Photo: Daniel Krieger
1n 1972, siblings Gilbert and Maguy Le Coze opened the doors to Le Bernardin. The original location was on the Quai de la Tournelle overlooking the River Seine in Paris. Known for its pristine seafood, they dreamt about bringing their restaurant to the streets of New York City. In 1994, that dream became a reality when Le Bernardin opened its doors on West 51st Street where it remains today.
A young chef by the name of Eric Ripert, who was just 29 at the time, opened Le Bernardin in Midtown after forging an enduring alliance with Le Coze, and earning four stars from the New York Times in April of 1995. Critic Ruth Reichl writing, “…most restaurants grow into their stars. Not Le Bernardin: at the ripe old age of three months, it had all four stars bestowed upon it.”
Today Le Bernardin, still led by Ripert, has been refreshed after the pandemic and continues to thrive as it celebrates its Golden Anniversary. It also continues to hold onto those 4 stars. The team is led by Executive Chef Eric Gestel, who has reportedly been nicknamed “little Eric” by the staff, Chef de Cuisine Anthony Gray, Wine Director Aldo Sohm, and Executive Pastry Chef, Olando Soto. There are separate menus for the restaurant and lounge which was part of a 2011 redesign by Bentel & Bentel. There is also a vegetarian menu, but Le Bernadin's pristine seafood still reins supreme.
Food Photos: Nigel Parry
The Chef’s Tasting menu includes seafood delicacies such as Tuna Tartare-Sea Urchin Toast, Poached Lobster with grape-fennel salad, Sautéed Langoustine with truffle cream and mushroom, Warm Scallop “Tartare” with Osetra Caviar Sauce Marinière, and Pan-Roasted Dover Sole with green olives and toasted almonds. Desserts include Pistachio Praliné with Grand Marnier Bavarois, similar to Bavarian cream.
Photo: Daniel Krieger
Part of Le Bernardin’s good fortune has meant good fortune for New Yorkers as well, thanks to its strong commitment to City Harvest, including sharing 10% of its ticket sales for its 50th Anniversary dinner with the charity.
In an Instagram post, Eric Ripert thanked his team and wrote, “Always moving forward, happy anniversary @lebernardinny! so grateful.” Here is to the next 50 years!
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