This post will be short.
I've written multiple posts in the past about Le Bernardin, and my opinion about Chef Eric Ripert and his flagship restaurant hasn't changed all that much. It's still one of my favorites in New York City. I love that the restaurant focuses on seafood, and I especially enjoy how Chef Ripert coaxes flavors out of various ingredients. He is truly a master at this.
I treated my friend to lunch here for her birthday, since this whole trip was really for her birthday. It was the culmination of a whole weekend of eating, exploring the city, and catching up. This would be our last meal together before we departed ways - one to Penn Station, the other to JFK International airport. It was definitely a very, very nice way to end the trip.
Lunch is $85 for three courses (though you get a lot more little amuses and bites). You choose two courses from the three sections on the menu: Almost Raw, Barely Touched, and Lightly Cooked. It is totally up to you how you pick your two courses (like, you could pick two "almost raw" ones if you want, though the portion sizes for those might be smaller). The third course is dessert, which comes on a separate menu.
They always start each meal with a complimentary salad of raw (or barely cooked?) salmon tossed with mayonnaise and herbs. It's delicious with the elegant toasted bread that they serve with the spread.
From the Almost Raw section of the menu, we started with Hamachi, a flash marinated hamachi topped with young radishes, amaranth crisp, and yuzu vinaigrette.
Seafood Truffle Pasta was perfect. Fresh tagliatelle ribbons tossed in with crabmeat, scallops, and lobster in a truffle emulsion sauce AND shaved white truffles on top. Simply incredible.
Although it seems like a simple dish, the Barely-Cooked Organic Salmon was phenomenal. The texture of the fish itself was really, really tender ("barely cooked" as advertised), and the flavors of the mint-tarragon emulsion, baby peas, and favas matched beautifully. We both ordered this dish, and neither of us regretted it.
We ordered two different desserts to share. Chocolate consisted of warm chocolate cake, pecans, and chocolate ice cream.
Mango consisted of mango parfait, hazelnut dacquoise, Thai basil-mango emulsion
And finally, a simple small bite of something sweet.
We finished our meal with plenty of time to spare. As we headed back to the hotel to grab our suitcases to go home, we stopped by the Halal Guys to pick up take-out for dinner later on the train (or plane, in her case). Our dinner would be a very different experience compared to our lunch.
It had been a very successful trip overall. The food we had was all really, really good. It was fun to explore so many Asian restaurants this time around. We also spent a good amount of time at both the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. I highly recommend going to both. Definitely set aside a generous chunk of time for the museum (2-3 hours), because you'll want to have enough time to really absorb and reflect on everything.
And that ends the Girls' Trip to New York! series. It was a short series mostly because the trip was short. Current ongoing series are An Exploration of Asian Food in Vegas, Hola Madrid! Exploring Spain's Incredible Food, and the ever ongoing Around the World Birthday Extravaganza Trip (which I really need to make a goal of finishing before my next birthday!)
155 W 51st St
New York, NY 10019