Wilfrid1 Posted March 8, 2004 Share Posted March 8, 2004 Very good $48 prix fixe lunch at Le Bernardin. We had ordered the 24 hour advance notice red snapper (for two people). It is cooked in a salt and breadcrumb crust; presented dramatically, tableside, first in the crust, and then with the crust removed. At this point, the fresh herb steam is overwhelmingly appetizing. The third time it appears, it has been lifted from the bone, plated, and garnished with fresh rosemary and thyme, very thin strips of lemon (or orange?) zest, and crunchy garlic cloves. It is lavishly dressed with EVOO, of a quality good enough to drink. The fish was good, and the garnishes flavorful; on sight, I thought there was too much olive oil, but it worked very well. A side of vegetables - carrots, beans and broccoli - was surprisingly compelling, drizzled as it was with butter and lemon juice. From the appetizers I chose an alleged "bouillabaisse". No such thing, as was obvious from the menu description, but it was good. A very loose crab cake dissolves as the waiter pours a brick red lobster and saffron broth over it. Other ingredients were chubby fresh shrimp, slices of fingerling potato colored bright yellow by the saffron, and little croutons. I chose a dessert which was too sweet for me - my fault; a bombardment of milk chocolate and ice cream and nuts and sticky stuff. Value was enhanced by the full panoply of trimmings: a generous salmon rilettes amuse with toast, a choice of breads, hot madeleines with the coffee. The house champagne by Deutz was disappointing, but the sommelier's recommendation of a white Graves, Chateau Bel-Air (2000 or 2001?) was perfect. The drinks pushed the check up to a ton, but champagne isn't obligatory, and the basic food cost is very reasonable. Service was good, until they got lazy about collecting our money. This remains one of my favorite rooms among Manhattan restaurants - full, but nevertheless tranquil. 2 Quote Link to post Share on other sites
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