Very few people get to go behind the scenes of what culinary mastermind Eric Ripert has orchestrated, so I was incredibly honored to get the VIP pass. Nested in the concrete branches of New York City’s Midtown district is Le Bernardin, which humbly boasts its 3 Michelin Stars.
A dim gray light shines under the sleek silver letters and as you move into the dining area, a massive 24 foot oil painting, “Deep Water No 1“, hangs above a span of four neatly set up tables. It is sleek, simple and cool and nothing like what you may imagine one of the top restaurants in NYC to look like. In other words, don’t let the humble decor fool you. Lets just say that Ran Ortner’s opulent piece perfectly balances the fascinatingly simple cooking of fish that Mr. Ripert and his staff have been crafting for the last 22 years.
Here is a glimpse of what my fabulous dinner looked like (I dare you to not make a reservation by the end of this post). Certainly to experience the ultimate indulgence, I highly recommend one of the two tasting menu’s. Below is a picture guide of the Le Bernardin Tasting.
To begin, Avocado Summer Roll, Ginger Reduction, Fluke Chimichuri, Warm Bouillabaisse Sphere.
Flash Marinated Hamachi, Rice Crispy, Gochujang Sake Vinaigrette.
Barely Cooked Scallop, Brown Butter Dashi (my absolute favorite).
Seared Langoustine-Foie Gras, Pickled Hon Shimeji, Sauce Perigord.
Truffle Seafood Tagliatelle, Truffle Butter.
Barely Cooked Salmon, Root Vegetable, Black Truffle Pot au Feu.
Crispy Black Bass, Dashi Braised Veal Cheek, Ginger Five Spice Reduction, Parsnip Foam.
My meal was paired with a 2012 Domaine Eden Cabernet and a 2015 Bremmer Calmont Riesling. Our dessert selection was quite impressive as well.
Coconut Yuzu Sorbet on Clementine Snow
Matcha Green Tea Custard, Preserved Lychee Jasmine Ice Cream.
Peruvian Chocolate : Warm Chocolate Cake, Caramelized Fig Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream
Ginger-Scented Apple “Bomb”.
Coffee caramel Cremeux, Roasted Almond Mousse, Bourbon Froth.
No phenomenal meal is complete without being accompanied by the service of some of the best staff. The latter holds true at Le Bernardin and I was attentively catered to the entire time.
Behind the scenes there is a dedicated group of chefs, each specializing in the various stations that make Le Bernardin the widely acclaimed midtown hotspot that it is.
I wasn’t kidding when I said earlier that Mr. Ripert and his phenomenal staff have perfected the craft of cooking fish in the most simple of ways. When you come to Le Bernardin, you will see that no fish is left out – every fish has been given a chance to blow you away. Or as Mr. Ripert says, “It means you don’t cook with the fish, you cook for the fish. You apply the right technique and ingredients to elevate the fish.” The ingredients are there to serve as the backup dancers for the star of the menu: the fish.
A warm and special thank you to my good friend and extraordinary Sous Chef, Ariel Mikit, for allowing me the opportunity to experience Le Bernardin in this intimate and most importantly delicious way.