People always talk about the fantastic value to be had with a “power lunch” at one of the many fine dining establishments in NYC. I’m sure many multi million dollar deals have been made over lunches at these places. Even if you don’t find yourself a part of the wealthy Manhattan elite, you can still enjoy a piece of the same fancy food and fine dining experience at a more reasonable price at lunchtime. I truly loved ABC Cocina, but was prepared for an entirely different experience at Chef Vongerichten’s eponymous establishment. I was not expecting the experience to include a giant angry mob of protesters outside the Trump Tower where Jean-Georges is located. I felt so embarrassed having to break through the line to get into the place. Later I realized they weren’t necessarily an angry anti-Trump mob, but rather participants for the March for Science. Still, I didn’t like that I patroned a restaurant that pays rent to Trump Tower. Yuck!
Sesame & Panko Crusted Asparagus yuzu emulsion
Beet Cured Salmon fingerling potato, chili, sunflower seed
The amuse bouche were a great start. The asparagus was delightfully crisp and crunchy from the panko crust. The yuzu sauce was bright and zingy. The salmon was delicious.
The amuse was served with a delicate broth brightened by some herbs.
Medai Sashimi muscat grapes, buttermilk emulsion and herbs
For an extra $29 supplement we added the snapper as an extra course. The sweet grapes was nice contrast against the creamy lightly tart buttermilk sauce.
Gulf Shrimp fiddlehead ferns, seed-yogurt dressing, soy butter, sprouts
The shrimps were a tad salty, but perfectly cooked retaining that wonderful snap and bounce. I thought the yogurt would be a weird pairing but it add some savory tang with just a hint of creaminess. The fiddlehead ferns were caramelized nicely adding some nice texture. Well done.
Diver Scallops caramelized cauliflower, caper-raisin emulsion
The scallops were perfectly seared and rare. The cauliflower was sweet and crispy from the caramelization. The sauce looked like mustard, but tasted nothing like it. It was sweet, but tart at the same time. I would not have guessed capers and raisins but thinking back, it makes sense.
Black Sea Bass crusted with nuts and seeds, sweet and sour jus
The Annoyer thoroughly enjoyed his sea bass. He thought every component to the potatoes, mushrooms, and sauce were perfectly on point. He could not stop singing its praises.
Pan Roasted Wild Hake flowering broccolini, jade emulsion
The hake was probably the best fish I had during my NYC trip, including the fish dish I had at Eleven Madison Park. I loved how the fish had a wonderful sear on the exterior. The jade emulsion was the chef’s interpretation of a green curry, so it packed a punch of flavor.
We were really stuffed and didn’t even order any dessert, which is kind of unusual for me. They gifted this to me anyways for my birthday. It was just chocolate on chocolate, stuffed with chocolate, covered in chocolate. Not bad for a freebie. I liked Le Bernardin’s freebie birthday chocolate dessert better.
A bevy of small sweet treats, which is fairly standard restaurants of this caliber.
Aside from his New York restaurant empire which encompasses over 10 restaurants, Chef Vongerichten has an extensive reach that expands the whole globe from the Bahamas to Tokyo and everywhere in between. You would think that spreading himself that thin may sacrifice quality, but the meal at Jean-Georges was top notch. Aside from the shrimps being a tad salty, everything from service, ambiance, execution and food were flawless. It makes me curious to see what his restaurants around the globe are like. Nobu has a similar expansive empire, but I experienced firsthand how the quality can take a hit at his Bahamas outpost.
10 – You NEED to eat here
9 – Awesome
8 – Very good
7 – Good
6 – OK
5 – Average
4 – Not bad
3 – Not good
2 – Terrible
1 – Do NOT eat here