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Midtown West >
Posted by Anonymous on 04/19/2004
What a letdown! I am a major seafood devotee and expected to have a meal I would remember for a long time. I remember it all right - but not because it was good. Yes, it's a nice looking place, yes, the waiters are professional, but the food is shockingly disappointing and the portions shamefully tiny (I was still hungry when I left!). Stick with old reliables like The Four Seasons - this place misses the boat.
Posted by Hugh Coe on 03/17/2004
Thrilling in its early years, Le Bernardin took a dive after the death of founding chef Gilbert Le Coze. I went twice in the 1995-2001 period and found the place to be running on vapors, a shell of its former self. Happy to report that as of March 15, 2004, the former glory has been restored. Two of us ate through both the $135 and $100 menus (all the best dishes are included, so the menus are the way to go), with wine pairings. Whether Eric Ripert copied it from Union Pacific or the other way round, the bay scallop/sea urchin "ceviche" in urchin shell is utterly sublime, as are the hamachi tartare and the black bass. "Bouillabaisse" just a touch too raffin?; striped bass and grouper less than brilliant, but these complaints are relative to overall standard. Service was beyond impeccable yet wholly unobtrusive. I rated no dish (except the desserts, which are silly) lower than 7 on a 10 scale, and the wine pairings were superb (do NOT skip the wine courses!). Tariff for the two menus, with wine, coffee, tax and tip, was $575 for two diners, yet still a value at that -- compared to Alain Ducasse, anyhow!
Posted by Thrilled on 01/16/2004
We had the Chef's Tasting Menu (not the one shown here) and everything was flawless. The flavors of each ingredient of every dish were perfect complements to each other. The presentation was, in each case, a work of art. And service, they could teach every restaurant a few things. My water glass never got empty, yet no one "hovered". Not once did the waiter have to ask what we were drinking when we ordered another round. And the decor was opulent without being gaudy or overdone. Truly elegant and peaceful surroundings. Obviously expensive but the best value I have ever had. No complaints here!