A Tale of Two Dinners – Bernard’s, Ridgefield, CT

My husband and I finally made it to Bernard’s last night for dinner. We had been there years ago and because of my husband’s allergies at the time, had a less than stellar experience. And they had seated us next to the piano with the piano player’s back to us, practically dining with us. Well, this time, DH’s allergies are history and Bernard’s has gotten such good write ups that we went.

The place is very pretty with its yellow hues. When we walked in we were offered the seat behind the piano again but we declined! Our waiter seemed a bit nervous, but he was professional. I think he was new as he had to keep asking questions to get us answers to ours. We started with a delicious amuse of smoked salmon mousse on a goufrette. Now, here is where our two meals differed.

DH – delicious meal. He had the foie gras trio – smoked, torchon and sautéed and you could see the heaven in his eyes! He had never had smoked foie before and he loved it. It was perfectly smoked, you could taste it but it was not overpowering, or as Anthony Bourdain would say – not Chernobyl foie gras. On the other hand, I opted for something light – cold tomato soup because I am a sucker for tomato soup. It was very acidy and tasted kind of like V-8 juice. Eh. On to the mains. DH had the lobster in lobster tarragon sauce and again, he loved it. I had been looking forward to the ½ roast duck that was on the on line menu, and of course, the menu changed yesterday and it was gone. What I had was a duck breast wrapped in rosemary pancetta with lotus blossom and patty pan squash. It arrived raw, I mean raw and I had to send it back. It came back rare and hard as a rock and tasting like a salt lick. The lotus blossom was inedible but the squash was delicious. The waiter offered me something else but I declined and they did take the duck off the menu. The waiter explained to me that they us a very lean duck. What a waste. Duck needs fat!!!

On dessert we were back in synch. We shared the chocolate trio, mousse, pots de crème and a tiny ice cream sandwich. It was delicious.

We noticed last night most people coming in and heading upstairs to Sarah’s Wine Bar. I think we will try that next time.

Gwen, good for hubby, not so for you. Never had a bad dish at Bernards. Upstairs is fun, usually hard to get a table.

I really wanted to love it, but that duck, wow. We tend to eat early so we should be ok when we try Sarah’s.

Thanks for the up to date report, Gwenn. Raw duck breast would certainly turn me off. My experience there this past spring was a delight. I would like to try Sarah’s at some point, too…

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold