Le Bernardin

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The name of this restaurant is based on a folk song called “Les Moines de St. Bernardin” about an order of monks who rejoiced in food and drink. Oh, boy, were they right! This place is nothing but pure pleasure.

Since arriving at this restaurant you can feel the elegant and candid atmosphere, is like entering a ballroom. The restaurant is fancy and romantic at the same time, with an amazing chandelier and paintings on the wall, the decoration sets your mood for what’s coming.

The menu, certainly, is a selection of the famous Eric Ripert, which is focused in French seafood but expect to find a lot of amazing dishes, different styles, exotic mixes and compositions that would blow your mind.

The journey begins with some canapes, in a lovely presentation. We enjoyed some Uni, Lobster espresso ( this was outstanding) and some tuna tartare. They were super fresh and well prepared.

Second course: Kampachi Sashimi; Crushed Niçoise Olives, “Greek Salad” with a bed of extra virgin olive oil. The balance of flavors in this dish was stunning, the buttery fish, with the saltiness and popping of the olives, was so different and perfect at the same time.

Thirth course: Baked Lobster; Butternut Squash Manicotti, Shrimp-Black Pepper-Brandy Sauce. This was one of my favorites, it was a nice discovery that the sweetness of the butternut squash and the lobster could be paired with such a positive outcome.

Fourth course: Poached halibut with some radish and ginger. This plate took my mind to the beach, it tasted so fresh that I imagined myself fishing it just a few minutes ago. It was super soft and tender, and so rich in flavors that it remains on your memory for a long time.

In the end, undoubtedly, you know, my favorite part: The dessert. You’ll get to choose from 4 different desserts, and I chose the apple: Brown Butter Mousse, Apple Confit, Armagnac Sabayon. I think this dessert deserves a detailed analysis. First, the look: is like they gave you a perfect waxed apple that’s too beautiful and shiny that you don’t want to break it. Then, with tenderness, you open it and it’s a mousse, you can notice all the layers of it, you can’t believe the incredible structure of this dessert. The flavor: the sweetness is there but not overpowering, the “waxy” crust gives a little lightness to it, and the Sabayon is just the last piece of the puzzle.

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. This experience is totally worth it, I highly recommend if you are in NYC to come and dine here, just make sure to make reservations.

 

Le Sirenuse Champagne Bar – Positano

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“As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.”  – Ernest Hemingway-

“Sienna Miller was here last week”, the waiter told us – I immediately knew we had come to the right place

Positano is a small and romantic port town situated in one of the fabulous cliffs on the Mediterranean coast of Italy. The town is full of stunning views and places, but the one considered “la crème de la crème “is Le Sirenuse. The exterior of the hotel takes one back to the grand baroque of the 17th century, albeit with luxurious cars parked on the outside instead of horse carriages.

Upon arrival, the courtesy and attention are on point as the personnel make you feel like a movie star – I can only imagine how real stars are welcomed here.

The restaurant and the Champagne bar divide the breathtaking sea-view terrace. The first thing to come across with is a giant marble tub filled with fresh lobster and seafood. One can personally select what one wants to eat from this tub, thus the ultimate freshness and quality is guaranteed.

It is the ultimate luxury; one feels the stars over the head while observing the immensity of the sea that meets the sky, ultimately getting lost in admiration just like in a Victor Hugo’s tale.

Le Sirenuse is a piece of a lightning puzzle that conforms this romantic town. All the hotels and houses are lightened up in the cliffs under a sky full of stars.

While I was contemplating all the magnificent boats parked on the water, getting lost on my thoughts trying to figure out the history of this place – how the sailors and commerce helped the development and empowerment of this Italian picturesque spot in the Amalfitan coast, the sommelier approached us and offered a glass of champagne, sided by a few giant Italian olives and onion chips.

The decoration of this place reminds you the Versailles opulence  – the flowers, the big chairs with a bunch of cushions, the big vases – all designed to complete the royal experience of being there.

The place has a nice selection of wines – a nice 2002 Barolo or a 2008 Amarone, to name a few, thus any selection will do just fine. Just enjoy the luxury of being on top.