Sunday, August 24, 2014

Restaurant Review: Le Bernardin's 3 Course Lunch Prix-Fixe

Le Bernardin
155 West 51st Street, New York 10019
I took a day off and took my sister, Liz, to Le Bernardin for lunch as a belated birthday present. I had been told by my friends that at $76/person for a 3-course meal, this was a great deal. While it may be hard to believe that a $76 lunch could be considered a great deal, this truly was a delicious meal and something I would do again.
Yu Sister Date for Liz's Birthday!
We started off with a salmon dip served with crispy sourdough toast, compliments of the kitchen. I can't quite remember what was in the dip aside from mayonnaise, but it had great flavor and the salmon was extremely tender. My only complaint was that there was too much dip for the amount of toast so I ended up eating the rest of the dip with my bread.
I had one small pet peeve here: 5 slices of toast for 2 people...who doesn't get one?
Then came the assortment of bread. Liz and I thought everything sounded good, so it was hard to decide what to start with. The good thing was when you finished with your bread, they came around to offer you something else from the selection. By the end of the meal we had tried the sesame basil, sundried tomato turmeric, rosemary foccacia, buckwheat, and cranberry walnut. While they were all good, the buckwheat stood out as my favorite as I loved the nutty flavor and chewy texture.
I made Liz think about the bread for a long time so I could take a photo. Intense selection!
For appetizers, Liz got the Salmon (Wild Salmon Tartare with Harissa Aioli, Saffron Pickled Shallots, and Charred Lemon Vinaigrette), and I got the Octopus (Warm Octopus "Carpaccio", Leek Compote, Peruvian Anticucho Sauce).  Both were good, but the Salmon was better. The octopus was tender and I enjoyed the sauce, but I missed the char I usually enjoy on octopus. I find that if the outside isn't crispy, I find the texture to be a bit slimy. The salmon tartare had an excellent texture and a great flavor.

For our entrees, Liz got the Lobster (Pan-roasted Lobster, Baby Leeks, Sunchoke Puree, Red Wine "Sauce Americaine"). I got the Striped Bass (Wild Striped Bass, Bhutanese Red Rice, Green Papaya Salad, Ginger-Red Wine Sauce). While the texture of the Lobster was very good and, overall, the dish is solid, I felt as though the flavor paled in comparison to the Striped Bass. The bass was tender and the red wine sauce was All I wanted to do was lick  my plate clean - which I refrained from doing.

Striped Bass, sauce was poured table side.
Finally, dessert, which is usually my least favorite part but they put out two very solid desserts. Liz got the Banana (Roasted Banana Mousse Cake and Ice Cream, Piedmont Hazelnuts), while I got the Exotic Fruit "Pavlova" (Roasted Pineapple, Guava Jam, Yuzu-Coconut Sorbet). The mousse cake was delicious and had a strong banana flavor, which is what you hope for when you order a banana dessert. My "Pavlova" was out of this world good. A little bit on the sweet side, but the combination of the different fruits was mind blowing.

Exotic Fruit "Pavlova" - I could eat this every day.
Overall this restaurant was great. If I had to rate it on a scale of 1-5(best), this would get a 4.5. Excellent service and great food. Something I will definitely do again.

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