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Le Bernardin

Recommended reviews and articles about this restaurant:  Francis Bown  /  DineSite.com  /  The Economist  /  FoodTourist.com  /  Fodors.com  /  Forbes Travel Guide  /  Frommer's Guide  /  GAYOT  /  The Hungry Hedonist  /  L'Internaute (French) /  Luxeat  /  New York Magazine  /  New York Times  /  The Wandering Epicures NEW
 

MICHELIN

NEW YORK TIMES

GAYOT

FORBES GUIDE

18/20

Dinner
Monday to Thursday
5:15 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Friday and Saturday
5:15 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Lunch
Monday to Friday
12 noon to 2:30 p.m.

Closed Sunday

____________

 Chef Eric Ripert

Address:

 

Le Bernardin
155 West 51st Street
The Equitable Building
New York, New York 10019


 

 

 

 

 

Phone:

  (212) 554 1515

Fax:

  (212) 554 1100

Email:

  bernardin@relaischateaux.com
 

Head Chef:

  Eric Ripert
 
Chef Pâtissier:   Michael Laiskonis
 
Chef Sommelier:   Aldo Sohm
 
Dining Room Manager:   Ben Chekroun
 
Owners:   Maguy Le Coze and Eric Ripert
 

Official Site:

[website]

At Le Bernardin, seafood is always the star. From the day this posh restaurant opened in New York City, it was recognized for revolutionizing the way fish was prepared. Chef-owner Gilbert Le Coze and his sister, Maguy, quickly gained an exalted four-star rating for their original, impeccable, exquisite food, which you can now reproduce at home using their recipes.

Le Coze avoided using classic sauces because, lacking professional training, he did not know how to make them. Instead, he created Carpaccio of Tuna, a kind of paper-thin sashimi on a plate, Baked Sea Urchins, and Roast Monkfish on a Bed of Sautéed Savory Cabbage with Bacon, a dish that is both rustic and rich. When Gilbert died in 1994, at just 48, his Chef de cuisine, Eric Ripert, stepped in and has continued to dazzle with his own fish dishes. Ripert, who had a classical Chef's training, is especially innovative in his Poached Lobster in Lemongrass-Ginger Bouillon. If following three pages of meticulously clear instructions for handling the lobsters, puréeing their coral, and much more is not for you, try the salmon fillets served in a magically cream-free but creamy lemon sauce, the Roast Cod Niçoise flavored with basil, capers, and black olives, or the saffron-and-orange-perfumed Fish Soup.

Le Bernardin's desserts are famous, too. A reasonably competent cook can create ecstasy with the Bitter Chocolate Soufflé Cake, lavish with dark chocolate, butter, eggs, and just one tablespoon of flour.

If you read mostly cookbooks, the spirited dialogue between Ripert and Maguy, their anecdotes of culinary adventures, and characteristically Gallic commentary may divert you. Typically, Maguy says, "My favorite way to eat calamari is with a nice green salad. How American!" Seems the French only ate a lettuce salad with meats until nouvelle cuisine came along in the 1970s, and Maguy still considers it an aberration with seafood. Just as her taste has changed, this book may open you to new experiences with seafood. --Dana Jacobi

Eric Ripert, Chef and part owner of New York's Le Bernardin, discovered that as his Chef star rose he drifted far, far away from cooking. A Return to Cooking is his response to this sorry predicament, the result of a self-imposed challenge: to gather together disparate souls--a painter (Valentino Cortazar), a writer (Michael Ruhlman, author of The Making of a Chef and The Soul of a Chef), photographers (Shimon and Tammar Rothstein), and a personal assistant (Andrea Glick, who would write and test the spontaneously created recipes)--and simply cook.

The settings (and fresh food ingredients) are spectacular. Sag Harbor in summer. Puerto Rico in winter. California's Napa Valley in spring. Vermont in fall. Rent a house, shop for food, and make the meals happen. For anyone who has ever wanted to understand how a great cook looks at ingredients and settles on a plan, A Return to Cooking is it. In Puerto Rico the reader is treated to Caramelized Pineapple Crepes with Crème Fraîche; Shrimp with Fresh Coconut Milk, Calabaza, and Avocado; and Seared Tuna with Escabeche of Pear Tomatoes.

What Ripert does with food, the Rothsteins do with photos, Cortazar does with paints, and Ruhlman does with words. The stimulating recipes rise out of a young lifetime of experience. This is a big, lush book (330 pages, 150 recipes, nearly 400 color photos and illustrations) dense with information, technique, and flavor. For anyone who has wandered far from the kitchen and the pleasures inherent in cooking, A Return to Cooking will bring you right back home. --Schuyler Ingle

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