(Photo credit: Cat Lee of Rouge Design House)
Jean Georges is opened in 1997 by Jean Georges Vongerichten, who owns award winning restaurants all over the world (New York, Vegas, London, Paris, Shanghai, New York and Vancouver). This establishment serves French food with strong Asian flavours – exhibiting Jean Georges’ love for distinct Asian flavours of the East. It is not the typical Asian Fusion that many restaurants are into; a lot more simple dishes with Asian accents.
Jean Georges was our last dining spot before heading to the airport, we began our trip with Momofuku & ended with Jean Georges, a 3 star Michelin restaurant in Manhattan – talk about ending the trip w a BANG!
When we got there for our reservation, we were seated quite promptly. Got our bags & coats taken care of then straight to the table.
I found it odd that we had to walk pass the more casual Nougatine to get to Jean Georges and they pretty much share the same kitchen, that is visible as you walk pass.
Into a small little “opening” you see hints of Jean Georges, not a very big restaurant with only about a dozen tables.
The dining room was beautiful – very classic looking, high ceilings, with nice floor to ceiling windows, light colour furniture with bright yellow flower arrangements. I loved it.
We both started with the Taste of Spring 2 plates for $32, then I added 1 plate for $16.
Btw, all food pictures (the amazing ones with a watermark) are courtesy of my dining partner Cat Lee of Rouge Design House.
Additional course: Egg Caviar (Supplement of $30)
Out of curiousity, I was willing to pay the extra $30 on top of the cost of the lunch menu to try out one of Jean Georges’ signature dishes. This is what you would define luxurious.. A generous amount of caviar on top of a vodka cream with a soft, creamy scrambled eggs at the bottom. The caviar was salty, which was balanced out by the scrambled eggs and cream but too salty for my liking.
1st Course (a) (additional $16 because it is an extra course on top of the 2 course menu)
Tuna Ribbons, Avocado, Spicy Radish & Ginger Marinade
Tuna and avocado is a common combination & a dish that some would even call “out dated”. Outdated or not, Jean Georges created an excellent dish that taste amazing. The ginger marinade gives it a nice Asian twist and necessary acid. The radish slivers add a nice crunch to the dish. This may be boring but it was prepared so well that I could not stop eating it.
1st Course (b)
Seared Shrimp, Cucumber, Avocado & Chili-Garlic Emulsion
This was the only disappointing dish of our lunch. The shrimps were grossly overcooked, with one side pan fried so much that it was tough to cut through. The cucumber slivers made the dish almost runny but the emulsion was all foamy and was not pleasant.
2nd Course (a)
Slow Baked Salmon with Black Truffle Crumbs, Silky & Crispy Parsnip
Best piece of salmon I have had to date. The fish was baked so well that it flaked nicely and glistened. It was cooked evenly all the way to the middle and it fish melted in my mouth (yes, fish can do that… or it felt that way). The black truffle crumb was delicious and added a nice texture to the dish along with the parsnip.
Only down point was the puree parsnip the fish is plated on. It was overly sweet, so much so that it tasted like a dessert jam. I left that part untouched.
2nd Course (b)
Red Snapper Crusted with Nuts & Seeds w Sweet & Sour Jus
The fish had very Asian flavours – as do most of the plates we have tried so far. The crispy herb skin gave the subtle fish great flavour. It was perfectly cooked, with the meat flaking off nicely. The meat was soft, smooth and really good. The jus was thick, buttery and rich which is a nice compliment to the dish as a whole. The tomatoes were lightly cooked but added a nice cut to the richness of the broth. Overall – excellent dish.
Desserts (2 options for $8, 3 options for $12)
We picked the Chocolate
Jean Georges Chocolate Cake, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache, Banana, Milk Skin, Dried Cherry
I was underwhelmed with both desserts. The molten chocolate cake was good but uninspiring. And the Chocolate peanut butter ganache dessert was all over the place. I wasn’t sure how all the 6 components worked together – it was not very good.
Complementary Vanilla Creme Caramel
Our complimentary dessert was delicious – really smooth and creamy without feeling heavy. The little crunchy stick added nice texture. It was good but again nothing too inspiring.
A glass of Riesling (best I have had to date) $16
Coffee $3.50 (pretty good coffee)
Total Damage: $165 (including tax & tip)
Personal rating: 4 out of 5 (Very very good)
The whole experience was pretty good. We had a slight issue with one of the fish dish where we found a short hair (with root intact!) and had to get it replaced. They managed to bring the new plate over in under 5 minutes and tried to make it all better by giving us a complimentary dessert.
For this price, the food exceeds all expectations, it is a definitely steal for such elegantly prepared food and upstanding service. I noticed on my bill that they didn’t charge me for the extra course I ordered which would have been another $16.
For the most part, all the dishes were either good or excellent with great flavours & perfect seasoning; (ok maybe not the shrimp or dessert courses). The menu is boring and seems dated. It seems that when the dishes are almost “interesting” like the shrimp dish – it didn’t work. The service was really attentive, without being suffocating and also pleasant without seeming fake.
To be honest, if there was not 3 michelin star expectation – I am perfectly content with everything but that is not the case. Here I am left a little confused – I had a great meal and a great time w an excellently prepared meal but the dishes were not inspiring nor intriguing. So for that I am a tad disappointed.
1 Central Park W
New York, NY 10023