Le Bernardin vs. Jean Georges: Fancy Lunch Conundrum

File under "problems we wish we had": Should I take mum to lunch at Le Bernardin or Jean Georges? Both are run by Frenchmen. Both are four-starred by the New York Times. Both have excellent reputations. One has a weird globe out front. The other is renowned for its seafood and boasts a chef with the nickname "The Ripper." petitepig, who gets props for a fantastic username, says "service is a pretty big factor" since her mom is the sort who "likes friendly staff, the kind that doesn't wheedle you into ordering more food, etc."

She likes that Jean Georges is cheaper ($29 versus the $70 listed for Le Bernardin) although we double-checked, and Le Bernardin offers a $45 prix fixe, too, with $5 going to City Harvest. In fact, Serious Eats called the two lunches "indistinguishable" in terms of quality. We’re not sure which way we’d go, but biondanomina says her lunch at Jean Georges was "absolutely wonderful," with service that was "warm and inviting." For nmprisons, it’s no contest: He’d go with Le Bernardin because he’s a "huge seafood fan." He does, however, mention that the "JG lunch crowd is more informal," and that he was seated next to a kid in a polo shirt and jeans. At Le Bernardin, a jacket is required.

Where would you take your mom for lunch if service was top priority?

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

Jean Georges [Upper West Side]
1 Central Park West, Manhattan
212-229-3900

Discuss: Le Bernardin or Jean Georges?

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