Le Bernardin, New York

It’s been a busy week in New York, but the one place I really wanted to eat was Le Bernardin in Midtown.  Holding three Michelin Stars, the Executive Chef and co-owner is Eric Ripert, best buddy of Anthony Bourdain, and host of a variety of TV shows.  My favourite quote of Bourdain’s referencing Eric is this: “There are certain people in your life who call you up at 4 o’clock in the morning and say meet me on the corner of Avenue D and 4th Street, and bring a hand gun, and a stolen car, a tarpaulin and duct tape – you don’t ask why – you just go!”

Eric is classically trained, and has

I bought my first Eric Ripert book in 2006, and have been a huge fan ever since – both in print and via the various tv shows on which he appears.  I even have a little video on my Journal page demonstrating his caviar Croque Monsieur... {Yes, you read that right}

But Le Bernardin prompts such funny reactions amongst my peers – everything from ‘over-priced’, to just a ‘little dull’…

What’s wrong with people?  I found it absolutely perfect – I love that the menu concentrates on fish, and does it flawlessly!  I love that the menu is broken down into Almost Raw, Barely Touched, and Lightly Cooked…

The front of house team are charming, professional, courteous, and well-informed.  The room is wood-panelled, large and airy, and on my visit frequented by the likes of Tobey Maguire {with a very bushy beard, actually…}.  The food is absolutely divine – the mussel broth served with my king fish was one of the most delicious things I’ve had – and you leave feeling as light as a feather, but completely satisfied. Also, given that this week we’ve eaten at Per Se and 11 Madison Park {again}, I think Le Bernardin is stonking value.

If you can’t get into the main restaurant, the lovely chaps will let you eat the main menu in the lounge, which serves customers on a first-come-first-served basis.  If you like your fish, just trust me, go down and try it for yourself.  If you’re a Londoner, again, trust me – this is as good as any fish I’ve eaten in London, being almost the perfect combination of Japanese and French sensibilities.  I’ll ensure it’s on my list every single time I return to New York.

Le Bernardin, New York

Salmon Rillette, with toast

Le Bernardin, New York

Warm King Fish “Sashimi”; Osetra Caviar, Light Marinière Broth

Le Bernardin, New York

Pan Roasted Monkfish; Sautéed Cepes, Pearl Onions à la Crème Paprika Sauce

Le Bernardin, New York

Pan Roasted Lobster; Baby Leeks, Sunchoke Purée, Red Wine “Sauce Américaine”

Le Bernardin, New York

Flourless Hazelnut Cake, Gianduja Mousse, Orange Curd, Praline Ice Cream

Le Bernardin, New York

Financiers