I debated about just putting up this review in the "Last meal I ate thread", but figured since I created a dedicated thread of my meal at The French Laundry, I should probably do the same with JG.
So for those that read my NYC thread in the travel forum, I only had a 1 day layover in NYC, and I really wanted to dine at one of the 3-Michelin star establishments. However, with my 9pm flight and most of these meals taking 3+ hours, I could only do a lunch serving. So that ruled out Masa and EMP.
It was really important to me that the restaurant I picked was able to offer the full dinner tasting menu during lunch and not just a water down lunch menu. Per Se was one of the resturants that was able to do this, but having already dined at the French Laundry, I wanted to try something a bit different.
Jean Georges actually does not serve their dinner tasting menu during the lunch seating, but my concierge was actually able to ask them to make an exception and offer me the "Chef Vongerichten's Signature Tasting menu" during the lunch time seating.
The restaurant was located in the Trump International Hotel right across from the Time Warner Plaza (Per Se and Masa).
When you enter the restaurant, you are quickly reminded of its accolades and accomplishments
As a bit of a "star collector" myself, I was excited to "collect" my 31st Michelin star with this meal.
I was quickly taken to my table for one in the lovely dining room. As with most 3 Michelin Star resturants, Jackets are required in the dining room, no jeans or sneakers, so I ended up having to pack a suit for this trip just for this meal.
The dining room was actually full (the empty table in front was quickly occupied by 2:30pm, my reservation was at 2pm)
I guess being a solo diner, plus someone that had specifically requested the dinner tasting menu, the restaurant must've thought that I was some sort of Canadian food critic. The General Manager, Anna, quickly came out to greet me, she asked if I was "in the industry" to which I smiled and just said "not professionally". Anna and I chatted for a bit and she gave me her business card for any future reservation needs.
The sommelier quickly came by to ask if I wanted to do the wine pairing, which I declined, but did ask him to recommend me a glass of white wine. After trying it, I decided to just buy the bottle as it was significantly cheaper than buying by the glass. (The bottle was $90....which was cheaper than their wine pairing of $168...which I kind of regret not doing).
Soon the amuse bouche arrived.
Then, the first course
Egg Caviar, Sturgeon caviar over a bed of lightly scrambled egg with lemon vodka whipped cream.
Truly delicious and amazing
Next up is the Diver Scallops, Caramelized Cauliflower and Caper-Raisin Emulsion
The scallop I actually thought were a bit over cooked for my liking, but the cauliflower and the emulsion was amazing.
The 3rd dish was Young Garlic Soup with Thyme and Sautéed Frog Legs
The frog legs are similar in flavor to the ones you can get a Phnom Penn, but the soup to dip the legs in was delicious and elevated the overall taste of the frog legs.
Next up was the Turbot with Château Chalon Sauce
The fish was perfectly cooked and the sauce added depth to the flavor.
Next up was the Lobster Tartine, Lemongrass and Fenugreek Broth, Pea Shoots
Now this lobster can rival the French Laundry, it was cooked perfectly, and the lemongrass added a hint of asian flavors to this dish. The broth was rich and flavorful as well.
the last savory dish was the Broiled Squab, Onion Compote, Corn Pancake with Foie Gras
The squab was cooked very well (medium rare), but it doesnt taste too much better than the squab you can get at Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant in Richmond, but the corn pancake with the Foie Gras was amazing though.
Now at this point I was very satisfied with the meal, some dishes were delicious, but everything was very good. I really didn't think it can get any better.
That is..until the Dessert platter came.
OMG....all 4 items on here were amazing, and this was by far the BEST dessert platter that I've ever tasted in my life.
Starting from the bottom right, was the White Chocolate Ice Cream, Yuzu Sorbet
Bottom left was the Hazelnut Milk Chocolate Mille Feuille
Top left was the Chocolate Pudding Tart, Chocolate Sablé, Cassis Jam
and last but certainly not least, Warm Chocolate Lava Cake, Madagascar Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Now normally I hate lava cakes, I find them too sweet and lacks texture as it basically is an undercooked cake. But at JGs, the outside of the cake almost had a bit of a crust to it, while the inside was rich molten chocolate that was not too sweet, and the Madagascar Vanilla Ice cream balanced out the chocolate SO well!
Lastly, the Petit Fours
I really wish JGs had just not given me the Petit Fours, or have given the to me to go. While they were certainly good, there were no where near as good as the dessert platter that I had moments earlier.
Anna, the GM, came by to offer me a Kitchen tour, too bad Chef Vongerichten was not in that day.
Service wise, it was definitely a notch above Sixteen in Chicago, but it didn't quite feel as tentative as the French Laundry.
Food wise, the overall meal was definitely very good, some dishes were better than others but nothing was bad.
Overall Ambiance was very classy, it reminded me a lot of the Georgian Court at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle in terms of decor and ambiance.
The meal came out to $400 USD with tax and tip. Which included the $218 tasting menu and the $90 bottle of wine. With today's exchange rate, it is definitely up there as one of the most expensive meals that I've had. Though I think Kichisen in Kyoto still holds that spot considering I didn't order any alcohol during that meal.