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.