|There Is Just So Many Plates to Contend With!|
|Le Bernardin: America's Answer to Economic Woes|
|Here's a Tip, Le Bernardin: Hand Us a Cocktail Immediately and We'll Be Happy With Just One of You|
|We'll Handle the Wine Allocation Around Here, Thanks|
|Clearly, Our Parents Should Have Sent Us to Charm School to Prevent Such Debacles|
|Sorry to Offend You, Le Bernardin, But This Dinky Little Knife Isn't Enough to Spread Our Desired Amount of Butter|
|Things Tend to Be Fortuitous When the Courses Are Free|
As this blog has made clear, there is nothing that influences our opinion of a place more than its bread basket. We would venture to say it can make or break our star rating, if only because the carb-laden rolls it provides decide what kind of mood we are in for the rest of the meal. Therefore, when table after table is served bread and we are left with no vehicle with which to consume our butter, we grow increasingly hostile and convinced that the bread boy has it out for us.
|Hey Mister, Here We Are! Over Here! Breadless!|
Diving deeply into the butter dish (with the wrong knife), we slather it on our respective breads and bite in. While all of the choices are appealing enough (read: we finish them in seconds), the pretzel roll is the stand-out here, tasting vaguely of coarse sea salt despite its smooth exterior. As we mop up the last of our bread plates, we can't help but note that the rolls are all room temperature, and frankly, we'd prefer them hot out of the oven.
"Would it kill them to warm their rolls?" Vodka quips.
"They don't know who they're dealing with," Ginger agrees. "We know our bread."
Before we can dive any further into the depths of self-important carb knowledge, yet another duo of mysterious Le Bernardin staff members presents our first courses: the tuna for Vodka and the striped bass for Ginger.
|At Le Bernardin, One Pays Extra to Get the Plate to Match the Shape of the Tuna|
|A Striped Bass Wearing Polka Dots|
|Note: Despite Months of Practice, Vodka Still Cannot Properly Pronounce "Foie Gras"|
|Can We Reorder And Only Have Dishes From the "Almost Raw" Side of the Menu, Please?|
|In Keeping With the Theme, This Plate Should Have Been Rectangular. Really, Le Bernardin - Get It Together|
|And Whatever You Do, Don't End Up with Fish On Your Lap!|
|Though Come to Think Of It, It Would Have Been Preferable for Them to FILL Each Of Those Toast Slots!|
"I'm still so hungry," Ginger complains between bites. "I've been fasting since lunch." (Thankfully Vodka secured us a "highly sought after" 5:30 seating).
|Octopus Riding a Pirate Ship|
|We Only Count Five Pieces - Where Are the Other Three Legs?!|
|So Just to Confirm, This Is Supposed to Look Appetizing?|
|Throw These Scallops Some Sunblock|
|We're Beginning to Think Eric Ripert Is a Tad Too Into His Sauces....|
|Is That Smattering In the Middle Supposed to be Pasta? Cause We're Going to Need Another Bowl Full|
|Black Bass That Even An Infant Could Chew Through|
|Are The Vegetables Purposely Arranged to Look Like Sliding Boards?|
|Someone Give This Bass Some Doritos and Teach It How to Crunch|
|We Should Have Known - We Don't Have the Best of Luck When It Comes to Chorizo|
"It's okay," Ginger says with a level of enthusiasm that would verge on hatefulness.
"Is there something wrong with your dish?" he persists.
"It's fine," Ginger answers, biting her tongue hard to prevent any reference to Campbell's soup from escaping her lips. We switch plates, and Vodka confirms Ginger's suspicions about the red snapper: "They essentially poured Campbell's tomato soup over fish sticks and charged $35." Indeed, the red snapper itself is virtually tasteless with a thin piece of white bread toast literally adhered to the top, and the sauce is without a doubt reminiscent of something we could pour out of a can.
|In Other Words, Le Bernardin: NOT IMPRESSED|
|Does It LOOK Like We're Enjoying It?!|
|After All, We're Usually Members of the Clean-Plate Club|
|Maybe We'd Look Less Sour If You Stopped Inundating All of Your Dishes with CITRUS|
For dessert, we order the Hazelnut-Marshmallow (chocolate ganache, vanilla marshmallow, and hazelnut ice cream) and the Chocolate Peanut (chocolate ganache, peanut mousse, and salted caramel ice cream).
|In Case You Haven't Figured It Out By the GIANT HAZELNUT, This Is the Former|
|We Really Think The Individual Dots on the Plate Make a Difference, Don't You?|
|Frankly, Le Bernardin, You'd Succeed More If You Gave Us a Free Cocktail|
|Here's a Hint: We Didn't Finish This Dish Either|
|Have a Break - Have a $30 Kit Kat|
|Please Send the Pile of Salt Directly to Vodka's Side of the Table|
|Does the Dessert Fizz In Order to Terrify All of the Complaining Customers?|
|Enormous Plate, Much?|
|Goes to Show - You Can Squirt the Mousse Out Into a Pretty Ribbon But It Doesn't Make It Taste Good|
|And Before We Forget, Le Bernardin Provided These Doo-Dads as a Final Course...|
|...Though Clearly, We Weren't Particularly Fond of Them|
"We should've just gone to Steak 'n Shake," Ginger agrees.
As yet another four workers hold the front doors for us on the way out, we figuratively roll our eyes at the proceedings.
And if there is one thing we can say for our Le Bernardin experience, it is this: we guarantee that no other "review" of their highfalutin premises has ended with the "critic" traipsing away from its residence while murmuring under her breath, "Ugh, this place is stupid."
Le Bernardin's Black Bass: 3 stars