by Lucy Foster
5 June 2006

   Le Bernardin is a four star French restaurant known for their seafood menu and is located at 155 West 51st street, in the Equitable Building. Le Bernardin was first successfully opened in 1972 in Paris by Maguy and Gilbert Le Coze, a brother and sister duo.
   The menu is the result of their “seafood wizard” chef Gilbert Le Coze. Upon his untimely passing, the standards of excellence were continued with its current chef, Eric Ripert, who was awarded the title of “Outstanding Chef” by the James Beard Foundation in 2003. Opened in 1986, this restaurant holds an international reputation of excellence and has maintained its four star review for over a decade. It took only three months from opening its New York location for the restaurant to receive its first four star review from the NY Times. Le Bernardin also won the James Beard Award for “Outstanding Restaurant” in America, in 1998. 
   The atmosphere of Le Bernardin is appealing with its high ceilings, wood paneling, and artwork. The staff and service were also very impressive and you are asked several times if you are satisfied. This elegant restaurant serves a delicious seafood menu that will have you coming back for more. Highlights that I’ve enjoyed at this formal restaurant is the crab cakes, the tuna, and the  FIJI shrimp are fantastic! The organic salmon is also a delicious choice. Le Bernardin also has a wonderful assortment of cheeses to go with their impressive wine list. I had attended this restaurant before heading off to see a broadway show and at the time you make your reservation if you mention your theater plans, the accommodations are extraordinary. The restaurant is located right in the Theater District, between 6th and 7th avenue, so it’s a great choice. I prefer the dinner hour at this restaurant since it gets a little crowded in the lunch hour with return office worker customers. All seafood lovers will love this restaurant.    
   Le Bernardin also published a cookbook, in 1998, called Le Bernardin—Four Star Simplicity, for all the home chefs to enjoy.