There are plenty of reasons that Le Bernardin has long been one of New York's most lauded restaurants. Chef Eric Ripert has no shortage of star power, and the near-constant accolades his food receives give serious credit where credit is due. The restaurant's lounge, which opened following a major renovation this August, caused a further flurry among eaters and critics alike—the no-jacket-required space was a departure from the formality of the main dining room, and it gave guests a chance to taste Ripert's food without signing up for a prix fixe. (We reviewed the food at the lounge here.)
Add Le Bernardin's cocktails to the already lengthy list of reasons to visit the Midtown institution. Crafted by Greg Seider, mixologist whiz behind the East Village's The Summit bar, Le Bernardin's revamped drink offerings coincided with the opening of the lounge. The cocktails evoke the spirit of the new space by paying homage to classic recipes and technique, while indulging in a little innovation.
"My creativity comes from the kitchen," explained Seider, who drew inspiration for his cocktails from Chef Ripert's cuisine. "I took a look at the whole menu, food and desserts, and started highlighting ingredients I could use in making cocktails."
Seider also looked at the kitchen's style and aimed to take a light hand with bold flavors. Just as Ripert's preparations aim to showcase the nuances of fresh seafood, Seider's cocktails are meant to put high quality spirits front and center.
The flavors used, while subtle, leave a marked impression—Kaffir lime, smoked salts, and tea infusions all make appearances on the menu. Seider treated us to a taste of the entire cocktail menu: check out all 9 drinks in the slideshow above.
About the author: Lauren Sloss is a bicoastal food-lover who splits her time between New York (where she is finishing graduate school) and San Francisco (where she does most other things). Some of her favorite things include The Black Keys, goat gouda, and guacamole. You can follow her on Twitter @laurensloss.