There aren’t many summer Fridays left when we cut out of the work early and get a longer weekend. I, for one, have not really taken advantage of them this summer the way that I wanted to. But let me tell you the story of a couple of Fridays ago when I experienced the perfect summer ditch day. Located in midtown, surrounded by skyscrapers, is the well-known restaurant, Le Bernardin. Famed chef and owner Eric Ripert, serves up exquisite classically French seafood dishes with sauces so perfect you will lick your plate afterwards. Now, as much as I love this restaurant, I have only been once for a very special occasion in which I was not paying. As big of a foodie as I am, a meal here is basically handing over your rent check. That being said, I do like to indulge in New York’s best restaurants for lunch. The prices are always cheaper and, if it is a restaurant as sophisticated as Le Bernardin, the service will be impeccable.
When researching where to go for our special summer Friday lunch, I was very happy to hear about The Lounge attached to Le Bernardin’s dining room. This was the perfect way to dine at this legendary eatery. The Lounge menu is reasonably priced and I never once felt that I wasn’t apart of the full restaurant experience. There is limited seating, but I had no issues walking in around 1 o’clock without a reservation. Let’s get to the most important part: the food. Take note, that this is a classic French restaurant and the portions may look small, the plate may look bare, but the flavors and execution are flawless. When my husband and I have a fancy date, we often order different things in order to enjoy more dishes, and this was no exception. For appetizers we ordered the Yellow Fin Tuna with a Spiced Ginger Salad and a Salmon with a Horseradish Sauce. Both dishes were raw and when I say that Eric Ripert is a master of sauces I am not exaggerating. For our entrees, we had a lovely Sautéed Merluza with Grilled Eggplant and Herbes de Provence Red Wine Sauce. But the star of the day was my husband’s Striped Bass dish with Leek Compote and Bouillabaisse Broth. It was so delicious that he was swatting my fork away because I couldn’t get enough of the rich sauce. To top the meal off, we savored our fabulous cocktails and indulged in Banana Mousse Cake.
The Lounge at Le Bernadin is a wonderful excuse to get dressed up and share a unique experience together. If you like classically French cuisine and seafood, I highly recommend you go for lunch in The Lounge for a special occasion. Don’t forget that summer Fridays will be a thing of the past come Labor Day, so make the rest count!
Le Bernardin is located at: 155 West 51st Street, New York 10019, www.le-bernardin.com and to make a reservation visit OpenTable’s NYC restaurant page: http://www.opentable.com/new-york-city-restaurants
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