The intention of this blog is for describing our LAST fine dining experience at Le Bernardin when we still lived in NYC. Yes, it IS true that we moved from NYC to San Francisco Bay Area last month. Moving was not easy for us since we had a toddler that needed constant attention. We spent about two months for packing, finding a new apartment, moving to the new place, and unpacking. Even till now, we are still not completely settled down yet. Due to this reason, I can have an excuse for the long time of no new postings.
To make a reservation at Le Bernardin was not easy. I fruitlessly tried couple times before. Since I knew I had to move to California soon, I made the reservation early ahead of time. We got a very early dinner which worked very well with our schedule and my lil S’ bed time. Thanks to our best friend M and her family, who babysitted S during that evening. Without her help, our dinner plan would not be as memorable as it was.
For amuse bouche, we had cold crab meat with crispy wonton paper. It was light, cold and refreshing, simply a perfect way to start a meal.
First course, layers of thinly pounded yellowfin tuna served on top of foie gras and toasted baguette, topped with shaved chives and extra virgin olive oil. This course was my favorite. It was truly outstanding. I don’t eat raw fish often, but I couldn’t pass on this dish. The combination of rich and creamy foie gras, fresh paper-thin tuna, and the crispiness of the toasted baguette created a very complex but wonderful flavor. Bravo, Eric Ripert! What an incredible dish!
Second course, peekytoe crab salad, spiced mango sauce and daikon nage. The fresh crab and the mango sauce gave a nice compliment to each other. A subtle yet very exciting dish.
Third course, pan roasted monkfish, sea bean, white asparagus, in a light bearnaise scented broth. First, taragon puree was poured alongside the fish, and then the broth was poured over the dish. Then, another waiter came drizzling a hollandaise sauce on it. The fish was cooked in perfection, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The béarnaise scented broth added a nice flavor to the monkfish.
Fourth course, baked wild striped bass, baby carrot, herb salad, miso-butter sauce. The tasty miso-butter sauce gave a nice pungency to the fresh baked striped bass. However, I would rather pick a different fish other than a wild striped bass.
Fifth course, bread crusted red snapper, saffron, smoked sweet paprika sauce. I loved the crunchiness of the skin. The fish was cooked very well. And the saffron gave a nice touch to the pasta. The sauce was very bold. Well, I am not a paprika lover.
Sixth course, Greek yogurt pannacota served with strawberry rhubarb and basil. It is a bite-sized dessert you will love. It has a little flavor of everything. It was light and very thirst-quenching. I really wished I had more.
Seventh course, maralumi milk chocolate parfait topped with liquid apricot and ginger caramel. This second dessert was a bit heavier compared to the first one. The combination of the acidity in liquid apricot flavor and the sweetness in the chocolate parfait paired perfectly.
And I am lucky to get next dessert, passion fruit parfait over graham cracker crust and white chocolate. I think this is what everybody will get when they celebrate their birthdays here.
Petite four to conclude our meal. The mini pistachio macaron was my favorite. We very much enjoyed the dinner. It was our first “seafood” tasting menu and the food exceeded our expectation. I will definitely go back again to Le Bernardin next time. Kudos to chef Eric Ripert.
Quote from Eric Ripert: “Cooking is a holistic process of planning, preparing, dining and sharing food. I place food at the center of our humanity, as it nourishes not only our physical bodies but also our emotional and spiritual lives. Food is truly a cultural phenomenon that informs our traditions and our relationship with the earth. I genuinely believe that food connects us all.”
155 West 51st Street
New York, NY 10019