A Diner Makes Substitutions to the Le Bernardin Tasting Menu, Leaves Unhappy

A Chowhound visited Le Bernardin recently, and filed a 6,400-word report of his experience.

To sum up: steakrules85 left unhappy. Over the course of his tasting menu, he asked for some major substitutions—a poached turbot entrée that wasn’t listed but he’d seen on the online tasting menu for an appetizer (shrimp) he didn’t want, and a lobster course he’d seen on the online menu instead of the octopus listed on the menu.

The diner commented that he has dined all over the country, and "had the extreme pleasure of having some rather unreasonable requests granted, which this was not." In the end, the turbot was served, and according to the hound it was "the size of a Lego... Halfway through my tasting and the only thing filling me up was the parker house rolls and raisin bread." It is quite a lengthy commentary, and other hounds chime in at the end.

Le Bernardin being a well-regarded restaurant, the comments are all over the map, from some agreeing with steak, to others suggesting that steak’s substitutions might have put the kitchen off its game, to gutsofsteel saying to a fellow commenter who was about to abandon thoughts of visiting Le Bernardin entirely, "I suggest you read more opinions than what are on this thread." To that end, here’s a rave from nmprisons about a similar menu, saying it was "in the top five [meals] we have ever had." Have you been to Le Bernardin? Seafood palace or overpriced? From where we’re sitting, this looks like a fine example of the old Latin expression de gustibus non est disputandum—there’s no disputing about taste!

Le Bernardin [Theater District]
155 W. 51st Street, Manhattan
212-554-1515

Discuss: The roller coaster that was Le Bernardin – A mini novel

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