Casual Jean George?
We have a reservation this week at the Casual part of JG, Nougatine, or something like that. Any impressions that people can share on this place? Is it as good at the formal room next door, or will it be like being a second class citizen? Should we wait and just make it into the big dining room (rather than catching peeks when the door opens?)
If not there, any other recommendations, for really well prepared new american food. Most of the places I have been trying to get into are booked for next Sat night. Looked into Annise, EMP, Blue Hill, La Bernadin, L'Atelier, and a bunch of others and most are full until 10:00. Location irrelevant, we'll go anywhere on the island. That's an idea of what we are looking for. Went to Veritas about 3 months ago and that was fabulous.
Thanks in advance for any help the NY chows can provide.
I don't think of eating at Nougatine as being second-class, although JG is certainly more formal (some might say fussier) in its approach. Both have highly professional staff and a wide array of interesting menu choices. Nougatine is probably the least "casual" of the NYC restaurants that come to mind that have a more and less formal side.
How about Tocqueville? For some reason, I think it tends to fly a but under the usual radar. We had a superb dinner there during the summer. Acc. to OpenTable, res. for two available for 9:30 p.m. -- a bit late but, in my view, not as bad as 10 p.m.
Btw, EMP and Blue Hill, as well as Tocqueville, have availability at 5:30 p.m.
You should keep your reservation at Nougatine. It is excellent and the service is always pleasant.
I haven't been to the formal part of JG, but you'll definitely NOT feel like a second-class citizen at Nougatine. I've been there several times, and it's a great space with great food. If the formal JG dining room didn't exist, Nougatine would stand excellently on its own.