I eat: Le Bernardin

Le Bernardin wasn’t part of our original plan for Foodcation 2010, but when I called to make a reservation at Alinea and was put on a 20+ person waiting list, I immediately made a reservation at Le Bernardin as plan B. I knew I wanted to have one fine dining experience during Foodcation 2010 and if Alinea wasn’t meant to be, then Le Bernardin would have to work… I guess :(

I know, I sound like a spoiled brat, but who likes settling for “second best”? I was never truly excited for Le Bernardin. Even while I was dining, I was just reminded of why I was there in the first place. Le sigh.

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In all fairness, we had a fantastic meal at Le Bernardin and I would recommend it to anyone visiting NYC. My favorite dishes from our 4 course tasting ($112) were the Lobster (warm lobster carpaccio; hearts of palm, orange vinaigrette) and Langoustine (seared langoustine; mache and wild mushroom salad, shaved foie gras, white balsamic vinaigrette). Delicious! I’m glad we didn’t go with the more expensive 7 course tasting ($138) since only the Lobster was on that menu. And besides, I liked having a choice too.

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It’s easy for me to compare Le Bernardin to Providence since both restaurants specialize in seafood and both Chef Eric Ripert (Le Bernardin) and Chef Michael Cimarusti (Providence) are strong advocates for sustainable seafood. Foodwise, I think they’re pretty much neck and neck. As for service, based on my recent visits, I would have to say that I experienced better service at Le Bernardin.

It would have made my night to meet Chef Ripert. Unfortunately, he was not in the kitchen; he was on vacation for the week. Little did we know, this chefs on vacation thing turned out to be the theme of Foodcation 2010.

Verdict: 4.5/5
Le Bernardin
155 W 51st St
New York, NY 10019

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