Eric Ripert 'very happy' Marilyn Hagerty reviewed his restaurant

March 21, 2012 at 3:22 PM ET

Via Twitter @lostincentralia /
Eric Ripert poses with Marilyn Hagerty at Le Bernardin.

We’re not letting Marilyn Hagerty’s 15 minutes of fame come to an end just yet (we’re still obsessed!). The Midwestern wordsmith, who shot to stardom after her provincial review of the Olive Garden for the Grand Forks Herald went viral two weeks ago, has penned a take on top-notch New York restaurants after a whirlwind tour of the city.

She hit Michelin-starred Le Bernardin, the pinnacle of high-class dining in the city, after getting a reservation arranged by Anthony Bourdain, the bestie of the restaurant’s executive chef Eric Ripert.

“It was an unforgettable experience because of the elegant food and impeccable service,” wrote Hagerty, 85, in today’s EATBEAT column. “We came away marveling at the highly professional serving staff, the sommelier who described the wines he paired with each course and the chefs in the kitchen.”

She got a personal tour of the kitchen from Ripert, and waxed poetic about sommelier Adam Sohm’s skills. 

“We are very happy she enjoyed her experience at Le Bernardin,” Ripert told “I went to greet her and she was very warm and had a good sense of humor about everything that had transpired in the past few weeks.”

Hagerty says she’s still shocked by the crazy adventure she’s had after gaining fame overnight.

“The whole thing is like a wild dream to me,” Hagerty told us in a recent email. “A lot of critics don’t understand that EATBEAT is one of five columns I do each week for the Herald and have done for years and years. I am not a food critic, but I can tell my readers about the area restaurants. I tell them what they will find and how much it will cost…I give plusses and minuses as I write. Maybe this is sort of weird, but it works for me.”

It does work, as Hagerty was featured on TODAY, Anderson Cooper and in a myriad of publications. And as far as Le Bernardin goes, Hagerty counts the waitstaff’s inquiry about her food allergies and tables for placing purses as the plusses, and concludes her review by writing, “There are not many minuses at Le Bernardin. That, obviously, is why it is considered tops in the Big Apple.”

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