Had a wonderful dinner at Le Bernardin tonight. We had the chef tasting menu and the Le Bernardin tasting menu. Everything was at least solid, and some dishes (calamari, for example) were fantastic.
The monkfish, in my opinion, was the weakest link. It was tasty, but it's not hard to make monkfish tasty in my opinon. The dish just didn't impress me.
I said it is almost heavenly because I think it is still slightly inferior to Per Se in every way - food, service, decor...
Particularly, I found the room a bit cramped. I'm not sure if they only do this on the weekends, but there are a few tables in the room that clearly don't belong there. It is a bit disappointing, to say the least.
In this regard, Le Bernardin is quite an opposite of Eleven Madison Park. The latter has an elegant and classy decor, but fairly disappointing food. Le Bernardin, on the other hand, has delicious food, but the decor is far from elegant.
That said, overall I still think Le Bernardin is the second best French restaurant in town, edging out Jean Georges.
Now I want to venture out into more ethnic and exotic cuisines (Afghan, Ethiopian, Moroccan... etc). Any recommendations? =)
Anyway, Bon Appétit!