Updated: May 21, 2015

Le Bernadin Restaurant Review:

It's not every day that you get the chance to eat at a top restaurant like Le Bernadin in New York City. I was lucky enough to get reservations for my wife and I in April 2012. My wife has been dragging me to A-list restaurants for years (Guy Savoy in Paris, French Laundry in Napa, and Alinea in Chicago) so I know good food when I see it. Surprising her with this dinner was the highlight of our trip. Eric Ripert is the chef behind the magic at Le Bernadin and we were not disappointed at all with the food. We went for the tasting menu at dinner instead of the prix fixe - that way my wife was able to sample all of the delicacies. Be prepared to eat a lot, so avoid any snacks in the afternoon so you go in with an appetite. Our reservation was early for NYC - we had the 5:15PM seating but that was ok with us since we had theater tickets for an 8PM show.





Le Bernadin is located in between 6th and 7th Avenue on West 51st Street. The actual address is 155 West 51st Street, New York, NY 10019. You can reach them via telephone at (212) 554-1515. Reservations - They work with Opentable.com and have a 'reservation' link on the main Le Bernadin website for you to use. Reservations are allowed up to 30 days in advance and certain time slots are available on the Opentable website. You can also call to get reservations if you need to. We had to change our reservation time once and it was easy to call and do that. They will send you a confirmation email with your date and time. Le Bernadin is open for lunch and dinner with seatings for dinner starting at the 5:15 time and going to 10PM or later. The tasting menu can take up to 2 or 3 hours, so give yourself time to enjoy the food without having to rush out. Upon entering the restaurant you see the grand dining room area with high ceilings and more tables for diners than I would have imagined. The ambiance is much different here than say the French Laundry or Alinea. It feels like old school money. On to the Food - We will get into the cost of everything below, but for now let's discuss the dinner menu and delicious food. The presentation to all the dishes was amazing (see photos below) and the wait staff did an excellent job of explaining all the things we were eating. We started with a glass of the Roederer champagne and the amuse-bouche (salmon and soup). The first course was a play on surf and turf with caviar and wagyu beef. There is definitely a seafood flare to the chef's tasting menu at Le Bernadin. You need to be open to eating all types of fish, shellfish, soups, sauces, etc. I didn't find anything too extreme or weird on the menu. The charred octopus was just perfect and the crab with cauliflower was great. The presentation for the sea medley was very cool (see photo below). It's served in a cool looking shell. The Arctic Char (looks like salmon) was delicious and practically melted in your mouth. The monkfish, not usually my favorite, was cooked so perfectly that I may have changed my mind about the fish. At this point in the meal I was starting to get a bit full, but we relaxed for a few minutes, had a sip of the wine, and then proceeded to start the dessert courses. The pictures don't do them justice. The combination of flavors was amazing. The Madagascan chocolate ganache, peanut mousse, and salted caramel ice cream was my top pick of the desserts. We had one last dessert (the petit four) that wasn't on the menu and sat there contemplating our meal at Le Bernadin. The experience had taken us just over 2 hours and we were comfortably full. We walked to our show about 4 blocks away and felt great. The official website is at Le-Bernadin.com. The menus are posted so you can see what to expect for lunch or dinner and see the chef's tasting menu has to offer. As a reminder, gentlemen are required to wear jackets, ties are optional.

Cost to Eat at Le Bernadin:

One of the questions we get asked all the time is "How much does it cost to eat at Le Bernadin?" Pricing has stayed pretty steady over the years and lunch has something called the City Harvest Menu at $45/person, the $70 prix fixe menu, and the chef's tasting menu at $190/person. Dinner has the $125 prix fixe menu, the Le Bernadin tasting menu at $145 and the chef's tasting menu at $190/person. There is a lounge with a menu with items like salmon, oysters, scallop, tuna tartare, kanpachi, caviar, sweets, and cocktails, wine, or beer. We had a great time at the restaurant and I would definitely rate it right up there with the French Laundry. If you are get paired with your food, expect to spend at least $300/person for the meal. We ordered our wine separately, and our bill still went over $600 with tip.

In front of the restaurant on W. 51 St.

Amuse-bouche of with salmon and cauliflower soup.

Caviar - Wagyu: Nebraska Wagyu Beef; Langoustine and Osetra Caviar Tartare, Black Pepper-Vodka Creme Fraiche, Pomme Gaufrette.

Charred Octopus "a la plancha"; Green Olive and Black Garlic Emulsion, Sundried Tomato Sauce Vierge.

Warm Peekytoe Crab; Shaved Heirloom Cauliflower, Mustard-Curry Sauce.

Warm Peekytoe Crab; Shaved Heirloom Cauliflower, Mustard-Curry Sauce.

Shellfish Medley; Yuzu Scented Custard, Smoked Bonito Broth.

"Ultra-Rare" Arctic Char; Truffled Peas and Favas, Butter Lettuce-Tarragon Emulsion.

Roasted Monkfish; Morels, Pata Negra Emulsion.

Dessert #1.

Madagascan Chocolate Ganache, Peanut Mousse, Salted Caramel Ice Cream.

Madagascan Chocolate Ganache, Peanut Mousse, Salted Caramel Ice Cream.

Petit Fours - bonus dessert.