Done with Le Bernardin

(David) #1

As you can see from my previous post

I started my search for a special occasion restaurant for a 90th birthday party early, just after New Year’s for an April party. I spoke with several restaurants and Le Bernardin was the most accommodating. I’ve been several times and, although I prefer EMP at that price point, it would be fine. After a lengthy and friendly conversation I was assured by the Maitre D that as a one time only concession, the elderly guest of honor could order just an appetizer. The remaining ten in our party would of course order the entire tasting menu. I was instructed to call at 9 am on March 1 to make the actual reservation as their system works on a 2 month cycle. I asked if I needed to call earlier and was told no.

Today, March 1, I called at exactly 9 am, and waited patiently twenty minutes on their hold system. When I finally reached a “reservationist”, which I’m sure is not a word, I was insistently, verging on rudely told that no exceptions are ever made and I am lying.

Five minutes later I had secured a reservation at Daniel, with my mother-in-law able to order whatever she likes that night. Le Bernardin will never get another dime of my money.

(Gwenn) #2

Very annoying. Hope you all enjoy Daniel.

(David) #3

Thanks. I know I’m a nobody and they are one of the finest restaurants in the world, but I was mad and I just needed to vent.

(Gwenn) #4

Yes, but they don’t need attitude. There are other fine places to go. I’d be venting too!!!


I don’t blame you!! It’s a significant chunk of business that you are trying to give them and for such hostility- i mean not even a “let me confirm this with our maitre d and i’ll call back later this morning” or whatever.
Glad that you didn’t go and have a wonderful celebration ruined by dealing with that the evening of your dinner.
Daniel will be lovely i am sure.


You’re not a nobody. You said you’ve been there a few times. Really good restaurants have a record of who you are and appreciate repeat customers.

(Gwenn) #7

I agree Pan, but first time customers also become repeats, so they should be gracious to all.

(David) #8

This is exactly why I love Eleven Madison Park. Oh sure, the food is amazing, but it’s more than that. Every time I eat there they make me feel important. It’s not the tour of their kitchen, or an extra dish slipped to our table, or even meeting the Chef, it’s just the way they welcome me back every time.

I was hesitant about choosing Daniel since, like @RGR , lately I prefer Cafe Boulud, but this evening is all about making the night special. My in-laws are very old school and still believe only the flagship restaurant is that kind of place.

Tyvm @Pan , @Ttrockwood , and @winecountrygirl for the kind words - very much appreciated.


I wouldn’t be so sure about that. I don’t know if their menu has changed or if perhaps we just had an exceptionally officious waiter, but when I took my parents to Daniel, we had issues with straying from the tasting menu. When I called to reserve i informed them that my mother doesnt eat fish/seafood and was assured that it would be no problem to accommodate her. I even called to reconfirm the day before and was told that they had it in their system, no worries. However, when we sat down to order, the head waiter acted as if he had never heard such a thing and that subbing something non-fish for the fish courses would be utterly impossible. We finally persuaded him to sub in a couple of things from the vegetarian tasting, but he was an absolute prick about it. One of several reasons I haven’t been back! Hopefully they have upped their game in this regard and will take good care of your MIL.


Yes, of course, but it’s a particularly unwise business practice to dis a repeat customer.

(David) #11

To be fair, Le Bernardin just called. But the odd thing is they did not have a change of heart about allowing one guest to only have an appetizer. I have no idea why they would call to see if we wanted a table when I told them our needs and they would not meet them. Very strange.


Looks like they are chaotic in their reservation system.


How did they react when you told them that?

(David) #14

The woman apologized, asked me to hold on while she checked with the Maitre d, then told me they had not changed their mind. I told her we had already made other arrangements.


Totally weird.
Please do post back after your meal at Daniel, i feel invested in knowing the outcome now!

(David) #16

It’s not for more than a month, but I will post a review then in a separate thread. I searched but didn’t see a thread here already about Daniel.

Old Bukhara (Uzbek) - Freehold
(Jeff) #17

We’ve checked our mail, voicemail and email but can’t seem to find our invite…:grin:

(David) #18

Well, the big day is finally here. I am psyched.

I am heading into the city early and have lunch reservations at Ma Peche, then I am meeting everyone for our big dinner at Daniel. My plan is to post about both meals in separate threads, but we’ll see.


Oh i am curious how ma peche is these days, it’s been ages since i was last there. Gorgeous day for walking off lunch before dinner!

(Roz Rappaport) #20

I presume you know that Ma Pêche is closing on June 13th

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