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Newly renovated Le Bernardin

kosmose7 Sep 12, 2011 11:24 PM

Yes, they did raise the prices, but contrary to my anticipation, only by $5~10 per course.

The menu looked O.K... I saw some repetitions.

Personally, it was less satisfactory than my previous experience two years ago.

BTW, they called this 'Religieuse' (meaning 'nun' in French, because the pastry resembles a chubby nun), but what I got was nothing but plain cream puffs. :( I felt I was fooled. (Moreover, one of the petit fours served at the end of the meal was mini cream puff again!)

For more photos of renovated Le Bernardin, please refer to:

http://blog.naver.com/kosmose7/901230...

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

 
  1. Cheeryvisage Sep 13, 2011 04:58 AM

    Thanks for the great pictures. I noticed that the lounge was fairly empty. What time did you dine at Le Bernardin?

    Also, any standout dishes?

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

    4 Replies
    1. re: Cheeryvisage
      kosmose7 Sep 13, 2011 06:40 AM

      Thanks Cheeryvisage!

      It is because I was there at 5:15PM sharp, just when they opened for dinner, ha ha.'

      I particularly liked the baked lobster. It was so tender and crunch, and the bergamot emulsion went well with the lobster.

      Other dishes were, sadly, not particularly impressive, although I tried only four dishes this time and that may limit the fairness of my review.
      I found hamachi disappointing due to the acidity of citrus vinegar and marinated cucumber overpowering the dish.
      Langustine was somewhat mushy, and I didn't think it was well-matched with foie gras.

      And dessert... as I said previously, the name 'religieuse' was somewhat misleading, although they were pretty tasty 'cream puffs'.

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

      1. re: kosmose7
        Cheeryvisage Sep 13, 2011 07:18 AM

        Thanks for the insight on the dishes you had.

        I'm thinking of dropping by the lounge to get a thing or two from their lounge menu (curious about their lobster roll). How crowded was the lounge by the time you finished dinner? I imagine you finished around 6:30-7pm?

        1. re: Cheeryvisage
          kosmose7 Sep 13, 2011 07:36 AM

          It was a rather long dinner and I left at 7:30PM. The lounge was almost full! :)

          1. re: kosmose7
            Cheeryvisage Sep 13, 2011 07:42 AM

            Thanks, that's very helpful!

    2. ellenost Sep 13, 2011 06:39 AM

      Great photos. The restaurant, even after the renovation, still reminds me of a corporate dining room. I find it somewhat troubling that at NYC's premier seafood restaurant, the dish that interests me the most is the duck--very scary.

      9 Replies
      1. re: ellenost
        Cheeryvisage Sep 13, 2011 07:16 AM

        Agreed regarding the new dining room. It does indeed still look corporate. Now it's modern corporate versus old-school corporate.

        1. re: ellenost
          f
          filet_minion Sep 13, 2011 07:16 AM

          I'm surprised that you would say such negative things about Le Bernardin based on someone else's photos and menu descriptions. Shouldn't you at least visit the renovated restaurant before criticizing it?

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

          1. re: filet_minion
            Spiritchaser Sep 13, 2011 07:24 AM

            I viewed a very well put together slide presentation of the "new" Le B. And I will say I was not blown away by everything. I like the subdued tones, I think the addition of the booths are very very nice and it's probably where I would choose to be seated, I am not thrilled by the larger tables with the almost couch like seating, I think the lounge area looks fantastic and Le B is somewhere I would now visit just for a quick lounge trip, to me it seems like The Modern Bar meets the Daniel Lounge, so much better than what it replaced. The new painting is incredible.

            1. re: Spiritchaser
              Cheeryvisage Sep 13, 2011 07:29 AM

              Those larger tables are ridiculous. Whoever sit on the couches will basically have their heads right next to those on the couches on the other side. Ugh.

              1. re: Cheeryvisage
                Spiritchaser Sep 13, 2011 10:49 AM

                My thoughts exactly.

            2. re: filet_minion
              ellenost Sep 13, 2011 07:38 AM

              No need to revisit a restaurant that I have previously dined at numerous times (about half dozen times through the years and about 50-50 split between business and leisure dinners). Never found the food to be as spectacular as others on this board have found. Always thought that that the restaurant looked like a corporate dining room which made it appropriate for business dinners. After the renovation, it still looks like a corporate dining room. I based my opinion of the menu from the OP's photos of the menu itself--not from the OP's description of the menu. The only reasons I would ever go back to Le B are: 1) it's a business dinner; and 2) Aldo Sohm--their sommelier.

              1. re: filet_minion
                r
                Riverman500 Sep 13, 2011 07:47 AM

                I agree with filet minion.

                I'd be interested to hear from others who have dined there since the renovation.

              2. re: ellenost
                r
                RGR Sep 13, 2011 08:27 AM

                ellenost,

                I would caution you to think long and hard before ordering the duck. The last time we were there, I had squab, one of my favorite foods. A huge mistake as it was utterly disappointing. Even if Le Bernardin's "raison d'être" is fish and seafood, one would think the kitchen could still turn out a wonderful dish that isn't pescatorial. After all, it is a "NY Times" 4-star/Michelin 3-star. But, unfortunately, that didn't turn out to be the case.

                http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

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

                1. re: RGR
                  ellenost Sep 13, 2011 09:31 AM

                  Thanks RGR for the warning, but I probably won't be returning to Le Bernardin anytime soon. I think I was trying to show my lack of interest in their regular seafood menu by writing that the most interesting dish on the menu was the duck, but as always, will heed your wise advice.

              3. s
                Sneakeater Sep 13, 2011 07:27 AM

                [delete]

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

                4 Replies
                1. re: Sneakeater
                  s
                  Sneakeater Sep 13, 2011 07:39 AM

                  Oops. Now that I've looked at your picture, you're right: those look like plain cream puffs. Sorry 'bout that.

                  1. re: Sneakeater
                    kosmose7 Sep 13, 2011 07:48 AM

                    No prob! :)

                  2. re: Sneakeater
                    kosmose7 Sep 13, 2011 07:41 AM

                    That is exactly what I am saying... What I got wasn't really a 'religieuse'.
                    A 'religieuse' should look like this.
                    I understand the choux of religieuse is basically the same as that of eclair. So why call the round eclair a 'religieuse'? I don't get it.
                    I wouldn't have chosen it if I had known it was just a plain round eclair, you know...

                     
                    1. re: kosmose7
                      s
                      Sneakeater Sep 13, 2011 07:44 AM

                      Yeah, you're totally right. I deleted my post when I looked hard at your picture.

                  3. sgordon Sep 13, 2011 07:51 AM

                    Yeah, it still has that corporate vibe - but then that's Midtown. Seems a touch darker, but maybe that was just the light that day / white balance on the camera.

                    I don't know... all the articles I've read have Ripert talking about how they're trying to update it for a hipper clientele, etc etc etc - but it doesn't seem like much has really changed. I haven't been in some years, and while I had hopes, I can't say I'm sold on making a return visit. Could one order the full menu in the lounge, perhaps - but from what I've heard, it'll be limited to simple dishes. The ability to order ceviches surrounded by Midtown businessmen swilling after-work cocktails blathering about mergers isn't exactly a selling point.

                    Of course, that's not the fault of the restaurant itself - that's just what the local clientele happens to be. But I'd need something better than a ceviche to tune that noise out.

                    1. pizzajunkie Sep 13, 2011 10:30 AM

                      Great pics!!! So you did the 4 course menu? I'm headed there for the first time in December and I'm looking forward to it, despite the lackluster reviews from people on this board whose opinions I trust. I want to try it for myself!

                      1. Cheeryvisage Sep 16, 2011 05:16 PM

                        Just been to the lounge. Want to add some info regarding lounge dining. Despite the expanded lounge area, it appeared that you can only order from the full menu(s) at the 8-seat bar (the cocktail tables looked too small for actual meals anyway). The Egg is now a $12 supplement to the full menu if you request it.

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

                        1. s
                          Simon Sep 18, 2011 02:57 PM

                          From the pictures, it looks like Le B has gone from before looking like a stuffy corporate dining room in Chicago to now looking like a somewhat stuffy corporate dining room in Hong Kong...

                          i agree w/ a lot of the comments above that the menu does not look terribly interesting...i find the unrelentingly fusiony ingredient list discouraging (yuzu, green papaya, green mango, hoisin, and miso all figure prominently)...perhaps some diners will find these touches novel and exciting and worthy of the high cost, but for chowhounds who eat say, sashimi at Ushi Wakamaru and 15 East, somdam at Zabb Elee, Chinese food in Flushing, etc etc, the fusion elements aren't all that exciting...the emphasis on fusion (as opposed to classical French seafood) makes me think that Le B is behind the curve...i'm not saying that the dishes won't be tasty: but if the goal was to get w/ the program, attract a younger food-savvy clientele, etc, it doesn't seem promising...

                          i went to Le B two or three times several years ago...the first visit was excellent, the second was mediocre...while i was looking forward to seeing the changes and giving it a fresh chance, neither the looks nor the menu make me want to return...

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                          15 East
                          15 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

                          Zabb Elee
                          75 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

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