Le Bernardin Wins Luxist's Editors' Choice Award for Best in Fine Dining
Considered "a legend in fine dining", Le Bernardin is one of the most influential seafood restaurants in America, if not the entire world. The midtown Manhattan restaurant holds three stars from the formidable The Michelin Guide and has a coveted four-star status from the New York Times.
Le Bernardin lives up to all that is expected from one of the finest restaurants in the world. From the exceptional food to the understated elegance of its dining room and formal, yet friendly service, Le Bernardin is the whole package, and thus it has been selected as Luxist's Editors' Choice Award Winner for the Best in Fine Dining.
A seafood restaurant with French roots, Le Bernardin's Executive Chef and co-owner is Eric Ripert. Born in Antibes and trained in France, the award-winning chef's background is impressive and includes stints at such legendary restaurants as the Tour D'Argent in Paris. He has worked with and learned from some of the most famous chefs around, including Joel Robuchon and Jean-Louis Palladin. A student no longer, Ripert is now considered one of their peers. "Ripert is unquestionably the finest seafood chef in the world," wrote Alan Richman in his article The Seven Temples of the Food World in the October 2007 issue of GQ.
Gallery: Le Bernardin in New York
Ripert came to the U.S. in 1989 to work as sous chef at Jean Louis in the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. In 1991 he moved to New York to work briefly as sous chef under David Bouley before being recruited to join Le Bernardin when he was only 26. Only three years later, Ripert was named Le Bernardin's Executive Chef. He has penned several cookbooks, including Le Bernardin Cookbook (Clarkson Potter, 1998), A Return to Cooking (Artisan, 2009) and On the Line (Artisan, 2008). Ripert won the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef in 2003, beating out such impressive chefs as Mario Batali, Nobu Matsuhisa, Tom Colicchio and Alfred Portale.
Ripert is known for his classical techniques as well as for his love of the exotic and adventurous. Ripert's menu is extensive and includes such delectable dishes as warm lobster carpaccio, smoked yellow fin tuna, "prosciutto", bread crusted red snapper, crispy black bass and whole red snapper baked in rosemary and thyme salt crust. There are several tasting menus from which to choose, including Le Bernardin's Tasting Menu, which costs $138 per person, or $225 with wine pairing, per person. The Chef's Prix Fixe dinner costs $185 per person, or $325 with wine paring.
The mid-town Manhattan restaurant is known for more than just Ripert's extensive contributions. It is beautifully and tastefully decorated with an elegant dining room featuring wood accents as well as an abundant supply of gorgeous fresh flowers for which the restaurant reportedly spends $12,000 a month. The restaurant is also known for its extensive wine list and dessert menu. Aldo Sohn, its Wine Director/Chef Sommelier, recently won "best Sommelier in the World", a WSA competition held in Rome, Italy, while Michael Laiskonis, Le Bernardin's Pastry Chef, won the 2007 James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef.
Le Bernardin has been an institution in Manhattan for nearly a quarter of a century. Co-owner, Miguy Le Coze opened the restaurant in 1986. Only three months after its grand opening, Le Bernardin was awarded a four star rating from the New York Times---an unprecedented record. The restaurant deservedly still holds that lofty rating today.
Le Bernardin is located at 155 West 52st Street between 6th and 7th Avenues. It is open for lunch Monday to Friday from 12:00 pm to 2:30 pm. Dinner is served Monday to Thursday from 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm and from 5:30 pm to 11:00 pm Friday and Saturday. Reservations can be made by calling (212) 554-1515.