REVIEW #6

Le Bernardin

New York’s unchallenged shrine to seafood consistently turns out exquisite dishes in one of the classiest, most urbane rooms in the city. This is a restaurant of consummate refinement. Le Bernardin is guided by the deft hands of Eric Ripert, an immensely talented French chef, who took the reigns in 1994 after the death of Gilbert Le Coze. Ripert proceed to earn a four star rating from the New York Times the following year at the age of 29 and has kept it ever since.

It is a restaurant of subtlety and understatement. The kitchen revels in the art of delicate counterpoint, juxtaposing textures, flavors and colors in clever, harmonious ways. A classic example is its sublime escolar (white tuna), which is poached in extra virgin olive oil with potato crisps and a light red wine béarnaise. All of the elements of the dish blend to a seamless, integrated whole.

The service is formal, unobtrusive and of the highest caliber. Chef Sommelier Aldo Sohm won the Best Sommelier in the World competition in Rome in May 2008 and the restaurant's 15,000 bottle inventory is deeply impressive. While the result of Le Bernardin’s restraint is a remarkably even, consistent output, some dishes lack the visceral power of those at Per Se, Daniel and Jean Georges. We believe, however, that you can have every bit as transcendent of an experience at Le Bernardin as at any of our higher ranked restaurants, provided that you are adroit in your ordering. Consequently, we include below a more extensive than usual list of recommended dishes. Follow our advice and you will experience the apotheosis of what genius and classic French technique can do with seafood of the highest quality. Le Bernardin is one of the last restaurants of its kind in Manhattan and, in many ways, quite different from its peers on our list. These reasons alone should merit paying it a visit.

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INFORMATION

Midtown West
155 W. 51st St.
New York (nr. Seventh Ave.)
212-554-1515
Mon-Thurs, noon-2:30pm, 5:15pm-10:30pm; Fri, noon-2:30pm, 5:15pm-11pm; Sat, 5:15pm-11pm
    Eric Ripert, Chef
    Chris Muller, Executive Chef
    Eric Gestel, Sous Chef
    Michael Laiskonis, Pastry Chef
    Aldo Sohm, Sommelier
    Bentel & Bentel, Designer
    Maguy Le Coze, Co-Owner

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    RECOMMENDED DISHES See All

    • Fluke - Four variations on fluke ceviche
    • Tuna - Layers of thinly pounded yellowfin tuna; foie gras and toasted baguette; shaved chives and extra virgin olive oil
    • Octopus - Charred octopus; fermented black bean-pear sauce vierge; ink-miso vinaigrette; purple basil
    • Langoustine - Seared Langoustine; Mâche and Wild Mushroom Salad, Shaved Foie Gras White Balsamic Vinaigrette
    • Escloar - Poached in extra virgin olive oil with potato crisps and a light red wine béarnaise
    • Baked Lobster - white asparagus and sauce gribiche.
    • Shrimp and Foie gras Ravioli - Ravioli stuffed with shrimp, scallion, cilantro and foie gras sauced with a black truffle foie gras sauce.
    • Codfish - Baked Cod; Artichoke “Barigoule”, Perigord Truffle Butter
    • Red Snapper in a spicy-sour Puerto Rican sancho broth
    • Black Bass - Crispy black bass; braised celery and parsnip custard; iberico ham-green peppercorn sauce
    • Turbot; Wild Mushroom - Poached Turbot; Black Truffle Custard, Spice Squab Jus
    • Red Snapper - Whole Red Snapper Baked in Rosemary and Thyme Salt Crust, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a Casserole of the Day’s Market Vegetables (2 person minimum, 24 hour advance notice).