The First Meal of 2017- Le Bernardin

I firmly believe that the first restaurant choice in January can set the stage for the entire year ahead.  So this year I decided to pick somewhere classic, a NYC staple that's big and bold yet stood the test of time with quiet elegance.  A place I've talked about trying for years but never quite had the opportunity.  Well if 2016 taught me anything it's that life is short and can change in an instant; so if there's something you really want to do go out and do it. 

So reservation-less I walked into Le Bernardin Monday afternoon and with a completely full house they somehow found a table for me inside that stunning dining room.

To begin an amuse-bouche of vegetables.  A simple but lovely plate of carrot, cauliflower, mushroom and pea pods dotted by a black truffle sauce.

The bread tray followed with a dazzling selection of eight different varieties including classic baguette, pumpernickel, quinoa, raisin and walnut, mulit-grain, pretzel roll and a soft, springy focaccia studded with olives.

Often I'm disappointed by the butter at fine dining establishments, so many places frugally go for a low fat content or serve it entirely too cold to enjoy.  The Le Bernardin butter however was excellent; lightly salted, thick and creamy served room temperature inside a delicate silver capped dish.

I chose the Seafood Pasta for my first course.  Gorgeous strands of Tagliatelle loaded with scallop, crab and lobster then tossed with a creamy black truffle emulsion and shavings of black truffle on top.  I've heard people order two, even three of these dishes in one sitting and I can certainly see why.  The sauce was so wonderfully rich, the black truffle infusing a deep umami flavor into each softly poached piece of seafood.

Crusted Red Snapper with pickled Persian Cucumbers, green curry goat sauce and yogurt emulsion for the second course.  An amazing crisp golden crust on top that retained all the fish's moisture and balanced the spicy creamy sauce with a hint of cilantro.

For dessert a Banana S'more with a rich chocolate cake in the middle oozing with warm chocolate fudge, caramelized banana slices, smoked meringue and coquito sauce.  This picture does not do this dessert justice- it was incredible.  I'm obsessed with anything containing bananas and chocolate but the addition of delicious coquito sauce just put this over the edge.  To finish an espresso and a spongy Chocolate Raspberry Financier. 

Wow- Le Bernardin met my each and every expectation.  The food was exquisite, the service impeccable; I had forgotten how much I miss the table-side pours of sauce that occur at classic French restaurants.  It was an incredible lunch and the perfect way to kick off 2017.  Here's to lots more wonderful meals ahead!

155 West 51st Street at 7th Avenue
New York, NY 10019