Just recently, I was writing about how much I enjoy Le Bernardin.
I would like to note that it says right on their menu that they will not serve Chilean Sea Bass or Blue Fin Tuna as these are endangered species. That is commendable. however, the problem of endangered species is ever expanding and serious. It is sometimes an issue of where the fish are being caught. there was an alarming article in The New York Times about large migrations of humans from Africa due to lack of protein and lack of employment along parts of the African coast. As well, fish in general are being threatened by trawlers from other regions going to foreign--sometimes our--shores. http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,651827,00.html
In a way, it is a case of no good dead goes unpunished. In an effort to save the fish off their shores, the EU and various countries have imposed strict protectionist measures. This has sent their fishing fleets to foreign shores.
No one restaurant can solve the problem and we can only congratulate Le Bernardin and Eric Ripert its chef.
In any case, lets go to pleasure. Le Bernardin has a very interestingly arranged prix fixe menu ($107 and worth every penny). In addition to the desserts in which I seldom indulge, the menu--unlike the Chef's Tasting Menu which has eight course including two desserts--has three sections: "Almost Raw," "Barely Touched" and "Lightly Cooked."
In the first section, I particularly enjoyed the black bass tartare Mediterranean style with olives, citrus, fennel and marjoram. However, for those for whom three fish courses might be too much, there is a mesclun salad with vegetables and balsamic-shallot vinaigrette.
In the second section, I couldn't resist the spicy langoustine curry with hearts of palm meuniere and mango chutney. I should note that it is now okay to eat hearts of palm as forests are no longer destroyed to grow them. instead, they are specially farmed.
In the third section, the wild Alaskan salmon (so much better than farmed) was wonderufl with crisp daikon and enoki salad and baby leeks with wasabi sauce.
From this it is clear that chef Ripert is inventive. Eating makes it clear that he is terrific. There is an excellent selection of wines--red as well as white for those who like me enjoy red with their salmon. Pricely though.
The room is spacious and you can hear your friends. The service is impeccable. Truly, a place for celebration.