Éric Ripert’s exemplary Manhattan seafood emporium
Three stars from our friends at the Guide Rouge. Four stars from The New York Times for nearly 30 years. A constellation of other awards. Its chef appears on everything from David ‘The Wire’ Simon’s drama Tréme to his own award-winning series.
Le Bernardin began in Paris, made its name under Gilbert and Maguy Le Coze in Manhattan – profoundly influencing American restaurant culture along the way – and now, with Éric Ripert at the helm since 1994, has become an international byword for culinary excellence. Its fish cookery is the stuff of renown, combining the technical brilliance of Japanese handling and butchery (ike-jime brain-spiking, cold-chain management) with classical French flair on the stoves.
Le Coze was famed for translating the sushi obsession of the ’80s to the raw-fish-without-borders we savour today, and Ripert specialises in the ‘almost raw’ likes of layers of thinly pounded yellowfin tuna with foie gras and toasted baguette, and ‘barely touched’ lobster lasagne layered between sheets of fine pasta and celeriac spread with truffle butter.
The discreetly polished service in the sleek dining room is equally exemplary. Furthermore, Aldo Sohm is widely considered to be one of the most outstanding sommeliers in America, and his brilliance may now also be tasted at the neighbouring Aldo Sohm Wine Bar.