Le Bernardin – New York City

by David Donalson

Le Bernardin needs no introduction but I am going to give one anyway. It is the home of Eric Ripert, three Michelin stars and some absolutely amazing seafood. With a camera, it was time to take some pictures and eat some great food and wine. The table decided to just do the prix fixe dinner menu, a 4 course meal, under the condition of sharing so some of the plates are not what you might see on the tasting menu.

Billecart Salmon Brut Rose

Billecart Salmon Brut Rose

A crisp, clean salmon champagne with good red fruit and herbs. The acidity running through the champagne would be a great match for the seafood to come.

Amuse Bouche – Tuna Tartar with soy glaze, sliced daikon and microgreens

The silky smooth tuna was spiked by both the salty soy glaze with red chili strands providing a hint of heat, rounding out the entire palate.

Course1-Fluke with spicy 5 spice, dehydrated kimchi, marcona almonds

A fleshhy textured fish with hints of heat from the spice and kimchi that lasted

Course 1-Tuna, pounded thin, atop a toasted baguette with shaved chives and extra virgin olive oil

Absolutely melted in your mouth!

Course 2 – Lobster Carpaccio

Toss-up for the best course of the night. Warmed lobster swimming in a sauce that was both sweet and buttery. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

Course 2 – Charred Octopus topped with fermented black bean – pear sauce and ink vinaigrette.

The best octopus I have ever eaten. It was fork tender with a hint of char and sweetness from the sauce. The other best course of the night.

Course 2 – Osetra caviar nested in Tagliolini warm sea urchin sauce

One of our guests was kind enough to share a taste of this. It was the taste of the sea. Imagine that salty burst of freshly crested waves on the beach with a slight bite from the al dente pasta providing body through the bite.

Course 3 – Kingfish, morels, wasabi cream sauce

If I could say there was a disappointing dish, this would be it. I believe that given the excellence of the previous course, my expectations were astronomical but it seemed to be very meaty with a lack of pop from the sauce to spice up the palate. The morels provided some depth but they too felt lost. This dish was still better than most other dishes tried in New York, it just came off a little flat.

Course 3 - Black bass with mini pork buns and plum jus

This was significantly better than the kingfish. That crispy skin and sweetness from the dumplings were a fantastic match to the light fish flavor. Got to love that skin!

Course 3 – Striped bass with baby carrots and miso butter sauce

Gorgeous piece of fish that just melted in your mouth. The fish had enough weight on the palate to hold up to the sweetness of the carrot and the creamy flavors of the broth

Wine 2 – 2007 Nicholas Potel Vosne-Romanee

One reason to hate New York is how much french burgundy they have lying around. Come on Dallas, step it up and bring in something with this level of potential. This wine was full of fresh and dried red fruit, potpourri, crushed limestone and herbs. It sang on the palate, even going so far as to bring an earthy component to the mid to late palate. This is what Pinot Noir should be.

Course 3 - Duck with turnips, pine nuts, caramelized orange and a “Dolce-Forte” sauce

One of our friends decided to see if their game could match the seafood. I thought it was a good piece of duck but nothing revolutionary. It did pair best with the Nicholas Potel.

Dessert – Chocolate Chicory

A dark chocolate cremeux with cocoa pain de genes, burnt orange meringue and chicory ice cream. This was a roller coaster on the palate, in a good way. After the initial burst of sweetness from the orange, your palate sinks into the dark chocolate, only to be steadied and spiked by the temperature of the coffee ice cream and another late palate spike of orange.

Dessert – Chocolate Peanut

Dark chocolate, peanut and caramel tart with meyer lemon puree, peanut powder and praline-citrus sorbet. Immediate struggle of flavors on the palate as the acidity from the lemon, the bitterness of the chocolate and the creaminess of the nuts fight for dominance. The result is delicious.


Filed under David Donalson, Le Bernardin, New York, restaurant news, Wine

2 responses to “Le Bernardin – New York City

  1. As a fishmonger, reading this article is akin to a marble quarryman looking at Michaelangelo’s David.

  2. slade

    very good assessment Jon!!

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