fruit
Coffee Chocolate Tart
Lemon Macaron
Cherry Pistachio Financier

Gin-Epy: Reisetbauer Blue Gin, Génépy des Alpes, Melon Liqueur, Kiwi-Cardamom Purée

Original Post - January 2017

Canapés - Fluke Ponzu, Salmon Ceviche, Oyster with Pequilo Pepper

Seared Langoustine - Foie Gras, Pickled Hon Shimeji, Sauce Perigord

Mesclun Salad - Market Herbs and Vegetables, Balsamic-Shallot Dressing

Seafood Truffle Pasta - Crab, Scallop, Lobster, Tagliatelle, Black Truffle Emulsion

Lacquered Lobster Tail, Herb Spring Roll, Lemongrass Consomé

White Tuna-Japanese Wagyu -
 Grilled Escolar and Seared Wagyu Beef, Fresh Kimchi, Asian Pear, Soy-Citrus Emulsion

Poached Halibut, Manila Clams, Wild Mushroom Casserole

Tres Leches -
Crisp Cashew Sponge Cake Sphere, Caramelized Goat's Milk Mouse, Clementine Sorbet

Exotic Fruit Pavlova - Roasted Pineapple, Guava Jam, Yuzu-Coconut Sorbet

Assortment of Sorbet - Apricot, Raspberry, Clementine, Yuzu-Coconut

Assortment of Mignardise -
Cassis Bonbon, Lemon Macaron, Chocolate Tart, Candied Raspberry, Muscovado Brownie

I mentioned that my dinner was eventful and that was a bit of an understatement. As I received the first course, my Old Raj gin martini somehow tipped over right into the dish. I managed to hide my hiccup, but not well enough to go unnoticed by the captain, and within moments my gin marinated langoustine dish was refreshed. Later, to my surprise, I was starstruck when Eric Ripert himself came by the table to laugh at my mishap and signed my menu. In all the excitement I missed the opportunity to take a photo. My questions on champagne even stumped the sommelier and I sweet talked myself into an additional dessert! The service, the attention to detail and most importantly my extraordinary meal were all outstanding. Le Bernardin is the kind of restaurant which redefines expectations for what fine dinning should be. I hope you enjoyed my post. For more information on Chef Eric Ripert and Le Bernardin please visit www.Le-Bernardin.com .

For another excellent seafood restaurant in New York City with an Italian twist, see my post on Marea here.


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