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Special occasion at Le Bernardin

My girlfriend and I are celebrating our anniversary at Le Bernardin soon. I know that some fancy restaurants will provide a special menu or extra amuse bouche if you are there for a special occasion. Is it gauche for me to call the restaurant to make them aware of the occasion, or do they actually care about this sort of thing/will it matter? Thanks in advance for the advice!

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  1. Sounds like this is your question, 'should I call and, in what I think is a veiled way, ask them to give us free things?'

    1 Reply
    1. Just bring it up casually when they call you to confirm the reservation. Most good "fancy" restaurants like the thought that people are celebrating their special occasions with them. I think the special occasion thing would probably get more mileage at places other than LB. My guess is you'll get a "happy anniversary" written on your dessert or something,

      1. They ain't likely to give you any special treatment, from my experience.

        Keep in mind, a large % of folks going to the Le-B or any of the high end restaurants are going to celebrate something, birthdays, engagement, anniversaries, etc. So they wouldn't be thinking it's extra special, not as special as you would think of dining with them.

        That said, you should call in advance and inform them. While whatever Le-B might do likely will not be a VIP experience, they usually will do a couple of small things: special/different parting gift, champagne to start, extra dessert course, printed menu, or something to acknowledge the occasion. Just don't expect Bourdain treatment.

        There is absolutely nothing wrong with informing them of the significance of the occasion.

        1 Reply
        1. re: villainx

          Thanks so much, this is very helpful!

        2. Nothing wrong with letting them know but you shouldn't expect anything. Nor are they in any way obligated to do anything. Great restaurant that should be a great experience regardless.

          1. LB is one of my favorite restaurants. I celebrated my parents 75 Bday their last year w/ party of 12. You can pay extra for LB aprons personalized with your names.

            I recommend the long tasting menu for a special occasion, and skip the wine pairing. I prefer to pick a nice bottle of wine (of my own choosing) rather than taste their selections at a premium.

            Happy anniversary.

            1. Every meal is a special occasion at Le Bernardin! But it won't hurt to mention that it is an anniversary. But don't expect anything over the top extra. LB is already the epitome of refinement and elegance. To do more would be to gild the lily!

              1. I had dinner at Le Bernardin last week. When they called to confirm our reservation, they asked if we would be celebrating a special occasion, and I (sheepishly) told them it was my birthday. They brought me a lovely dessert with "Happy Birthday!" hand-written in cholcolate on the plate and a lit candle. They also gave me a beautiful small box of tiny sweets (the waiter called them petit-fours, but they were actually an assortment of little treats) tied with a blue "Le Bernardin" ribbon to take home. I don't know if this is something they give to everyone but I have kept the box and ribbon as souvenirs!

                1 Reply
                1. re: jilkat25

                  I made some reservations recently too, and they also asked if it was a special occasion.

                2. Don't know whether your special occasion has passed or not, but I agree with comments that suggest that "every visit to Le B is a special occasion". That said, I hope you get an "egg" dessert, usually reserved for regulars, big spenders and special occasions.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: famdoc

                    I called and let them know last year for our 4th anniversary when they asked whether we would be celebrating. We didn't expect anything but they asked but it sure would have made stomaching the blase service and luke warm dishes a bit better.

                  2. Thanks everybody for your helpful comments and suggestions! Our anniversary was a few weeks ago, and it was spectacular. "Every meal is a special occasion at Le Bernardin": how very true.

                    On this thread's topic, I did end up calling to inform them of my anniversary. They noted it and provided us with an extra dessert (a delicious caramel tiramisu) with "Happy Anniversary" written in chocolate. I had inquired about "the egg," but they were sold out for the night--alas. In any case, it was a great night, and it couldn't have gone better!