Le Bernardin

Contemporary elegance in the Theater District
Owned by Maguy Le Goze and the legendary Eric Ripert, Le Bernardin is one of the top restaurants in New York. A sure thing since it opened in 1986, Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Le Bernardin has really hit its stride under perfectionist and celebrity chef Ripert.

Since he succeeded chef Gilbert Le Coze in 1995, Ripert has continued Le Bernardin’s tradition of serving luxurious French seafood with modern and international flavors. Think yuzu in fluke marinade or salmon served with a jalapeño emulsion.

Located in New York’s Theater District near Times Square, the restaurant sources its seafood daily and prepares simple yet flavorful dishes that often include Asian ingredients. Although it isn’t adjacent to the ocean, it is a seafood lover’s paradise.
Our Inspector's Highlights
  • The New York restaurant's contemporary yet simple décor lets the true star of the restaurant shine: chef Ripert’s beautifully prepared seafood. The menu focuses on fish, featuring sections for raw and cooked options. If you like food that swims or crawls on the seafloor, this is the place for you.
  • While Le Bernardin doesn’t encourage large groups to party in the main dining room, the private dining room upstairs offers a great space to gather a gaggle of friends to enjoy a succulent seafood dinner. Les Salons Bernardin sits above the New York restaurant’s main dining room and its windows overlook 51st Street, adding a twist to the already exquisite dining experience.
  • Le Bernardin offers some of the best service you’ll find in any restaurant. The staff is formal and professional while anticipating and attending to your every need.
Things to Know
  • The renowned New York restaurant sits near Times Square in the Equitable Building.
  • We highly recommend making a reservation at Le Bernardin — the 32 tables fill up quickly for lunch and dinner. You can call the restaurant directly to make a reservation or book through OpenTable. Occasional walk-ins are accepted, or you can sit in the more casual bar area, which lets you order from the complete menu.
  • The dress code requires jackets for gentlemen. Ties are preferred but not mandatory. Women should wear similarly dressy clothing.
  • The four-course prix fixe dinner at Le Bernardin costs $157, and the chef’s tasting menu goes for $225. At lunch, the three-course meal is $88.
  • Ripert frequently appears as a guest judge on Top Chef and hosts his own PBS cooking show, Avec Eric.
The Food
  • Le Bernardin playfully divides its seafood menu into three sections: Almost Raw, Barely Touched and Lightly Cooked. You’ll find oysters and fluke sashimi in the first category, while sautéed calamari and warm lobster carpaccio shine in the second. In the last, delicately prepared entrées include a crispy black bass with lup cheong sausage or red snapper baked in a rosemary and thyme-salt crust.
  • Delectable items that you may find on the menu include pan-roasted monkfish, poached halibut, seared Kobe beef and pan-roasted squab.
  • If you have a hard time choosing just three dishes on the prix fixe menu, we recommend splurging on the chef’s 10-course tasting menu with a carefully selected wine pairing. The menu changes seasonally, but will always take you on a delectable journey through the chef’s wheelhouse of searing, baking, poaching or just letting ingredients go au naturel.
  • A recent tasting menu included caviar, seared langoustine with a wild mushroom salad, charred octopus with miso vinaigrette and lime parfait with merengue, avocado purée and grapefruit-tequila sorbet.
  • The chef doesn’t serve endangered Chilean sea bass and shark, and if you don’t love seafood, pasta, lamb, duck or filet mignon can fill your plate upon request.
The Look
  • The interior of the popular Manhattan Theater District eatery recently got a major facelift — its first aesthetic overhaul in the 25 years that the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star restaurant has been open.
  • The new décor is more fresh and modern than its old style, with twisted vertical strips of steel taking over one wall and a 24-foot triptych painting of a stormy sea scene dominating another.
  • Dark leather banquettes line the walls along with matching chairs framed with steel.
  • With its butterscotch leather chairs and beige fabric-covered walls, Le Bernardin feels a bit like a corporate dining room, but enormous sprays of seasonal, twiggy flowers soften the décor.
Getting There
155 West 51st Street, New York City, New York 10019