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http://www.le-bernardin.com As a birthday present Hubby made us reservations to come to NYC and eat at Le Bernadin. Something I have really wanted to do because I really love seafood. Hubby isn't as big of a seafood person, but appreciates it from time to time. I am not sure what wine Hubby ordered, but it was light and fresh and complimented the food perfectly. The bread service was good with a choice of brioche, pretzel, sourdough, foccacio or a few other selections. Although Hubby commented that the sourdough just wasn't like what you could get in San Francisco. We had the following tasting menu: STRIPED BASS Wild Striped Bass Tartare; Baby Fennel, Zucchini Crispy Artichoke, Parmesan Sauce Vierge (This was really good, fresh, nice balance of acid.) CRAB Chilled Peekytoe Crab Salad; Baby Radish and Avocado Green Apple-Lemongrass Nage (The sauce really made this fresh and good, it made the flavors really pop.) SCALLOP Warm Scallop “Carpaccio”; Snowpeas and Shiitake Lime-Shiso Broth (My least favorite dish, although the broth was really well composed.) HALIBUT Poached Halibut; Glazed Baby Bok Choy,Bergamot-Basil Emulsion (Very nicely cooked, dense and perfectly flavored, really simple, and had a basil foam that was actually good and appropriately used to thicken the other basil sauce in a nice way.) MONKFISH Roasted Monkfish; Wilted Mustard Greens-Daikon “Sandwich” Adobo Sauce (Also perfectly cooked, the sauce on this dish was so good you could eat it as a broth.) STRAWBERRY Strawberry Sorbet, Mascarpone Cream, Basil (Fresh and a nice pop of flavor.) BLACK FOREST Dark Chocolate Cremeux, Kirsch Bavaroise, Belgian Kriek Beer Sorbet (Didn't prefer this dish at all, just didn't do it for me chocolate wise or otherwise.) Overall I thought the dishes were executed perfectly, although dessert was kind of a let down. The petit fours with the check were ok, but again would have expected better flavors, with the flavors overall being so well thought out. The sauces were absolute perfection. There wasn't any real wow, so don't necessarily expect that, and it certainly wasn't as playful as some more nouveau fine dining places, but everything was executed with a lot of precision and you didn't leave stuffed, but had eaten enough, which was a nice feeling. If the a la carte dishes are the same size, I might have left hungry with only four courses, but maybe the portions are bigger? I really liked the decor and the space between tables, it was more relaxing and peaceful than many restaurant experiences. I am glad I did it, would I go back- I am not sure. It was good, the sauces were just stellar and something you rarely see, the fish was cooked perfectly. There was just nothing I hold in my head except those perfect sauces that really caught me.
This Saturday on the grounds of City Hall in old town Gaithersburg, the Gaithersburg Book Festival. Of particular interest to the food-obsessed: Patrick O'Connell speaks 12:15-1:05, followed by book signing. John Shields (the Chesapeake Bay chef, not the former Town House chef) speaks 1:15-2:05, followed by book signing. "Eric Ripert In Conversation With Bryan Voltaggio" is at 2:15-3:05, followed by book signing. More info here.