Thursday, July 3, 2014

Jean Georges

Well, who hasn't heard of Jean Georges? And, who hasn't read the roughly 8,000,000,000 posts on this very blog about ABC Kitchen? I decided to step it up a notch from my ABCs and trek up to Columbus Circle to check out his eponymous restaurant at the Trump Hotel. Yes, you will likely have to make reservations a month in advance, but we know I am now an old pro at this game.

I was especially excited because as I know that Jean Georges' infamous chocolate molten lava cake would be served, and according to some, he was the brainchild of this dessert (apparently this fact is debatable). I'm not sure if my sister has posted embarrassing photos of me licking the bowl clean while eating chocolate molten lava cake at home, but I am positive this event has happened.

Also of note, Jean Georges is part of the Relais & Chateux chain of restaurants. I'm starting to become a groupie!

I strolled up to the Trump Hotel from my office and grabbed a seat at the bar at Nougatine (which is in the space just in front of Jean Georges). Once our table was ready, we were seated at a chic looking love-seat banquette style table. If I had gone with my sister, this type of seating would have given me the perfect opportunity to tickle her while she tried to pat some butter on her bread roll.

The dining room is fairly small (well, in comparison to say, Eleven Madison). There are two "prime" banquettes that are tucked into the dining room, this appeared to be the perfect spot for canoodling couples, or, a friends that really just wants to instagram food to their hearts delight, judgement free (I am of course, the latter). I also noticed that some tables were the "love seat" style and some were normal chairs. I wonder how the maitre'd knows not to put the business men at a love-seat?

Diners can choose from a prix fixe menu, or two tasting menus at the restaurant. One tasting menu is the classic Jean Georges menu, the other is the seasonal menu. We decided to order each one.

This course was a very unique dish! Sure, it looks like plain old caviar and creme fraiche. Yawn, snore. But wait, there is more! This particular dish was served on top of a meyer lemon gelee, which you scooped out with every bite. Why didn't Lufthansa's first class food service think of this?

The classic tasting menu comes with Jean Georges signature "egg caviar". There are scrambled eggs in the egg! The trick was to scoop them out without cracking the shell. Humpty Dumpty anyone?

What's with asparagus on the tasting menu? Remember I was pleasantly surprised at Saison? Yes, same here. First of all, I loooooove morel mushrooms. I don't normally like asparagus because I always over cook them at home, so it is nice to leave something simple to the experts to dazzle us with. God, I loooove morel mushrooms.

And on the classic menu, we were given a young garlic soup with frogs legs! I've never tried those before, and this dish was solid.

Butter poached lobster, I don't think this requires any further explanation.

The final savory course was possibly my favorite! It was a rack of Colardo lamb, smoked chili glaze, spring onion, and broccoli rabe.

Though I enjoyed the savory courses of the spring tasting menu more than the classic tasting menu, the dessert from the classic tasting was phenomenal. Of course, I am biased because I prefer chocolate desserts to anything else, but JG has perfected this!

Here was my rhubarb tasting of desserts. Tasty, but not as exquisite as Jean Georges' molten lava cake.

Overall: Every last attention to detail was impeccable - from how the wine was poured to the exact timing of when the servers placed our dishes in front of us. I thoroughly enjoyed every dish from my spring tasting menu, and I am salivating as I write this up. We know that Eleven Madison Park is my favorite of the fancy-pants restaurants, I think this would rank second!

Jean Georges
Trump Hotel Central Park
1 Central Park West
New York, NY 10023
(212) 299-3900

You can also make reservations on Open Table! Note that jackets are required for men.

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