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What I Ate: October 13, 2010 (Le Bernardin)

Posted 16 October, 2010 at 10:31pm by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Food, What I Ate)

Dinner: Le Bernardin (155 W 51st St, New York, NY‎ - (212) 554-1515‎). We ordered the eight course Chef's tasting menu (six savory courses and two sweet courses). During our lobster course, Chef Michael Laiskonis (2004 Bon Appetit Pastry Chef of the Year and 2007 James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef) came out to greet us. Chef Laiskonis had also been interviewed for Jeff Potter's Cooking For Geeks and contributed a couple recipes (Caramelized White Chocolate and Beurre Noisette Ice Cream). He said he was going to send out a few additional desserts in lieu of the two planned on the Chef's Tasting Menu. By the end of the evening we had eaten 6 savory dishes (plus a marvelous amuse bouche that could easily have counted as a dish) and 8 desserts. When the petit fours came out (seven more sweet bites), we had to have those packed to go.
Le Bernardin - Exterior

None of the courses had any execution problems. Service was impeccable. If there is a restaurant equivalent of a "perfect game", then tonight's dinner at Le Bernardin would be such an example. However, we did feel that we would have prefered a menu with more variety (perhaps some proteins from the land and some vegetables), but we can't fault Le Bernardin for that since they are focused on French seafood. Normally, I take a lot of notes (it's easy to do so because both Tina and I are detailed oriented and quite picky when it comes to food), but tonight, I didn't know what to write except a few notes on texture, flavor, and words like "perfect" or "excellent".
Le Bernardin - Interior

Amuse Bouche - A canape of butter poached shrimp, lemongrass foam, sweet potato puree
Le Bernardin - Canape of Butter Poached Shrimp

TUNA Smoked Yellowfin Tuna "Prosciutto"; Japanese Pickled Vegetables and Crispy Kombu
Le Bernardin - Tuna

EGG - CAVIAR Poached Pastured Egg; Osetra Caviar, Marinière Broth and English Muffin
Le Bernardin - Egg and Caviar

LANGOUSTINE Seared Langoustine; Mâche and Wild Mushroom Salad, Shaved Foie Gras, White Balsamic Vinaigrette
Le Bernardin - Langoustine

MONKFISH Pan Roasted Monkfish; Hon Shimeji Mushrooms, Turnip - Ginger Emulsion, Sake Broth
Le Bernardin - Monkfish

LOBSTER Baked Lobster; Pickled Golden Beet, Fennel and Citrus "a la Nage"
Le Bernardin - Lobster

BLACK BASS Crispy Black Bass; Lup Cheong and Beansprout "Risotto", Mini Steamed Buns, Hoisin - Plum Jus
Le Bernardin - Black Bass

Several of the desserts were off menu:

Liquid Pear, gingerbread crumbs, sour cherry caviar
Le Bernardin - Liquid Pear

Creme Brulee of Parsnip with Browned Milk Solids
Le Bernardin - Creme Brulee of Parsnip

Roasted White Chocolate Pistachio Mousse
Le Bernardin - Roasted White Chocolate Pistachia Mousse

Yogurt Panna Cotta with Cinnamon Gelee and Candied Walnuts
Le Bernardin - Yogurt Panna Cotta

Egg - Chocolate Pot de Creme, Maple Syrup, Salt
Le Bernardin - Egg (Chocolate Pot de Creme)

At this point, we had reached out tasting limits - the next three desserts we ate without fully experiencing and noticing the flavors and textures.

Black Sesame-Cherry - Black Sesame Panna Cotta and Pain De Genes, Sour Cherry Sphere, Shiso, Mandarin Sorbet and Yuzu Meringue
Le Bernardin - Black Sesame-Cherry

Hazelnut - Gianduja Cream, Oregon Hazelnuts, Honey, Banana, Brown Butter Ice Cream
Le Bernardin - Hazelnut

Chocolate-Chicory - Dark Chocolate Cremeux, Cocoa Pain de Genes, "Burnt Orange Meringue", Chicory Ice Cream
Le Bernardin - Chocolate-Chicory

Petit Fours (Pistachio, Ganache, Pate a Choix, Green apple/concord grape on white chocolate); Bon Bons (White chocolate filled with dark chocolate, dark chocolate filled with praline, and milk chocolate filled with caramel)
Le Bernardin - Petit Fours
Le Bernardin - Petit Fours

Le Bernardin - Interior
Le Bernardin - Place Setting
Le Bernardin - Bread and Butter

4 comments to What I Ate: October 13, 2010 (Le Bernardin)

Optimista, October 17th, 2010 at 9:25 pm:

  • Such gorgeous plates! That looks like an epic meal.

Michael Chu, October 20th, 2010 at 9:05 am:

  • It was an excellent way to start our five day New York vacation!

Rhonda Holstien, November 5th, 2010 at 10:35 am:

  • I can't wait! Hubby is taking me next week for my birthday. I'm trying to determine just how dressed up I need to get. Are we talking night at the opera formal dressed up or nice meal out (basic dress/nice slacks and sweater)? Your pictures are fabulous, Michael!

Michael Chu, November 6th, 2010 at 12:25 am:

  • Men are required to wear a jacket. When we were there, I was probably one of two men who did not wear a black jacket. I wore a tie and as far as I can tell so did every other man there.

    Female dress ranges from the ridiculously dressed up to simple and nice. The restaurant was kept pretty warm when we were there, so I was overheating a tad, but women should be quite comfortable.