Eric Ripert Builds a Perfect Burger — But You Can't Eat It

Having conquered the oceanic sphere, the Ripper is on burgers now.Photo: Josh Ozersky

When you think of Eric Ripert, you tend to think of ethereal lobster, marinated fluke, transporting escolar with miso brown butter, and the like. Which made it weird when the chef started enthusing about his hamburger the other night. “It's the best hamburger anywhere — better than anywhere in New York,” the fish master says.

The burger, sadly for us, lives in Washington, D.C., at the Ripper's newly opened West End Bistro. But he told us about it in some detail. It's a 70-30 lean-fat mixture of Pineland Farms sirloin, which is grilled over very high heat and then serve on a dedicated challah bun. Reports from Washington foodies ("best burger in DC!") are that the burger really is all that. So is there any chance that we might get a Bernadin Burger anytime soon? “No, I don’t think so!” Ripert declared. Maybe he wants to leave that to Daniel Boulud.