The New York has gone through significant trauma from COVID-19. In 2020 when we travelled enjoyed the fine craftmanship of Eleven Madison Park, lovely casual dining at the 21 Club and Eric Ripert’s genius at Le Bernardin and fine Italian cuisine at Del Posto. Today only of those restaurant remains (I know Eleven Madison Park still exists but only catering to vegans). It is with great pleasure we get to revisit this beautiful restaurant.
The decor of the restaurant remains with an understated elegance with beautiful white linen on tables and petit floral arrangements on each table. The beautiful wooden beams above add to the light tones of the dining room. While an oceanic piece of art spans the wall to the left of the dining room.
As a canape we are provided with salmon roulade and thin crisp slices of bread.
For the wine, we opt for the Clos Puy Arnaud (2014), Castillon-Côtes de Bordeaux.
The wine has beautiful aromas of black cherries, pepper, floral bouquet. On the palate the impression of cherries and raspberries with nuance of earth, mocha and light hints of mint, clove and orange peel sneak into the finish. It is a beautiful medium-bodied wine with the right amount of fruit and depth for the afternoon.
We both opt for the Warm Lobster “Carpaccio” with Squash-Herb Salad with a Thai Curry-Lemongrass Bouillon.
I love the Escoffier style service at the restaurant with all sauces poured at the table.
The beautiful lobster is succulent and cooked perfectly with its natural flavours shining through effortlessly. The squash salad adds a nice textural contrast with a delightful crunch and is refreshing to balance to the richness of the lobster. The Thai Curry-Lemongrass Bouillon provides enough spice and flavour with a mildness as to not overpower the lobster. An excellent dish!
Alex opts for the Baked Striped Bass with Stuffed Zucchini Flower with Morel Casserole.
Although Le Bernardin is known for its seafood, I know a restaurant of this standard will deliver a flawless filet mignon, so I opt for the Pan Roasted Filet Mignon with Braised Short Rib Ravioli and Natural Jus.
The natural jus with mushrooms is poured over the filet mignon and ravioli at the table.
The tender filet mignon is a delight, juicy and full of the beef’s natural flavours in the middle and the charred outer rim which is a pure delight to work through. The ravioli is the epitome of richness with the buttery short rib encased within the skin of the ravioli. The earthy mushrooms and broth meld both the ravioli with the filet mignon together with a magic weave. It’s a wonderful intertwining of textures, flavours, contrasts and if course perfect aesthetics.
Peruvian Dark Chocolate
The Warm Peruvian Chocolate Tart with Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream is recommended to us, and we both select it as our dessert of choice.
The intricate design of the tart is heavenly on the eyes. The crisp leaf-shaped dark chocolate biscuit on top, the doughy tart enclosure and the runny gooey dark chocolate centre is a decadent experience balanced by the simplicity of the Tahitian vanilla ice cream.
We opt for the coffee to finish as we are off to see Hamilton and we are provided a complimentary peach financier which was delightful.
This is a restaurant that has stood the test of time. I can honestly say it’s a wonderful experience. The service was attentive, the decor and aesthetic of the restaurant set the perfect tone for the afternoon and of course the quality of the cuisine and wine did not disappoint. While a lot has changed in the New York dining scene post COVID-19, I am glad the Le Bernardin still delivers a solid dining experience in this city.