Justin was in NYC last week (hooray – have not seen you since Christmas ’09 in Hawai’i!) so we took plenty advantage of flexible schedules and had an abundance of great meals. Our last meal together was for lunch at Jean Georges, a restaurant I have been meaning to visit for a very long time.
JG offers a lunch prix fixe of $29 for two-courses, and $8 for dessert. I was expecting a lot, perhaps too much, because we came away underwhelmed, with both service and food.
Appetizers were the highlight (especially that Foie Gras Brulee), mains were disappointing, and dessert? The highs were high and the lows were forgettable. What I couldn’t get over was how messily plated and disorganized the plates were, so different from these. I would have gladly paid extra for the “four play” style as opposed the chaotic takes served at lunch. They’re the same desserts plated differently.
Perhaps we ordered wrong? Maybe you can tell me. I enjoyed lunch experiences at Eleven Madison Park ($28 for two courses, $12 for dessert) and Del Posto ($29 for three courses) significantly more, and would gladly pick lunch at either of those two restaurants in place of JG.
Photo by photo breakdown of our meal below:
Coach Farms Goat Cheese Gnocchi, Caramelized Baby Artichokes, Lemon and Olive Oil
Foie Gras Brulee, Rhubarb Juice, Pineapple Raisins and Sichuan Peppercorn
Sweetbreads, Alsatian Potato Salad
Caramelized Veal, Silky Cauliflower and Kumquats with Chartreuse
Desserts are split in four categories: Garden, Rhubarb, Citrus, and Chocolate. We shared the Garden and Citrus.
Garden: Chocolate Cremeux (bottom left), Chocolate Mochi (the one that looks like the Chocolate Cremeux on the right middle), Blackberries (the fruit rollup esque creation), Hazelnut Bitter Almond Macaron (closer look), Sweet Pea Ice Cream, Green Almonds
Citrus: Meyer Lemon Shaker Tart (closer look), Hazelnut Streusel, Meyer Lemon Sorbet, Matcha Semifreddo, Almond Praline, Seville Orange, Candied Kumquats.
The Matcha Semifreddo was the definite highlight of this set. The Almond Praline on which it was served was abundantly studded with pop rocks…can you imagine the surprise effect of that first bite? poppopshock! Semifreddo itself was wonderful, a velvety chill with a center of kumquat marmalade. I would have loved a giant version of the semifreddo, hehehe.
Chocolates (from front to back): Earl Grey Tea, Hazelnut Praline, Mint, and Strawberry-Rhubarb
Vanilla Bean Marshmallows. Yes, fresh from the marshmallow cart
Jean Georges Restaurant
1 Central Park West
New York, NY 10023