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Le Bernardin and a pregnant wife

drbyyz Jan 18, 2011 04:01 AM

So my wife and I will be eating dinner at LB next month for my birthday. I am pretty much set on getting the Chef's tasting menu but we are looking for a little advice for her. She is pregnant and there are a few things on the menu that she can't eat. The two options we are considering are: 1. She gets the prix fixe and picks out stuff that she can eat. The only issue with this I see is the fact that she will have a few courses less than me, while I don't think she will mind, sometimes restaurants don't like this and will require everyone at a table to have the same number of courses, does anyone know if this is an issue at LB? or 2. I've read on here about people substituting courses on the tasting menu, for anyone that has done this, what do they let you substitute? Do you pick a course from the prix fixe menu or somewhere else?

Thanks in advance.

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    UES Mayor RE: drbyyz Jan 18, 2011 04:21 AM

    I went to Le Bernadin recently w two foodie friends and was terribly dissappointed! Was my first time there and food was just ok. I expected to be wowed-that didnt happen.

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      peter j RE: drbyyz Jan 18, 2011 04:27 AM

      I had the Chef's Tasting Menu recently at Le Bernardin. I told my server that I couldn't eat certain types of shellfish and they graciously substituted some of the courses (i.e. of their choice, I didn't try to choose the substitutions). The menu is broad so it's definitely worth discussing your wife's restrictions with your server. I'm not sure whether the tasting menu requires the participation of the entire table.

      The staff is friendly and accommodating and the food is transcendent. It's far more subtle than other restaurants, but the precision of flavors and luxurious and often unexpected combinations set it apart from its peers. Make sure you request the milk chocolate egg as a pre-dessert.

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        gutsofsteel RE: drbyyz Jan 18, 2011 04:27 AM

        For ease of searching and FYI, it's Le BernaRdin.

        As far as your concerns, I would suggest you call the restaurant directly to clarify and be sure you will be accomodated.

        2 Replies
        1. re: gutsofsteel
          sunshine842 RE: gutsofsteel Jan 18, 2011 04:30 AM

          Tell them up front of her requirements. I'm certain they are very used to accommodating various food issues.

          If they know about it, they can work around it.

          It would be a tragedy to spend that much money on a dinner that she could possibly not get to eat...and at that point it wouldn't be *their* fault.

          1. re: gutsofsteel
            drbyyz RE: gutsofsteel Jan 18, 2011 04:50 AM

            Thanks for pointing that out, just found out about the r a few days ago haha and I guess I'm just in the habit of typing it without it still.

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            nextguy RE: drbyyz Jan 18, 2011 11:37 AM

            I don't think you can do option 1 unless you also want to go with the prix fixe. I am pretty sure that all guests need to take the tasting menu if you want it. For option 2, I would just let them do the substitution. The beauty of tasting menus is that the kitchen controls the sequence and progression of the meal. I would much prefer to trust their judgement. It has been said many times in many threads, don't forget to ask for the Egg.

            4 Replies
            1. re: nextguy
              drbyyz RE: nextguy Jan 18, 2011 11:44 AM

              Oh yes, I've definitely heard that we need to ask for the Egg, looking forward to that. I thought they might be the kind of place that would want everyone at the table to do the tasting menu....and I kind of hope she goes with that. She isn't the most adventurous eater and when she gets to pick, usually goes with safer, non 'foodie' sounding stuff, but when she tries new things she almost always likes them.

              Another question, our reservations are for Valentine's Day weekend, not the actual day, but the Friday before. Anyone have experience there for that weekend? Do they do anything special?

              1. re: drbyyz
                nextguy RE: drbyyz Jan 18, 2011 11:51 AM

                Surprisingly I find that the food isn't that exotic at Le Bernardin. Everything is very classical except for maybe the desserts which are bit more innovative.

                I doubt that there is anything special going on Valentine's weekend. You should definitely call though.

                Le Bernardin
                155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

                1. re: drbyyz
                  peter j RE: drbyyz Jan 20, 2011 02:12 PM

                  Here is the 9 course Valentine's Weekend tasting menu at Le Bernardin, $220 per person, $390 with wine pairing. Check out the roast venison with foie gras and sauce perigourdine...


                  Le Bernardin
                  155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

                  1. re: peter j
                    drbyyz RE: peter j Jan 22, 2011 05:34 AM

                    Looks pretty awesome...go figure that they would charge more though, but what's a few extra dollars when you are spending that much anyway?

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                ChacuterieDude RE: drbyyz Jan 18, 2011 04:54 PM


                I can reply with absolute authority. I recently went to LB (Dec 29th) with my PREGNANT wife for our birthday. We ordered the tasting menu and they had no problem making changes in the menu to accommodate her fear of raw seafood. This was great news as I got to try three more dishes that weren't on the menu. They pick the dishes, but they were great dishes. The great advantage to you is that you get to drink the entire bottle of wine minus one glass for the pregnant wife.

                2 Replies
                1. re: ChacuterieDude
                  drbyyz RE: ChacuterieDude Jan 18, 2011 06:09 PM

                  Good to hear. Oh and I always get the whole bottle of wine anyway :) she's not a drinker.

                  1. re: ChacuterieDude
                    mcporkbun RE: ChacuterieDude Jan 22, 2011 07:15 AM

                    Agreed. We went recently for my birthday. I'm pregnant with a shellfish allergy and we did a tasting menu, but not the biggest one. They let me choose my replacement course(s). I don't even like seafood, especially this pregnancy, and I loved our meal!

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                    shoeman RE: drbyyz Jan 20, 2011 02:32 PM

                    Get the prix fixe menu and eat the dishes she doesn't like?

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