A Taste of Fine Dining at Le Bernardin

When I first moved to New York over a year ago, I immediately began making a list of restaurants I wanted to visit before leaving the city. I compiled suggestions from blogs and recommendations from others into a list that seemed long but incredibly intriguing. A month later, I looked back at the list and realized I’d unknowingly compiled a list of the most revered, most expensive restaurants in the city.

Needless to say, I didn’t have the money or desire to dine at each of these acclaimed restaurants. I wanted to eat good food in New York City, but to me that usually means no-frills, authentic, down-home cookin’.

But every once in a while, and foodie must be wined and dined and enjoy a taste of the food that’s been crafted as carefully as a Rumi poem or a Michelangelo masterpiece. Last month, I was lucky enough to indulge in a 4-course meal at Le Bernardin, New York’s 3 Michelin-starred seafood restaurant.

I realized that I wish amuse bouches, or “snacks before dinner” (not a literal translation), were a part of every meal.


I had my first bite of foie gras, tucked beneath thinly pounded tuna.


Chowder isn’t always just chowder, sometimes it’s a bowlful of holy wowness (there really is a lack of words here).


Crispy black bass was the least memorable dish of the night, but let me tell you, I remember it quite well.


Deconstructed chocolate parfait? Yes please!


This is the first Michelin-starred restaurant I’ve eaten at, so I can’t rightly compare it to anything else, but I will say each bite made me more anxious for the next, and going to the bathroom became a fun game of seeing if someone would be there to push my chair in for me each time I returned (they were). For those who don’t eat at such restaurants regularly, I think fine dining is about the overall experience more than anything else. It’s about feeling like the world revolves around you for a few sweet hours. It’s about eating food that lends sensations you’ve never before experienced. And it’s about not being able to stop thinking about the meal for a week or two after.

Maybe my original list of must-visit NYC restaurants needs some revising. My favorite revision of all will be putting a big red check mark next to Le Bernardin.


  1. Char says:

    When I first saw a sign for Michilan Tires, I though they were produced in Michigan. After all, tires and autos seemed to be partnered and the colors in their ads were the Amazing Maize and Blue, signature hues of the UofM. (I did wonder what the Pillsbury Dough Boy was doing in their ads.) Then when I learn of Michelin Rated Restaurants, I wondered what a tire company had to to with rating restaurants. Now it all becomes clear–you need tires for your car to drive to the restaurant–unless you live in NYC, in which case, you just need the will and some money. (I’m having 3 star turkey burgers for dinner. ahahah) Glad the food and the memories were as promised!

  2. Sasha says:

    Congrats! Making it to Le Bernadin is quite a feat.
    I have also visited very few swanky restaurants like this and I must say, of the few times I did make it, I barely remember any of the food. But like you said, it’s ironically not really about the food.

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