Saturday, June 10, 2006

Le Bernardin - New York
DSC_0549.JPGI thought that since now I'm working instead of college-ing, I'd update a bit more often. But it turns out that even without exams or projects, I'm so drained that blogging is the last thing I have energy for. Anyway, this post concludes the NYC meals, so I can move onto Bay Area ones.

Le Bernardin is Eric Ripert's 4-star seafood mecca and one of the city's best restaurants; I'm glad to see it make Restaurant Magazine's best list this year. The wood-paneled dining room is grand, without being too glitzy. The nautically themed paintings are quite soothing and overall, the restaurant exudes the ambiance of a yacht.

DSC_0513.JPGThe meal starts with toasted bread and a smoked salmon spread. The spread was fresh and creamy; good way to kick up my appetite.

DSC_0515.JPGFluke: Progressive tasting of marinated fluke

This was excellent. The first ceviche started out simply, with a very simple citrus marinade. With each plate, Ripert adds more ingredients, thus increasing each one with complexity. The attention to detail was superb, and the handling of the fluke was delicious in each marinade. The ceviches not only varied in complexity, but also in cuisine; the first ceviche had a strong Latin influence, while the last was Southeast Asian, with the addition of coconut milk and curry. One of the most memorable things I ate during my trip.

DSC_0527.JPGLobster - langoustine - shrimp : Celeriac open ravioli filled with a medley of lobster, langoustine and shrimp; foie gras truffle sauce

This was also delicious. The wrappers were extremely delicate; the lobster/langoustine/shrimp was extremely fresh and had great consistency; the sauce was indulgently rich and to die for. The service was impeccable; a practice rarely seen in SF but common in NY is separate pouring of the sauce tableside.

DSC_0529.JPGSalmon - Barely cooked salmon in a black truffle pot au feu; warm cabbage and scallop salad; black truffle emulsion

A terrible picture, I know. But the soothing hues of the dining room really did not facilitate my picture taking. This was yet another very good dish. The salmon was done perfectly, barely cooked as per the description. The flesh was super smooth and melt-in-your-mouth. The sauce was so rich and earthy; pretty much like having the actual shavings. Basically, this entree incorporated a few of my favorite things: rare salmon, truffles, scallops. Heaven on a plate.

DSC_0534.JPG"Egg": Milk chocolate pot de creme, caramel foam, maple syrup, maldon sea salt (only on tasting menu)

This was comped by the kitchen. I didn't see any other tables receiving this, so I was quite delighted at this exclusive treat. This was divine. A great mix of sweet and savory, and so, so smooth. At this point, I was beyond sated by the superb food and service.

DSC_0543.JPGRose-Raspberry : Almond tart shell filled with rose cream and raspberries; lychee granite and pistachio creme anglaise

The dessert was just alright; but really, how could anything be considered great coming after the divine egg? The tart shell was a bit hard and dense, and not as crumbly as I expected. The rose cream had strong flavor, but I felt was too custardy and not light enough. The lychee was good and refreshing though.

DSC_0547.JPGPistachio financiers and madelines

Drink was a 2001 Pommard.

What a wonderful, standout meal; definitely one of the best of the year. All the food except the forgettable tart was flawless; service was personable yet classy without being stuffy. If you are heading over to NY, do yourself a favor and eat here.

Le Bernardin
155 West 51st Street
New York, NY 10019

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Blogger Bibliochef said...

Hi. Are you coming back to upstate NY? I am thinking it owuld be good to link your site to my newish finger lakes blog, but want to be sure whether to put it under Finger Lakes or general?


6/12/2006 2:18 PM  
Blogger jeanie said...

Found your blog through a friend. Amazing stuff! Got you linked to me now...

I'm a chef and I hear you sister! Your passion is there, for sure

6/14/2006 8:55 PM  
Blogger bobgirrl said...

I'm curious what restaurants think when you take pictures. I like to do it as well, but I have a friend that I frequently dine out with who freaks out about the pictures and thinks I'm creating some sort of scene.

6/20/2006 1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Food Whore,

I like what you're doing! We need more down to earth writers about food and restaurants. By the way, Pommard ain't Champagne.

Todd Alexander '89 Hotelie

6/26/2006 3:13 AM  
Blogger Anne said...

Oh, how I love Le Bernardin. Growing up I hated fish, but Eric Ripert changed my mind. Now I just have high standards. :)

Found your blog through Restaurant Whore, and will definitely be coming back. Happy eating!

6/27/2006 4:21 PM  
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12/12/2009 11:24 PM  

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