ZEAST: Le Bernardin, NYC / by zhaophotography

Our third and final fancy-pants dinner in NYC ended with Le Bernardin.  After sampling L2O in Chicago, we had to experience the East Coast counterpart, and we were not disappointed.  It was definitely a meal to end all meals during our visit, and the timing could not be any more perfect for this post.  Just yesterday, Le Bernadin maintained their 3 Michelin stars and Zagat awarded them with 29 points (out of 30)- one of the highest scores any restaurant has received in a long time.

We had high hopes going into Le Bernadin with all the praises and reviews from around the world.  My only gripe with high end restaurants is the consistency in food and service.  We've been to a few restaurants where the reviews did not match up to our experience.  And this is a shame because for the money you are paying, the first experience should always be the best.  And Le Bernadin definitely delivered on that front.  From the moment we stepped in we were presented with excellent food and service throughout our meal.

We went with the tasting menu and a wine pairing for Jared.  The seafood was the main focus and plating was secondary.  Each dish came out better than the previous with its clean crisp flavor.  The dessert certainly didn't take a back seat to the rest of the menu and held up on its own.  I won't bore you with my words and again will let the pictures do all the talking.

Amuse Lobster and chips

This was our first taste of lobster on our ZEAST and it is going to be hard to top this dish.  The lobster went well with the crunchy texture of the potato chips.

TUNA Layers of Thinly Pounded Yellowfin Tuna; Toasted Baguette; Foie Gras Torchon, Shaved Chives and Extra Virgin Olive Oil Paired with Botani Moscatel Seco, Sierras de Malaga, Spain 2008

Thats is right folks, the tuna covered the size of the plate and this was not a small plate.  Underneath the layer of velvety tuna is a toasted baguette with torchon of foie gras on top.  This dish was so rich and decadent.

OCTOPUS
Charred Octopus; Fermented Black Bean - Pear Sauce Vierge; Ink - Miso Vinaigrette; Purple Basil
Paired with
Sauvignon Blanc, Paul Cluver, Elgin south, Africa 2008

This dish brought the taste of Asian cuisine with the use of fermented black bean.  It would've be funny if they served clams with black bean sauce.

LOBSTER
Warm Lobster Carpaccio; Hearts of Palm, Orange Vinaigrette
Paired with
Chardonnay, Ramey, Russian River, 2007
STRIPED BASS
Baked Wild Striped Bass; Corn "Cannelloni"; Light Perigord Sauce
Paired with
White Rioja, Crianza, Vina Gravonia, Lopez de Heredia, Spain 1999

This is the second night we had sea bass prepared baked.  The fish was cook perfectly.  What else do I need to say, its sea bass and its awesome.  Time to go to The Spice House to get some of their freeze dried corn and remake this dish.

SURF AND TURF
Escolar and Seared Nebraska Wagyu Beef; Sea Bean Salad and Eggplant Fries;
Mr. Kaufman's Pesto and Red Wine Sauce
Paired with
La Croix de Beaucaillou, Saint Julien, Bordeaux 2004
TOMATO-BLACKBERRY
Basil Ice Cream, Peach Broth
Paired with
Torrontez Sparkling, Deseado Familia Schroeder, Patagonia

This is an awesome pallet cleanser/first dessert.  The sweet tomatoes and basil blended perfectly with the fruit.  Also, we <3 basil in dessert.

PISTACHIO
Pistachio Mousse, Roasted White Chocolate, Lemon, Cherry
Paired with
Château La Rame-Reserve, Saint Croix du Mont 1999
By the end we were so stuffed and Jared, slightly tippy from the generous pour with each dish.

The nice folks at Le Bernadin even allowed us a back stage pass.  Too bad we were told Eric Ripert was not there.  The kitchen, which as you can see is immaculate.

Eric Ripert & staff:  Thank you for one of the best meals we've ever had!  What a great way to end our stay at NYC.  Up next Baahston.

Le Bernardin 155 W 51st St The Equitable Building (between 6th Ave & 7th Ave) New York, NY 10019 (212) 554-1515 www.le-bernardin.com