Le Bernardin is a New York institution. Opened by the sibling team of Maguy and Gilbert Le Coze in 1986, it set the standard for quality French food in the city. Over thirty years later, it’s still the benchmark that the others strive for. When it comes to great French restaurants in New York, Le Bernardin is the original, and many would argue it’s still the best.
When you eat here, you’re experiencing event-dining, and so the restaurant provides an atmosphere to match. This is a classy, formal venue with pristine white tablecloths, sleek and modern leather banquettes, and art from Brooklyn painter Ran Ortner to set the tone. In keeping with that air of sophistication, diners are expected to attend looking their best; that means jackets for the gentlemen.
Eating at Michelin starred restaurants comes with a price, but at Le Bernardin, that price remains lower than many of its rivals. The four-course prix-fixe dinner is available for $160. Alternatively, you can treat yourself to the delights of the $190 six-course tasting menu.
If that’s beyond your budget, you can dine in the restaurant’s lounge area, where there’s a stunning range of bar snacks available, including Asian tuna tartare with endive, and smoked Scottish salmon rillette. They’re best accompanied by one of Le Bernardin’s signature cocktails, such as the Pisco Gaudi, based on Peruvian brandy and containing smoked paprika and saffron.
Michelin Stars: 3
Address: 155 West 51st Street
For a list of the very best eateries in town, check out our guide to all the Michelin star restaurants in New York.