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Jan 19, 2007 07:41 AM

Le Bernardin Friday night

Going for the first time.
Need advice on which menu option to choose.

Anything that shouldn't be missed (Fluke?)?

I'm actually not too excited about any of the mains they currently have listed on the website so I could really use some input here (I'd prefer something without Asian flavors but since there don't seem to be too many options in that vein I'm open minded).

Any recs for a reasonably priced wine (<$75)?

Also, I need some guidance on the dress code. I've read before that there are actually men dining without jackets. I probably will wear a jacket, but I'm assuming a jacket with jeans is not really acceptable. Correct?

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  1. ...i did see rocco d' spirito eat there in jeans and (pinkish) jacket - before he was booted out of prime time tv. but, i wouldn't think you would want to stand-out like him. the fluke tasting is really good, any entree with bacon is highly recommended as well. some of their ingredients may sound very asian (more japanese actually) but,they will not come across as asian-fusion in any way. the waiters and the sommeliers there are very helpful. the maitre d - ben can help recommend good dishes as well. do not be afraid to order wines even < 50bucks there as they have a pretty good selection in the various price range and we were quite happy with a bottle of sancerre there in the 30-40 bucks range which paired well with the chef tasting menu...which for me is the way to go when you visit le bernardin.

    1. Call them at least 24 hrs in advance ( if it is not too late ) and order the Snapper. It was amazing, but they need the advance notice.

      Also do not miss the fluke, esp if you have never had it. Skip the lobster in favor of any of the fishes, even if you think it sounds ordinary.

      1. I'm pretty sure you need a jacket. I've seen Le Bernardin lend some men jackets. And I wouldn't really try to do the casual sports coat with jeans look there.

        I also enjoyed the fluke tasting. But my favorite dish there was the yellowfin tuna, foie gras, and baguette. It was silky and heavenly! The caviar pasta is also decadent (but there is an $85 suppement). I had it as part of the tasting menu. Unless you're really into sea urchin, I wouldn't order the sea urchin custard. While I love it, the briny quality may not be appealing to some. The escolar is very good as well.

        1. Thanks for the advice, off in a little bit. Still not too excited about any of the mains but I'm cautiously optimistic that whatever I pick will end up surprising me in a good way (I might go with the Salmon which sounds like a great preparation even though generally I can be only so excited about Salmon).

          For the first course the scallops, fluke, and tuna/foie are the leading contenders.

          For the second course it'll be between the Foie, Octopus, and Urchin.

          I'll report back.

          1. Heres my recent review of Le Bernadin:
            Past Glory..January 2007.

            Usually when I write a review of a restaurant I try to do it within 24 hours of dining while things are still fresh in my mind. However with Le Bernadin, I really had to think this over. Giving an even a slightly negative review of Le Bernardin can result in you getting accussed of heresy in the gourmet world. But, I am not a food critic; however I do know the difference between good and great. There is no doubt Le Bernadin is one of the most beautiful restaurants in NYC. The service is flawless. But, we are in it for the food and here's where things get bumpy. Lunch started out with a plate of salmon salad from the chef...Sort of a scoop you would get at Russ and Daughters or Barney Greengrass. It was delicious on the melba toast points but i thought it odd such an upscale place couldnt make it a bit more presentable. I only wished i brought a bagel or bialy with me. But OK, I digress. My fiance[a salad eater], had the Mesclun Salad...small portion,but dressing was good. I had the TUNA Appetizer which is described as "Layers of Thinly Pounded Yellowfin Tuna, Foie Gras and Toasted Baguette, Shaved Chives and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Nothing special; the foie gras was either MIA or too miniscule for me to detect it. For mains my fiancee had the SALMON described as "Organic Scottish Salmon; Chanterelle and Black Trumpet in a Wild Mushroom Pot au Feu" This was fabulous. Perfectly cooked it melted in yor mouth. Definitely the high point. I had the BLACK BASS "Masala Spiced Crispy Black Bass; Peking Duck-Green Papaya Salad in a Rich Ginger-Cardamom Broth" This was a disappointment. Fish was good but the accompanmients didnt work. Broth was bland. Bread, great but eat alot of it. No sides are offered which puzzles me. I really dislike when restaurants limit your options or dictate the chefs or owners eating styles. Would it be the end of the world if a starch or vegetable side was offered? My fiancee and I are not big eaters. We usually order 2 or 3 apps and split a main and are full. But, fish alone is not going to do it ! The PEAR desert tasted almost like pear baby food: was ok. My CHOCOLATE PEANUT desert also was good not great. Conclusions: Le Bernadin is a solid 3 star restaurant though not 4. Its a great place for well prepared though not very inventive or creative fish. You just may need those bagels or bialys afterwards.