155 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 245-2404
Phone: (212) 245-3830
Le Bernardin Restaurant
Bike Parking: No
Attire: Formal (Jacket Required), Formal
Cuisines: Fine Dining, Japanese, Asian, American, French, European, Seafood, Continental
Alcohol: Full Bar, Wine
Takes Reservations: Yes
Outdoor Seating: No
Specialties: American Restaurant, American, American Food
Price Range : Above Average
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03/01/2012Provided by Citysearch -
can eric rupert do wrong? i think not. i was lucky enough to get to come to le bernardin for dinner recently and i was totally blown away. the hamachi was delicate and balanced, the langoustine was meaty without being overpowering, and the lamb was better than anything i've had. swoon!
07/11/2010Provided by Citysearch -
My wife and I have made it a hobby to try as many restaurants in Manhattan as we can, given the city's wide variety of choices. For her round birthday, I wanted to surprise my wife with a truly special place, and I had read and heard a lot about Le Bernardin, so I gave it a shot.
To sum it up: it was a huge disappointment for both of us. The atmosphere is exceptionally stiff, the average age in the (very well populated) dining room was about 60 (I am not exaggerating), and the whole experience felt like dining in a museum. We went for the 4-course menu: the food was very good. That said, food tends to be very good in 95% of Manhattan's upscale restaurants, so that's sort of a given and not really a great differentiator anymore. The price was pretty steep ($300 including tip, and we did not have any alcohol): but again, that's what can be expected....for a great dining experience, which this was clearly not. To be perfectly candid: Le Bernardin feels like the kind of place that upper middle-class people frequent when they think they are rich. For example, I don't think you would find a lot of celebrities in a place like the Bernardin. But you will likely find a lot of people there who think they are, or should be celebrities.
The staff was not exactly unfriendly, but again, they made you feel like they were there to teach the plebs some ""etiquette"" -- which to me, is an utterly ridiculous, old-fashioned, and almost touristy concept.
If you want to spend a few hundred bucks and have a great evening, go to Megu, Kittichai, Tao, Nobu or one of the upscale steakhouses in the city. Spending a lot of money on food in Manhattan is easy, but the results can be vastly different.
11/11/2009Provided by Citysearch -
I haven't been to Le Bernardin recently but I've been wanting to go back for the past 2 years. It's the kind of place that sticks with you, from the taste to the atmosphere to the staff. It's just a wonderful place. The only down fall is that I can't afford to eat here even once a year! But if you can put down a few hundred for a special occasion or person I would recommend going to Le Bernardin as much as you can...and bring me something back!
10/02/2009Provided by Citysearch -
Went for lunch and it was delightful. Had 3 apps, 2 entrees, 3 desserts.
Nicely plated, a couple dishes didnt really wow me for a 4 star restaurant though. I guess I just expected a lot more. The desserts which I had been told by someone else in the food industry, was their best part was eh. I liked 1 out 3. It was the chocolate peanut that was great. citrus-praline sorbet was outstanding. They combined 2 flavors I'm not hot on and made it fabulous.
Chocolate hickory was too much chocolate and not enough hickory. 3rd one I cant recall.
The 6$ capp wasnt good at all for that price. It was literally 80% foam. +there were coffee grounds. I did not finish that. All in all, good for a $240 lunch.
Ill go back for dinner and try again.
07/07/2009Provided by Citysearch -
i was disappointed to see that the 'top chef' entrees were absent from the menu but we were able to find solace in the almost raw (hamachi, geoduck), barely touched (lobster carpaccio, salted cod) and lightly cooked (monkfish) items. aside from an inadvertent gob of icing on the side of my dessert plate the service was flawless, if not notable. trust me, they are quick to rectify their gaffes and apologetic to the point of awkwardness when the slightest tic occurs. based on our experience i am surprised others on this site called them out for sluggish service, considering we were there on a busy Saturday night; maybe they changed their MO in the past few months.
04/05/2009Provided by Citysearch -
I dined here this weekend with my family. We all enjoyed our food. The oysters were the freshest I've had.
Our group ordered many things, from lamb chops, to steak, to red snapper and everything was so delicious.
The desserts were wonderful
It was a bit pricey, but worth the money for such quality.
I will be back again.
03/30/2009Provided by Citysearch -
My boyfriend took me to Le Bernardin for Valentine's Day this year and I can't even describe how wonderful our meal was. Everything we tried melted in our mouths, which is why I guess it is considered one of the best seafood restaurants in the world. I will definitely be returning to Le Bernardin in the future,
02/27/2009Provided by Citysearch -
The stars are strictly for service. Regarding food, I've never in my life had salty kumamotos, these oysters are naturally some of the sweetest ones, so please, how in the world can you screw them up? The scallop appetizer was literary one scallop sliced into 5 pieces as if on a mandolin, as was the octopus. If you break it down it's $60 for both dishes, while a whole pound of those baby octopuses costs $3.99 and something like $18.99 for a pound of scallops. In general I would splurge on great tasting food no matter the quantity, but this was nothing special, my boyfriend even mentioned that he'd trade this octopus for the one I make at home any day... And the place is full! Don't people know any better?
The only thing that was 3 stars was the service - impeccable. I wish the money we spent there would go straight to the waiters, sommeliers and maitre d.
02/25/2009Provided by Citysearch -
Took my Mom here for dinner--she was not happy. OK the food was not bad but they barely gave you any. I understand that 4 star restaurants are not buffets but the amount of food I received at this establishment was tiny compared to other fine dining restaurants Ive gone to. The service staff was impeccable, wonderful cutlerly and china, the ambiance is pretty but not original. Lastly, here were no 'extras' that would cause me to visit this restaurant over the competition. I love seafood and here I just didnt get much of if. Spend your hard earned money elsewhere
02/20/2009Provided by Citysearch -
No complaints at all about the food--it was outstanding. Each dish we had was excellent and some were even better than that. I could have done with only 3 courses instead of 4 and still been full, but it was nice to taste a wider variety of items. The desserts were very good as well, which is yet another thing that makes Le Bernardin stand out from the seafood crowd.
It isn't cheap though--$109 for the 4-course menu and more than that for tasting menus.
The only complaint I had was that the service was pretty slow. We waited roughly 30 minutes between the first appetizer and the second, and while the food was certainly worth waiting for I would still have preferred to get to it a bit quicker.
01/30/2009Provided by Citysearch -
It's funny that an average New Yorker like me can post a review for an establishment with a reputation as one of the finest in the world. But thank goodness for the internet.
My new wife and I went to Le Bernardin to close out our honeymoon celebration. To say we both enjoyed the tasting menu with wine accompaniments would be an understatement. This wasn't dinner, it was a dining experience. Basically it was the finest of our lives, we loved the food, atmosphere, and service.
FYI - spectacular dining experiences cost a lot of money. But it was the most special of occasions so well worth it.
11/25/2008Provided by Citysearch -
my husband took me here today for my birthday. he booked a good month in advance by phone, got a confirmation call a week before the date, ordered a 'surprise' bday cake apart from the prefix desert (he was given a choice, lemon or chocolate, and he chose chocolate) and asked to be seated at a quiet table for two. we got to the restaurant, the maitre' d asked for our name, and then told us that our reservation had been cancelled because we didn't answer the confirmation request (call). my husband and i were in total shock. although my husband explained that he DID in fact confirm, the maitre' d was at first unapologetic and simply replied ""i'll try my best to seat you"". apparently, they outsource their reservations, hence, the screw up. we were told to wait, sat in the bar area for about 20 minutes, given complimentary champagne, and finally were taken to a large table for four in front of the buffet table (where the waiters hang around to get silverware). i suppose we should be thankful we even got a table. the maitre' d was kind enough to come to our table a couple of times to check up on us, which was thoughtful.... but his initial reaction to the mix up was far from welcoming. as for the food, i personally preferred the dishes that were more classical french than japanese inspired, since i'm japanese and i know good flavorful bonito broth (after all, i cook with it everyday). (btw, the kobe beef in the surf and turf entree was tasty but minuscule!) the waiters/servers/sommelier were excellent. in the end though, we were left with a bitter aftertaste. for a $400 - $500 price tag, getting your reservations right and listening to the simple requests of your customers should be a prerequisite. oh btw, i didn't get my bday cake (even though my husband told the maitre' d about it when we first got there). i felt kinda envious of the birthday girl sitting in the table near mine (she got lemon!)
11/09/2008Provided by Citysearch -
This restaurant is an incredible feast for the senses. The atmosphere and food is fantastic. Anything you order on the menu is likely to knock your socks off. Their dessert offerings are impressive as well, the panna cotta , chocolate - peanut & cakes are melt in your mouth. Since this place is on the pricey side, it's an excellent choice for a special celebration.
09/23/2008Provided by Citysearch -
My boyfriend took me for our 2 year anniversary and we had a wonderful evening. We arrived and were promptly seated, he had ordered flowers for me and they were already placed on our table. The food was wonderful. I love seafood and fish and could not decide. EVERYTHING sounded great!
The staff are fantastic, we will absolutely be back for more.
09/12/2008Provided by Citysearch -
We came here for dinner, with a reservation. We were seated immediately. The restaurant looks very nice, with tastefully arranged flowers, and the space is very warm and pleasant. The service is fairly attentive, but not as good as it this restaurant's reputation would suggest. We ordered the four course dinner. The pre-appetizer was very original and tasty. For the first course we had the tuna with foies gras and kampachi tartare. Both were acceptable and nicely presented, but neither was outstanding. For the second course, we had the squash blossoms stuffed with crab and the langoustines. Both were phenomenal - perhaps the best example of each we've ever had. For the third course, we had the surf 'n turf (white tuna and Kobe beef) and monkfish. The monkish was nice but not wonderful. The white tuna was decent and the Kobe beef was very good. The desserts were quite tasty and original, though not out of this world. The assistant sommelier was quite knowledgeable about wine. Overall, this is certainly a fine restaurant that is on par with the upper echelon of New York restaurants. However, it is more expensive than most of its competition, and it doesn't compare to those few truly remarkable places. So, the bottom line is that we enjoyed the dinner here, thought the price was a bit high for what we got, and perhaps were expecting something more magical.
06/26/2008Provided by Citysearch -
Meal: Chef's Tasting Menu with Wine Pairing...
I think this is the best meal I've ever had in my life. I think Eric Ripert should run for President. I think everyone in this world should be able to have a culinary experience like this at least once. I think who needs heaven when there is Le Bernardin.
03/17/2008Provided by Citysearch -
We went to Le Bernardin for the first, and hopefully not the last time on Saturday night. I have never had seafood prepared and presented in such wondrous ways in my life. We opted for the Chef's tasting menu, and I elected to get the paired wines, which was very astute of me, considering the stunning variety of the courses. I felt the service was the most professional I've had in this country, and when considering that I've dined at places like Michael Mina, Babbo, Vong, Eleven Madison Park, and Cyrus, to name but a few, that is no small accomplishment. All of the aforementioned establishments had stellar service, in my view, and yet Le Bernardin still was in a league by itself. Our waiter was obviously French, and the young woman who was our sommelier was obviously American. They both did a wonderful job making us feel comfortable and relaxed, and ensured the pacing of the courses was neither rushed nor slow.
The food itself was a near-religious experience, especially in terms of perfection of cooking technique. The flavors were all so intense, and yet so subtly matched and blended, that I cannot recall anything, anywhere even approaching it on that plane. The wine pairings were, for my personal taste, superb. I cannot even imagine trying to select only one or two wines to go with the seven or eight courses presented. I have never had such a perfectly integrated dining experience in my life. There were no glitches, fumbles, or any faux pas of any sort throughout the evening, and for a brief interval, I felt like the king of New York. If you can afford it, and the expense is enormous for most people, I highly recommend the Chef's Tasting Menu with the recommended paired wines, unless you are such an accomplished and experienced oenophile that you feel challenged to attempt the pairing yourself. Le Bernardin has become to me a standard by which all other restaurants should be judged, especially in the seafood realm. Go there at least one before you die.