New York

Le Bernardin, New York (***)

3 Michelin Stars

15th in the World

Amuse Bouche: Crab Ceviche
We were presented with this even before we got our menus. Ceviches just work as an amuse, light, cold, citrus-y, refreshing.
All those cheesy talkshow hosts that say “Oh I can taste the sea!” Thats bullshit. Ive tasted the sea, it tastes salty and disgusting. But the crabmeat was incredibly fresh and sweet, I could taste the freshness, dont confuse the two. Good
Very nice way to start the meal

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Raw Course 1: Black Bass
Black bass tartare mediterranean style, olives, citrus, fennel and marjoram

I knew about this dish because it is ulterior epicures No. 1 dish of 2008. Considering the food that he eats, that has to count for something. I didnt have this appitizer, but I had a bite. And from what I could tell, the black bass was one of the meatiest raw fish I have ever eaten. And I mean this in a really good way. Good

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Raw Course 2: Tuna
Layers of Thinly Pounded Yellowfin Tuna, Foie Gras and Toasted Baguette, Shaved Chives and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

An incredible dish to behold, and just as tasty to eat. The rich, creamy foie, combined with the light, incredibly fresh, paperthin tuna(hold your fork under the tuna and you can actually see your fork), cut by the crisp-ness of the baguette. A perfect dish. Superb

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Barely Touched 2: Soft Shell crab
Peppered Soft Shell Crab; Coconut-Avocado Mousse, Herb Salad; Lime Vinaigrette

Moving on, this was THE most juicy, succilent, fried soft shell crabs Ive eaten. Usually when I bite into soft shell crabs, frying oil explodes in my mouth.

This was not the case here, the crab was incredibly meaty and juicy. Very good, albiet a somewhat heavy dish. Okay

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Barely Touched 1: LOBSTER
Warm Lobster Carpaccio; Heart of Palm; Orange Vinaigrette

Hands down, the sweetest lobster meat I have ever tasted. Thats all I wanted to say about this. Good

Lightly Cooked 2:BLACK BASS
Crispy Black Bass; Braised Celery and Parsnip Custard; Iberico Ham-Green Peppercorn Sauce

I can sum this sum this up very quickly: A perfectly cooked piece of fish, lying in a very “ham-my” sauce.

Fish had perfectly crisped skin, meat was incredibly soft. And the sauce… Sure, iberico ham is the best ham in the world, but its always a nice surprise to be reminded of how rich and intense its flavors are. Good

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Lightly Cooked 1: WILD STRIPED BASS – LANGOUSTINE
Baked Langoustine and Striped Bass; Confit Tomato Agnolotti; Bouillabaisse Consommé and Curry Emulsion

Baked Langoustine was fresh, plump, and very juicy. Striped bass succulent and well cooked, and the Bouillabaisse “had the right amount of fishiness”(not my words), and complimented both meats well, a very tasty way to cleanse the palate. The curry emulsion, however, did not taste like curry. Good

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Dessert 1: CHOCOLATE-PEANUT
Dark Chocolate, Peanut and Caramel Tart; Meyer Lemon Purée, Peanut Powder, Praline-Citrus Sorbet

I honestly dont remember much about it, apart from it being very sweet, the praline citrus sorbet was very tart and cut the richness of the dessert well, but it was a forgettable dessert. Okay

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Dessert 2: The Egg
Milk chocolate pot de creme, caramel sauce, caramel foam, and sea salt

This dessert is off the menu, but if you ever go to Le Bernardin, ASK FOR IT. Its not a light dessert, chocolate and cream will fill you up really fast. But trust me, it is well worth it. There are not many things that are as decadent, or as sinful, presented in such an innocent looking manner. But this, is well worth your calories. Very Good

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Petit fours

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Overall, it was a good meal. Eric Ripert does handle his seafood very well, everything was perfectly cooked, flavors were on point. But there was something lacking about the meal, it might be the very posh interior, or maybe it was the waiter with his thick french accent, but overall the food felt like it was the end product of a process that had been repeated over and over, it somehow lacked that extra oomph that makes a meal truly memorable.

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3 thoughts on “Le Bernardin, New York (***)

  1. We went there last Thanksgiving and we totally enjoyed it. With my absolute love for seafood, Le Bernadin might be my favourite restaurant in New York, better than Per Se 🙂 I personally think Per Se serves too much food. Its great and delicious though, no complaints about that, but just too much food. Oh well. Will be going to Le Bernadin again this Thanksgiving!

    1. I agree that the Per Se menu is very heavy, I remember feeling at the end of the meal like how I always feel after any buffets. But I only had the prix fixe menu at Bernardin, comparing the two would be apples and oranges. It did feel that Thomas Keller has a much greater repertoire of food than Ripert, but Riperts few dishes were more balanced and well thought out(the foie/tuna appetizer is still one of my fav dishes of all time)
      You have a pretty interesting blog, are you based in the States?

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