Le Bernadin

Big dinner #3 was at Le Bernadin, owned by cute, popular chef Eric Ripert.  He was actually strolling through the dining room visiting tables as we arrived (sadly when I enquired at the end of our meal if he was still there he had already left).  Le Bernadin was very formal and clean – all the dishes and staff were super refined.  We of course did the Chef’s tasting menu, along with the wine pairing as Le Bernadin is revered for their sommelier and wine staff. 

First up, an Amuse Bouche of Watermelon Soup – yummy and fresh

Smoked Yellowfin Tuna “Prosciutto”; Japanese Pickled Vegetables and Crispy Kombu

Poached Pastured Egg; Osetra Caviar; Mariniere Broth and English Muffin – two poached eggs in 5 days for me?  whew.  still preferred scrambled 😉

Seared Langoustine, Mache, Wild Mushroom Salad; White Balsamic Vinaigrette – gave my mushrooms to BK of course…

Pan Roasted Monkfish; Hon Shimeji Mushrooms; Turnip – Ginger Emulsion; Sake Broth – I always think of Sallie when I eat monkfish…

Baked Lobster; Pickled Golden Beet, Fennel and Citrus “a la Nage” – these were the best beets I’ve eaten yet, but I still gave my extras to JJ after trying one.  I just don’t like them.  The lobster was delish – look how beautiful the claw is – who ever gets to eat the claw?  I think I’ve only had tails…

Crispy Black Bass, Lup Cheong and Beansprout “Risotto”, Mini Steamed Buns, Hoisin-Plum Jus – Bass once again, very popular on NYC tasting menus.

Apricot Sphere, Fig, Sour Cherry Pearl, Candied Angelica – this was an amazing burst of flavor.  Really good

Gianduja Mousse, Hazelnuts, Honey, Banana, Brown Butter Ice Cream – no bananas for me obviously.  Yummy otherwise…

Bonus desserts!  I can’t remember what they were though…

So, dinner was really good – everything was perfectly cooked, perfectly served, perfectly matched.  With all of these dishes it really came down to the sauces – you know that’s where they spend the time on flavor, and then the techniques with the fish.  But in the end I think I enjoyed Blue Hill & WD-50 better overall because of ambiance – Le Bernadin was just so nice, but also big, so I always felt like I was being watched an judged a bit.  Even though Alinea is pretty formal, our room was more intimate so I felt a little freer.  Here I felt a little out of place – I have, however, now eaten at 4 of the top 50 restaurants in the world in the last 15 months.  craziness!  Would probably be 5 except Dan Barber from Blue Hill is on teh selection committee so they aren’t eligible…


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