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!
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,
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.
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.
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.