Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Reprieve

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Like a fine wine, we all just get better with age - more educated, more patient, more sophisticated - the list goes on and on. So while we may like to think we’re impervious to time, the Foodies in NYC have aged. We’ve grown up; fallen in and out of love; moved on and moved out, but still managed to keep a big space in our hearts for the one thing that brought us all together...New York.

I personally LOVE New York. It’s where I’ve always wanted to be, to “make it”, to walk the cobblestone streets and work in an office high in the sky. It’s where I came to find new friends and forget enemies. And the absolute best thing about it is that the city can be that exact thing or something completely different to someone else. New York can be anything to anyone. It’s donuts can be croissants. It’s bagels are literally why the “everything” topping was invented. New York is ramen and dim sum, and tapas and paella, and tacos and...PIZZA, oh god is it pizza!  New York, to me, is perfect.

So when a dear family friend “challenged” me to organize dinner at one of the best restaurants in New York, as a foodie I have to say I was quite intimidated. For those of you that may not have heard of this little place, here are some stats:
  • One of only seven restaurants in New York with three Michelin stars
  • Voted by Zagat as NYC’s Most Popular and No. 1 for Food
  • Ranked the #1 restaurant in New York

Simple stated, Le Bernardin is a culinary mecca.

So scheduling around over a dozen 30-ish birthdays, five weddings, four funerals, and numerous other engagements, we finally booked the meal of a lifetime.

Upon arrival, the restaurant sparkled. It may have just been my utter and unadulterated excitement but from the kind greeting we received to the gorgeous place settings as we took our seats, the entrance alone set the tone for the rest of the night.

Now, I could go on and on about every single bite and morsel of flavor and texture but I also believe that like life, a good meal can only be truly seen, felt, heard, smelled, and of course tasted, first hand. I will however tell you that the Chef’s Tasting Menu BLEW MY MIND. Paired with the most delectable wines on the planet, the meal brought me to tears (literally, I cried when I took one bite of the Grilled Escolar with a soy-lemon emulsion).

But taking emotion out of it and getting down to brass tacks, the meal was perfectly executed. Kicking off with a tangy yet sweet Tairagi Clam in an apple ginger broth (pictured above) and moving on to a savory Lobster “Lasagna” with truffle butter (pictured left), the meal sung like a perfectly harmonized choir.

All six courses were complemented by an encore of perfect “peared” desserts including a Roasted Bosc Pear with a olive oil emulsion and a trio of chocolate mousse truffles. I could not imagine the experience being any more perfect...until the restaurant "captain" brought us into the back to meet Chef de Cuisine Chris Mueller orchestrating a kitchen that resembled a well-choreographed ballet, with each section moving in absolute synchronization. Capping off the night we took a quick stop at the Aldo Sohm Wine Bar, to end the night on a high note.

While I know I’m not breaking down any barriers or uncovering a new civilization that will change the world we live in today with this post, I can honestly say that this meal was life-changing. It reminded me why I love New York so much and that like my city - our city - New York is and always will be an experience for each and every one of us that will shape our existence. So while the world may be our oyster, New York is its perfect pearl. So, thanks for all the food memories New York, I can't wait to indulge in more of them!

155 West 51st Street, New York, NY 10019

Special thanks to our "dear friends," Vince and Grace DiDonato for sharing this New York experience with us.