37 minutes and 43 seconds. That’s how long it took me to make a reservation at this restaurant. It is regarded as top 3 in the United States and top 15 in the world. Coming to this restaurant was a “gift” for me. A birthday gift. (I won’t plug in my cash app information, but you can just tell your friends to read my restaurant reviews every once in a while) Le Bernardin is located a couple blocks away from Times Square off of 51st St. and is a 3 Michelin-Star restaurant, one of four in the city of New York.
I can go on and on about how fantastic this restaurant looks, and it’s the nicest restaurant you’ll ever step in. High Ceilings, Huge Windows, and a service that can be a little intimidating. I’ve always said that I wanted to take an etiquette class, and going to this place proves that it wouldn’t be a bad idea. Everything is so meticulous that if you placed a fork on the ground, someone would come by and pick it up half way before it hit the ground.
The restaurant is a course-tasting menu, and on this occasion I was able to order eight difference dishes. The dishes ranged from Langoustine to Oxtail Ravioli. I’ll start off with the Langoustine dish. It consisted of Seared Langoustine, Warm Mushroom Salad, and Truffle Creme Fraiche. You ever have a dish that was so light and tasty, after you ate it, you questioned if someone was in the room with you? Well, that was me. The Langoustine was fresh, cooked to perfection, and the Truffle Creme Fraiche added the earthy balance to go well with the Warm Mushroom Salad.
The next two dishes consisted of Crab and Scallop. The Crab consisted of a Dungeness Crab Cake, with an old bay crisp, and shellfish cardamom emulsion. Fancy words, right? I’ll put it in terms that you and I understand. The best chilled crab cake that you’ll ever have in your f***ing life. No fillers. Just pure crab meat. This dish was inhaled, and I’m pretty sad to say that because I thought I was doing this dish justice by taking small bites, but no amount of bites would help me savor the flavor for this dish. The Scallop dish, which wasn’t a traditional pan seared scallop dish, was more of a crudo. Not my favorite. This was “barely cooked”, but was made with roasted bone marrow, baby turnips, and calamansi-butter sauce. Not my favorite. The presentation was beautiful, but I think next time I’ll stick with Seared Scallops. The dish taste like a cold soggy potato chip with a sea taste. Not my favorite.
The next three dishes consisted of one of my favorite dishes of all time. Lobster, Filet Mignon, and White Tuna-Japanese Wagyu. The lobster dish is what I’ll elaborate on first. It consisted of the most succulent bite sized piece of Truffle, hand cut tagliatelle, and a buttered lobster tail. This was the best piece of lobster I’ve ever tasted in my life. I kid you not, no chewing was involved. I placed the lobster on my tongue and it disappeared. This was a dish that was carefully prepared and you can tell by the ingredients that were in this dish. They were simple, yet effective. The words creamy, delicate, and refreshing doesn’t serve any justice to effectively narrate the perfect way to describe this dish. The next two dishes which were the Filet Mignon and the White Tuna with Japanese Wagyu. The filet mignon, which was medium, was served with oxtail ravioli, and natural jus. Nothing too special about this dish, just excellent flavors and… wait… What. The. F***. Am. I. Talking. About?! Of course there was all sorts of “Special” going on with this dish. Rich, Moist, and Meaty are the best words I can come up with to describe it. Mouthwatering, Succulent, and Lean are also more words to describe this dish. The oxtail ravioli stole the show for this one. The flavors were outstanding but the portion size sucked. I had to constantly remind myself that I wasn’t eating at Del-Friscos. The last entree that was ordered was the White Tuna and Japanese Wagyu. It consisted of Grilled Escolar, Seared Japanese Wagyu, Endive Farcie, and Red Wine Peppercorn Sauce. Both meats were meaty (horrible writing, but I’m explaining this story to a three year old), peppery, and Zesty. This was a dish that could fill you up because of the balance it gave. It’s said that only true Wagyu is only served in Japan, and if that’s remotely true, I’m afraid to find out the answer to that question. I’m afraid if I ever have Wagyu in Japan, I may not ever eat another steak again in my life. This was the perfect surf and turf dish as the White Tuna was meaty and buttery as well.
To round off the evening two desserts were ordered. A Banana S’more and a Black Forest were devoured. The Banana S’more consisted of Caramalized Bananas, Warm Chocolate Cake, and Smoke Meringue Coquito Sauce. If you want to talk about flavors being out of this world, then this is the dish for you. The Caramalized Bananas didn’t overpower the dish like I thought it would be the Coquito Sauce stole the show. It was sweet, tangy, and tart. The Warm Chocolate Cake added the perfect sweetness to the dish as well, but all that was missing was ice cream, which I should have ordered. The next dessert was the Black Forest which consisted of Brandied Cherries, whipped vanilla cream, and chocolate sorbet. This dish was a bit on the sweet side to my liking, but that’s what I get for ordered Brandied Cherries. The overall dish wasn’t my favorite, but maybe I was too full at this point to appreciate it. Ah well.
Overall, this restaurant is a special occasion go to place. This isn’t a restaurant where you can just wake up and say, “I’m going here today”. It takes time to get a reservation. Go to this place to celebrate life. Go to this place to propose or celebrate an anniversary. The restaurant knew who I was and invited me into the kitchen to give me a special tour. That’s special to me. They didn’t have to do that, but they went above and beyond. I am thankful.