Le Bernardin: Exceptionalism and Grace

Andrew Rosenthal

Consider this note a tribute to an award-winning restaurant with global fame, urban sophistication and culinary excellence. Treat this post as my homage to an institution with all manner of patrons, from loyal diners to international dignitaries to celebrities to fellow chefs, delivering a performance that is a model of perfection at every level; that transports you from its glass and wood awning to its interior of supple leather chairs, green and violet flowers, and overhead beads of golden luminescence and tableside candles of flickering light; that earns this culinary paradise unprecedented praise; that captures the art of minimalism with a sense of maximalist taste.

I love Le Bernardin!

I celebrate this fixture of Manhattan’s cultural landscape. And yet, my words are too insufficient, my awe too impossible to describe, my admiration too inchoate to translate into prose; I am unable to summon – I am without the means to write – what this great restaurant fully represents, what this landmark continues to symbolize, for food connoisseurs throughout the world.

I cherish everything about Le Bernardin, starting with the staff’s emphasis on humility: These professionals will never forsake their hard work, nor will they ever forget the long – and laborious – path to the pinnacle of social acceptance and commercial recognition.

Where every meal is a masterpiece, and every flavor is masterful, Le Bernardin is the author of this festival of sight, taste and smell.

I salute the restaurant’s longevity, and I raise a toast to its legacy.

May she continue to prosper.


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