Le Bernardin is a 3 star Michelin restaurant located in New York City. It is ranked 24th on the World’s 50 Best Restaurant List, and has held 3 Michelin stars, since it’s debut in 2005. Le Bernardin specializes in seafood dishes created by Chef Eric Ripert. Reservations are required at this restaurant, so be sure to make them in advance!
I was not sure how much I would enjoy the food, as I don’t eat a lot of seafood, but I was excited to go out of my comfort zone. Incidentally, our flight into New York was late by over an hour, and we still had to make the drive from JFK to our hotel in Midtown. Our dinner reservations were at 5:15pm and there was no way we were going to make it on time. The restaurant was very accommodating when we called and explained our dilemma. They would hold the reservation for us, and sit us at our table, or in the lounge, but either way we would still be able to eat there. Luckily, our hotel was very close, and we were only 15 minutes late.
As soon as we walked in the door, we were greeted, and shown to our table. After ordering our drinks we were welcomed with a platter from the chef consisting of a small piece of watermelon soaked in Sangria, a small piece of salmon and tartare. There are two menu options to chose from: The Chef’s tasting and Le Bernardin Tasting. The Chef’s Tasting consists of a menu selected by the chef for that night, and everyone at the table would receive the same dish. The Le Bernardin Tasting is a pre-fix four course menu, with options. We chose the Le Bernardin Tasting, so we could each choose what we wanted with each course.
The first course menu options are: Almost Raw, and Barely Touched. I did not choose anything from the Almost Raw menu, and instead I chose two dishes from the Barely Touched menu. For my first course I had Lobster tail with an herb spring roll, and the Seafood Truffle Pasta. The Lobster was excellent, but you can’t beat the Seafood Truffle Pasta. It is by far the best seafood dish I have ever had. It consisted of crab, scallop, lobster, tagliatelle pasta, and a black truffle emulsion. It was absolutely divine! It was the best dish I had that night.
While we waited for our main course, we were offered a selection of bread. The pretzel bread rolls are a must try while you are here. Seriously, you have to try them! For my main course I chose to substitute in their filet mignon, which is available upon request, along with Lamb, Squab, and Red Snapper. I’m usually not a fan of Filet Mignon (New York Strip is my go to steak), but this was the only option. I had no doubt that it would be delicious . . . and it was delicious beyond my expectations! The seasoning was perfect and the Filet was so flavorful. It was served with vegetables, garlic potatoes and a small amount of wasabi pea puree under the Filet.
Our final course was dessert! It was hard to imagine eating more food, after everything we just had, but you can always make room for dessert, right? As soon as I saw that Peruvian Chocolate Cake was an option I knew what my dessert would be. A year ago I was in Peru, so in celebration of that trip I just had to have some Peruvian Chocolate Cake! This was a warm, melt in your mouth, chocolate cake, served with spicy chocolate ice cream, and a caramelized fig. The perfect dessert to a perfect dinner. After our dessert we were each given a small dessert bite platter, compliments of the chef.
The ambience of the restaurant is warm and cozy, although a bit dark. The staff is extremely attentive, warm and welcoming from the moment you walk through the door. Reservations are required: make them in advance, so you won’t be disappointed! Attire is dressy, and jackets are required. Prepare to be at the restaurant for awhile. This is not a fast served restaurant. We arrived at 5:15pm and did not leave until after 8:00pm. Enjoy the slow pace and enjoy the company of those you are with. Forewarning: Be prepared to roll yourself out of the restaurant! The portion sizes aren’t big, but throughout the courses you eat a lot of food. I highly recommend adding this restaurant to your New York Must Do List. Even though I don’t eat a lot of seafood, I was not disappointed in any of the dishes. They were all prepared perfectly, and tasted surperb. I’m so glad I went out of my comfort zone on this!
Le Bernardin is located at 155 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019. Reservations can be made at (212)-554-1515. If you want to learn more about Le Bernardin or view their menu options head here.