face-lift

First Look at the Redone Le Bernardin, With Lounge Food

Stuffy isn't on the menu.Photo: Melissa Hom

It's not like anyone minded going to the old one, it was just getting to feel too ... uptight. Today, doors open to a totally redone Le Bernardin space, by Bentel & Bentel (of Gramercy Tavern and the Modern), that emotes the same crisp coolness as chef Eric Ripert himself. Almost everything has been stripped, replaced with tones of teak, silver, and upscale intimidation. The lounge has finally been made to feel like a somebody, too, adding a luxurious cocktail menu, expanded seating, and a strong dose of youthfulness, where no jackets or reservations are required. The only thing outdated about the lounge should be the good booze.

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