“If you want to do this again before you leave, I could definitely do that.” That was the comment from my dining companion Mark at the end of our meal at Le Bernadin on Monday, May 16, 2011. Mark discouraged me from taking pictures of every course or acting like an ass to meet Eric Ripert, so I have a limited slide show below. My pictures wouldn’t do it justice anyway.
While I didn’t meet Eric Ripert (he’s one sexy man, is he not?), my experience at Le Bernadin was unparalleled. It’s clearly a Michelin 3-star rated establishment and very elegant inside, yet our waiter was charming and funny and put us at ease cracking jokes at my expense.
We started with a small oyster as an amuse bouche. Now, I’m not an oyster fan, but whatever they did to it was amazing. It was soft, not chewy and doused in a light sauce with herbs. If anything can convert me to like oysters, it was that one.
The four course prix fixe was a great introduction to Ripert’s cuisine. I started with my first appetizer with impossibly thin tuna tartare over an equally thin slice of foie gras and a tiny crisp bread, dressed with cirtusey olive oil and chives. Melt in your mouth and incredibly light.
Next was the barely touched “crab cake”. Warm dressed crab and a little corn with slivers of mango as garnish.
For a main course I had the crispy black bass with hoisin jus and mini pork buns. I would have never picked that out as a main as the asian flavor palate isn’t my first choice, but it came highly recommended by the waiter and was absolutely delicious.
For dessert, I went with the hazelnut selections, my favorite. It was a lovely chocolate hazelnut mousse, a tiny melon ball sized taste of gelato, and bruleed bananas, garnished with chocolate hazelnut sauce and toasted hazelnuts.
Every course was perfectly portioned, light and left me feeling satisfied, not overly full. You can tell how much effort and care goes into each course. The prix fixe was a great price considering amount of food, the quality and the restaurant’s reputation and fame. I can’t say enough good things about it. Le Bernadin was one of the best meals of my life. And if Mark, or anyone, wants to go back before I leave for London, just let me know. 🙂