Sep 18, '06

Le Bernardin – incredibly ordinary experience

Le Bernardin

The highly anticipated dinner in the so-called  “the best restaurant in NY ” Le Bernardin (3 Michelin macarons) was a big disappointment.
Honestly, for me its incomprehensible how Michelin inspectors can put Eric Ripert’s cooking on the same level as the talent of such chefs like Guy Savoy, Michel Troisgros or even Marc Veyrat…

The restaurant’s ambience is beautiful( A lot of tables, but its
OK… it’s New York…) and the service is outstanding, but the food,
the most important factor was  too plain for “the best restaurant in
NY” and too pretentious for a good seafood restaurant like Le Duc in
Paris where the seafood is “to die for”.

The prix fixe menu is divided in “Almost Raw”, “Barely Touched”,
“Lightly Cooked”  categories which I found very interesting. I chose
“Marinated Kumamoto Oysters in Shiso-Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil”,
“Warm Peekytoe-Maryland Lump “Crab Cake”, Shaved Cauliflower, Dijon
Mustard Emulsion” and “Organic Chilean Turbot, Shiso-Matsutake Salad,
Lemon Miso Broth”.

The oysters were fresh and simple,  like in any other good seafood restaurant. On the other hand,  the crab doesn’t marry well with cauliflower. I don’t know, maybe its a question of taste, but I’ve
had a much better crab salad, like the one in Le Duc In Paris which is so fresh and simple.

The turbot though was really not good. I like the idea of the
Japanese ingredients in the dish, but the fish itself was overcooked
and, worse,  tasted like gum.

The dessert( “Strawberry, Mango, and Basil Ice Cream Sandwich and
Organic Strawberry Juice “) was the best part of the dinner. It reminded me a lot of the Pierre Herme’s  “Miss Gla Gla ” ice cream. The copycat of the Pierre Herme dessert?

Let’s be fair. The seafood in Le Bernardin is fresh and well prepared. But this restaurant is soooo overrated and definitely doesn’t deserve to be the best restaurant in the city. And Eric Ripert (who was not even present I think ) would never get three stars (or even two) in his homeland. Never too late to improve and get more creative though!

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