New York, USA
What to order: Le Bernardin offers several tasting menu options. The classic four-course menu is split into three sections – Almost Raw, Barely Touched and Lightly Cooked – with dishes marrying French and global influences, especially those from Asia. Think tuna tartare with sea urchin toast and a drizzled jus; and peached lobster with chanterelle mushrooms and baby turnips.
What’s the vibe: Completely refurbished in 2011, the dining room is a comfortable, modern space with waiters in Nehru-style jackets carefully presiding over the white tablecloth dining room’s well-heeled clientele.
A brief history: Established in Paris nearly 50 years ago by brother and sister Gilbert and Maguy Le Coze, Le Bernardin expanded to New York in 1986. Decorated New York chef Eric Ripert has run the kitchen for more than 20 years, following the untimely passing of Gilbert.
A word on wine: Le Bernardin’s long-time wine director Aldo Sohm has earned a reputation as one of Manhattan’s top sommeliers, having received the James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine Service in 2009. Expanding upon Le Bernardin’s French-focused list of wines that complement fish, in 2014 he and Ripert opened upscale Aldo Sohm Wine Bar, just steps away.