Photos by Wendy George
It's the number one Zagat-rated restaurant in NYC eight years running. It has three Michelin stars and four stars from the NY Times. To be sure, Le Bernardin is the crème de la crème of NYC dining, specializing in French seafood and helmed by celebrity chef Eric Ripert (Buddhist, close friend of Anthony Bourdain and all-around badass). Le Bernardin arrived in NYC in 1986, the concept brought over from Paris by siblings Maguy and Gilbert Le Coze. Chef Ripert has been head honcho behind the stoves since 1994, and he now oversees a team that includes culinary director Chris Muller, executive chef Eric Gestel and pastry chef Thomas Raquel. Regular prix fixe dinner consists of four courses and is priced at $157, but today we're talking about the chef's tasting menu, perhaps the ultimate way to experience this bucket-list restaurant, priced at $225 per person (wine pairings will run you $370 per person). The eight-course meal (plus canapés and petit fours) is both subtle and indulgent — accented by luxe items like caviar, truffles and gold flake — but at no point does it come off as showy or over the top. You also won't leave feeling gut-bombed (assuming you haven't eaten much immediately before) given the portion sizes and seafood focus. Here's a look inside the eight-course tasting menu in photos.
Note: Dishes are subject to change based on ingredient availability and/or seasonality.
155 W. 51st Street; 212-554-1515
Canapé: "Seafood causa" (from left to right): Lobster, crab and shrimp with whipped potatoes, aji amarillo pepper, avocado, lime; chilled Beau Soleil oyster with sea grape and pickled shallot, “seaweed water” gelée; tuna tartare with sweet potato chips, piquillo pepper vinaigrette
Course one: Filet Mignon-kampachi-Osetra caviar tartare with lightly smoked dashi gelée
Course two: Dungeness "crab cake," Old Bay crisp, shellfish cardamom emulsion
Course three: Lacquered lobster tail, black truffle tagliatelle and black truffle emulsion
Course four: Steamed black bass, marinated heirloom tomatoes, spiced basil verbena-tomato consommé
Course five: Poached halibut; asparagus, spring peas, fava beans, wild mushroom casserole
Course six (from left center, clockwise): Grilled tuna escolar; “endive farcie” made with black trumpet mushroom duxelles and leek purée; seared Wagyu with red wine–peppercorn sauce
Palate cleanser: Grapefruit sorbet with blood-orange quince granité
Dessert: Corn custard with frozen corn meringue, blackberry sauce and blackberry-mezcal sorbet
Petit fours (from left to right): Strawberry-vanilla bonbon, coffee and chocolate tart with gold flake; hibiscus and lychee pâte de fruit; hazelnut coffee macaron; madeleine with crystallized orange zest and freeze-dried raspberries