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#16 Patrice

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Posted 11 August 2004 - 08:50 PM

If I remember corectly: milk chocolate crème brûlée on the bottom, maple caramel on top finished with caramel foam and maldon salt

#17 Wilfrid1

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Posted 11 August 2004 - 08:56 PM

Thanks for the clarification, and welcome.
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#18 Guest_Aaron T_*

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Posted 13 August 2004 - 10:01 PM

Maybe my fellow expert can help out on the charming "eggs/humor" pre-dessert - I remember what it looked like, but I've gone blank on the main flavor.

I believe the egg contained maple syrup as well as caramel and also had some salt crystals in it to combine the sweet and savory. It was a nice gift from the chef.

Wilf & I met the pastry chef during our tour of the kitchens. He seemed very knowledgable. We were also given an extensive tour of the private dining rooms, which were smaller than I would have guessed but very nicely appointed.

I will belatedly comment on the rest of our delicious lunch:

Amuse:
Diced salmon in a large bowl and toast to put it on. This was a very generous serving of salmon - much more than we could finish. A deliciously generous way to begin the meal! :huh:

App: TUNA (from the simply raw section of the menu)
Layers of Thinly Pounded Yellowfin Tuna, Foie Gras and Toasted Baguette, Shaved Chives and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

This dish was good when you got the tuna, foie and baguette all in one bite. Otherwise the tuna was less exciting. The tuna was a flat pounded piece draped over the flat baguette and foie.

Entree: BLACK BASS
Crispy Chinese Spiced Black Bass in a Peking Duck Bouillon Scented with Maitake and Enoki Mushrooms

This dish was great. The spicing was very flavorful and the rich duck broth added a lot to the dish. I enjoyed the broth on its own as well even after finishing up the bass. I didn't eat many of the mushrooms as I am not a huge fan.

Dessert: YUZU
Yuzu Lemon Tart and Ginger Parfait topped with a Thin Caramel Tuile

The dessert was also great. I enjoy citrus flavors in dessert, particularly lemon, lime and yuzu so I was excited to try this concoction.

I really enjoyed all the food, my one suggestion would have been to have the tuna on the tuna app just cover the foie and baguette rather than cover twice as much of the plate - because the tuna by itself was just not interesting enough.

A friend of mine is associated with this restaurant and we received fine service and that is why they insisted on giving us a tour of the complete facilities. :D

#19 Caseophile

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Posted 23 November 2004 - 05:12 PM

I'm going to revive this old topic (the very first topic, I think?) as it looks like this weekend will mark my first visit to Le B in a long while. In my experience, Le B is in very poor form on weekend nights, especially late, but I'm still excited, as I've been looking forward to returning.

Can anyone share any recent experiences? Does anyone know the current menu? In the interest of reciprocity, here are my perennial favorites at Le B, which I'm sure are still on the menu: fluke ceviche (four little bowls of beautifully balanced and radically different ceviches that are bound to play havoc with whatever wine you've chosen to order), and shrimp ravioli (I believe it was Cabrales who aptly noted that the shrimp are more firm than they could be, and contribute little intrinsic flavor to the dish, but I maintain that the wild mushroom, foie gras, and truffle sauce is so delicious that I'd be happy to order just a cup of it with just a few rolls to sop it up).

I never did settle on a favorite main course after they retired my favorite lobster dish. Wilfrid's description of the snapper sounds intriguing, and I'm sure it's still available.

Anyone have other recommendations?

I learned fairly recently that Le B has a new pastry chef, a gentleman who formerly worked at Trio. I must apologize for forgetting his name, if I ever knew it. In any case, I'm excited to try his work, especially as I was such a fan of Trio, and dessert always seemed the weakest course at Le B.

#20 Wilfrid1

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Posted 23 November 2004 - 05:23 PM

I see we have two Le Bernardin threads, which should perhaps be combined. This thread has some more recent comments, including a discussion of some of Michael Laiskonis's desserts.
Elect-a-lujah

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If the author could go around the place hitting random readers with a rubber hammer, the Pink Pig would still be worth a visit.

#21 Lippy

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Posted 23 November 2004 - 05:34 PM

Done.

#22 Caseophile

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Posted 23 November 2004 - 07:19 PM

Thanks Lippy - I didn't see that thread.

#23 cabrales

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Posted 23 November 2004 - 09:47 PM

Wilfrid's description of the snapper sounds intriguing, and I'm sure it's still available....
I learned fairly recently that Le B has a new pastry chef, a gentleman who formerly worked at Trio.  I must apologize for forgetting his name, if I ever knew it.  In any case, I'm excited to try his work, especially as I was such a fan of Trio, and dessert always seemed the weakest course at Le B.

Caseophile -- As the recipient of the other half of the red snapper, it is quite interesting. Be careful you order the right one, as there are sometimes more than one red snapper dish; it's the one requiring advance notice and two diners.

The new pastry chef at Le Bernardin is from Tribute -- Michael Laiskonis. He moved prior to the chef from Tribute publicly announcing a move to Las Vegas.

http://www.freep.com...21_20040921.htm

Here are my views on current dishes:

-- TUNA. Layers of Thinly Pounded Yellowfin Tuna, Foie Gras and Toasted Baguette, Shaved Chives and Extra Virgin Olive Oil -- This pleased me. :D I am going to sample this again soon.

-- WILD SALMON. Barely Cooked Salmon on a Bed of Thinly Shaved Asparagus; Sunchoke Purée and Morel-Truffle Sauce -- This dish has been very good at times, and then only average at other times. Salmon is nicely cooked. Query, if this dish is on the menu, what sort of preserved morels are being included. :D The LeB site is likely just not fully updated.

I am beginning to think that LeB might be better, including with respect to consistency, than Bouley/Danube.

#24 Caseophile

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Posted 24 November 2004 - 03:45 AM

The new pastry chef at Le Bernardin is from Tribute -- Michael Laiskonis.  He moved prior to the chef from Tribute publicly announcing a move to Las Vegas.

Aha. I see that I received erroneous information, regarding a pastry chef from Trio. Or perhaps I was confabulating, in a delirious state induced by my acute need of an Achatz meal.

-- TUNA. Layers of Thinly Pounded Yellowfin Tuna, Foie Gras and Toasted Baguette, Shaved Chives and Extra Virgin Olive Oil -- This pleased me.  I am going to sample this again soon.

This one sounds like a winner, although I also observed Aaron T's comment about the tuna itself being uninteresting. A few years ago, Le B's standard amuse was a tuna tartare that was just about the best I ever tasted. When they replaced it, I began ordering various raw tuna appetizers, hoping I'd recreate that dish. But, while the texture of the fish was always excellent, the flavor was underwhelming, and my tuna tartare never resurfaced.

I am beginning to think that LeB might be better, including with respect to consistency, than Bouley/Danube


That was always my feeling, although I never made much of a habit of visiting Bouley, and I haven't even been to Danube recently enough. To be more specific, I believe that the various dishes on the menu at Le B are more even in quality, though most don't hit the highs that I've found on Danube's menu (nor the lows... oh, that goulash...) That said, I think the night-to-night quality of particular dishes was perhaps a little more stable at Danube, at least when weekends are considered. Danube is weekend-proof, and that's a rare virtue. However, late on weekend nights, I've often seen Le B's dining room degenerate into a horrific, cacophonous zoo, packed with rowdy partiers who couldn't care less whether they're eating sea bass or mozzarella sticks. The noise level is so high that it's difficult to hear someone speaking from across a two-person table. The demands on the waitstaff are so insurmountable that it's virtually impossible to attract a waiter's attention. It seems like much of the kitchen staff just gives up and goes home. I guess it's the inevitable result of the combination of a very high Zagat rating, and a convenient midtown location.

#25 SFJoe

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Posted 24 November 2004 - 06:04 AM

Query, if this dish is on the menu, what sort of preserved morels are being included.

I haven't been to Le B in ages, but as a generality there is no demerit to dried morels over fresh, except as regards texture and the suitability of the mushroom for presentations such as stuffing. The flavors can even be better than fresh morels.

This is also true for some but not all other dried mushrooms. Many savants prefer dried porcini to fresh. There are various details and footnotes to this that I will skip for the moment.

#26 cabrales

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Posted 24 November 2004 - 06:14 AM

Caseophile -- The Le B lunch with the red snapper:

I had a good-plus lunch at Le Bernardin. The price was reasonable, at $108/person with tax and tips included. The three-course prix fixe is $48/person during lunch, and includes a number of dishes on the higher-priced dinner menu. Service was appropriate.

A salmon spread was brought for certain bread slices, although no amuses were furnished. The spread was slightly fishy for my tastes.

-- GEODUCK
Thinly Sliced Geoduck Clam Simply Marinated with Wasabi-Lime Dressing, with a glass of Deutz.

The geoduck was good. Presented in a loose circular mound, the geoduck was marinated in a bit of olive oil and wasabi (but with some consistency). Nice and fresh and allowing the geoduck flavors to be communicated. I liked this dish, and I generally like geoduck as a product.

The restaurant dubs the Deutz champagne by the glass "Cuvee Le Bernardin", but it's just the regular Deutz Brut. When I asked one of the maitre d' level personnel whether the Cuvee Le Bernardin was similar to the Brut or the Blanc de Blancs, he inaccurately told me the latter. In fact, it's just the Brut with a little sticker referring to Le Bernardin on the front (unlike other restaurant cuvees, like Jean Bardet's private label champagne or the Lucas Carton Cuvees made by Vranken, which has the restaurant name on the label).

-- RED SNAPPER
Whole Red Snapper Baked in Rosemary and Thyme Salt Crust, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a Casserole of the Day’s Market Vegetables (24 Hours Notice; Two Person Minimum)

This was a dish that my dining companion and I had been interested in sampling for some time. It requires two people, and, together with the ex-Delouvrier specal chicken dish, had been featured in an old NYT article describing dishes requiring advance notice to the applicable restaurants.

A large whole red snapper is rubbed/stuffed (?) with herbs that included rosemary and thyme. Skin/head/tail on, and with lemon slices placed underneath its gills. Before cooking, it is encased in a thick crust that includes breadcrumbs and some type of salt. The resulting item is brought to the diner with the crust slightly cut and the whole fish still inside. Very strong rosemary aromas emanated from the fish, to the point where I wondered whether the rosemary was too strong for the dish.

Fortunately, when presented to us shortly afterwards (each person receiving a large 1/2 of the fish, deskinned, but a whole filet), the rosemary was a lot less evident. This is an appropriately subtle dish, surprisingly given the rosemary. There is a nice utilizaton of olive oil (medium consistency) in the saucing, which augments the red snaper in a subtle way. The red mullet tastes like the intrinsic flavor of the fish. The only noticeable accompaniments are a little bit of herb on the top, two strands of lemon peel and a few (but significant to the dish composition) pieces of crunchy, pungent garlic (very slightly cooked). When bitten into, the garlic gave the dish an unexpected jolt.

The vegetables included haricot vert, cauliflower, green asparagus tips, etc. They were dressed in a very little bit of butter, and a jus that had noticeable amounts of lemon. Appropriately not overcooked.

We took in the red snapper with a glass of white Graves.

-- BLACKCURRANT
Black currants preserved, creme mousseline, warm chestnut sabayon.

This was fairly good, although I would not have expected black currant to pair well with chestnut. In general, I am not fond of desserts as a category and so it's harder for me to evaluate a dessert.

#27 Robert Schonfeld

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Posted 24 November 2004 - 02:25 PM

Shaved Chives

How does one shave a chive? Thanks.
They're really rockin' on Bandstand.



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#28 Wilfrid1

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Posted 24 November 2004 - 02:40 PM

Carefully.

I actually prefer lunch at Le Bernardin, which I find a very relaxing experience. Also, less concerned about failing to eat meat.
Elect-a-lujah

***Every Monday***At the Sign of the Pink Pig.

If the author could go around the place hitting random readers with a rubber hammer, the Pink Pig would still be worth a visit.

#29 Orik

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Posted 24 November 2004 - 03:01 PM

The restaurant dubs the Deutz champagne by the glass "Cuvee Le Bernardin", but it's just the regular Deutz Brut.

I plan to start marketing my private label champagne soon. It'll just be prosecco with a sticker on it. I plan to charge $100/bottle. PM me for advance orders.

Posted Image
sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#30 cabrales

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Posted 24 November 2004 - 04:05 PM

If I were to lend my name to a private label champagne, it would be [my real initial] de Salon, a private label of S de Salon.