Wednesday, November 06, 2013

New York Eats: Le Bernardin

Le Bernardin
155 West 51st
New York, NY 10019
Tel: +1 (212) 554 1515

This is the first of my posts about our US tour! And we're starting it off with an enjoyable meal we had at Le Bernardin.

I've always been intrigued with Chef Eric Ripert's food. And even more so recently as I've found myself to gravitate towards lighter seafood dishes (although I still enjoy my roast pork ever so often). R had been to Le Berdardin on a previous visit to NYC in 2008 but I guess he must have liked it enough since he insisted on bringing me there. If I were him, I probably would have been more selfish and insisted that we try some place new. I guess that's why people usually refer to their partners as their "better" half.

The restaurant was incredibly buzzy and filled with working professionals on the Friday afternoon we were there. Despite that, the service was attentive, extremely professional yet personal and friendly. Bearing in mind that we still had a lot of eating to do for the rest of the day, R and I opted for the 3 course prix fixe menu which on hindsight, probably wasn't a good idea. Read on and you'll find out why.

 Salmon Rilettes
We started off with a complimentary canape of Salmon Rilettes. Delicious start and rest of the meal to follow did not disappoint at all; the seafood was fresh and treated with so much respect.

Layers of Thinly Pounded Yellowfin Tuna; Foie Gras and Toasted Baguette, Shaved Chives and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Le Bernardin's signature dish, TUNA, was possibly my favourite dish of the meal. Every individual element tasted great on its own but together, it was moreish and just delicious. Tuna and foie gras - great combination. 

Barely Cooked Scallop; Brown Butter Dashi
Baked Cod; Warm Razor Clam “Salad”, Turnip and Shiitake, Spiced Tomato Nage

Poached Halibut; Opal Basil and Shaved Fennel, Red Miso Citrus Emulsion

I have nothing but praises for all the savoury dishes that I had that day. It was simply seafood at its best. I remember the Tomato Nage from CODFISH for how clean tasting and perfectly seasoned it was, the zing from the Red Miso Citrus Emulsion which paired so well with the HALIBUT and the brown butter dashi which I slurped up directly from the shell of the SCALLOP. 

Dessert while enjoyable on the whole, was where the meal fell a little for me. Specifically, I didn't find SESAME all that exciting. There was a lot of foam and cream and was basically a dessert of "nothingness" actually. I preferred CHOCOLATE-POPCORN - who can resist popcorn ice cream! It was delicious although R's eyes opened wide when the plate was first placed in front of us. I think he was upset that the dessert was so tiny.

Macerated Mango, Young Ginger, Black Sesame Ice Cream

Madagascan Chocolate Ganache, Candied Peanuts, Popcorn Ice Cream

It was really sweet of the staff at Le Bernardin to throw in a complimentary chocolate dessert when they knew we were in town on our honeymoon. And we finally ended the meal with a delicious petit four - the Brown Sugar Financier.

 Brown Sugar Financiers

I really liked Le Bernardin and if you're in New York, want a fine dining experience and love seafood, I recommend that you book yourself a table there. And don't do what I did - go for the degustation menu instead so you can savour more of the restaurant's excellent offerings! I reckon you won't regret it. 

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