Saturday, September 09, 2006

The sauciest meal ever!

We had several menus to choose from at Le Bernardin and we opted for the Chef’s Tasting Menu. DD encouraged me to go for the wine pairing as well – well, when in New York…

We were led to our table early, which was a great relief as I was desperately trying not to remember that it was 2 o’clock in the morning for me. And we must have managed, as we were eventually the last to leave the restaurant.

Our first little amuse gueule was a tiny pot of lobster in a black truffle butter – a fabulous start! And then onto the main menu:


Foie Grass Terrine; Dashi “ en gelée”; Mâche-Hijiki Seaweed Salad

served with (fortunately not a full glass of) Heribert Boch “Trittenheimer Apotheke” Riesling 1990

Very tasty great start and always pleased to see my favourite Mâche.


Royal Osetra Caviar on a Nest of Tagliolini, Quail Egg and Bacon Carbonara Sauce

with Kistler Chardonnay 2004

This was totally stunning, I really loved this and DD and I immediately said we’d have liked another little tasty Carbonara nest – yummy!


Spicy Langoustine Sambal; Chayote and Pear Julienne

with Prager “Gruner Veltiner” 2004

Chayote is a kind of Mexican gourd or squash and went very well with the tangy langoustine.


Olive Oil Poached Hawaiian Escolar; Grapes and Sweet and Sour Saffron Shallot Verjus-Lemon Grass Emulsion

with Chateau Smith Haut-Lafitte Blanc 2000

This was a really delicate tuna with a subtle lemon grass sauce and the first of several airings of our silver sauce spoon. And I still haven’t discovered why there’s a little notch in the spoon.


Barely Cooked Wild Alaskan Salmon; Chanterelle and Black trumpet in a Wild Mushroom Pot au Feu

with Vosne-Romanée “Beaux Monts” Domaine Rion 2001

Another really tasty mushroom-y sauce accompanied by another sauce spoon.


Surf and Turf of Crispy Pork belly and Skate Wing; Gingered Squash Mousseline and Brown Butter Flavoured Jus

with Gigondas, Santa Duc 2003

And finally, the meat! The crispy pork belly was a wonderful accompaniment to the skate and another sauce! We’ve probably worked our way through an entire canteen of cutlery by now.


Milk Chocolate Pot de Crème, Caramel Foam, Maple Syrup, Maldon Sea Salt

This was totally amazing and probably the star of the meal. The waiter was especially excited to serve this as he’d probably experienced the huge appreciation of this little pre dessert. He gave us explicit instructions on how to consume it, explaining that the spoon should be dipped into the egg shell and we should carefully spoon a little of each level ending with the Maldon sea salt. Seriously gorgeous! And no sauce!


Yuzu Cream, Caramelized Rice, Grapefruit, Green Tea Ice Cream, Crisp Meringue

Tokaji Aszu “5 Puttonyos” Domaine Disznoko 1999

This was really refreshing and the caramelized rice was really magnificent. Another amazing creation! And a delicious dessert wine.


Dark Chocolate, Cashew and Caramel Tart, Red Wine Reduction, Banana and Malted Rum Milk Chocolate Ice Cream

This was not part of the Chef’s Tasting Menu but the final dessert on ‘Le Bernardin Tasting Menu’ but I’d explained to our waiter that I would really appreciate a chocolate dessert with our meal, so he delivered this and the Yuzu-Green Tea. I thought he would substitute but clearly he could see a couple of avid eaters so we had both! It was very delicious and gave me my yearned for chocolate hit. I left the bananas to David though!

And just in case we hadn't eaten enough we had a plate of beautiful petit fours - there was a yummy soft chocolate truffle-y thing, a crispy macaroon, a tiny berry tart, a white chocolate case filled with a delciate apricot sauce and a nutty biscuit-y thing. All really delicious!

This was a scrumptious meal with excellent service, well worth all the accolades and stars. The only tiny criticism I had, and I admit it is a totally unfair criticism to give a seafood restaurant, is that I really hankered after a little more meat. Clearly my carnivorous roots are showing!

I am still not crazy about the decor of the restaurant - but with food like this, who cares!

Le Bernardin has a very much deserved three fishy forks and if I had a section praising fabulous sauces – it would be there also!

1 comment:

DD said...

A dinner divine! And with such wonderful company could I have asked for more? Not!

J, thanks for such a lovely evening. Oh, and the bike ride home!