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Jean Georges or Chanterelle for a Special B-day Dinner?

I would appreciate some help in deciding which place to take a dear friend for her birthday. I have been to both, but not for approx 7-10 years. I know both have excellent food, yet I prefer smaller less formal places for foodies. These were her two choices so I need to decide. Can people chime-in about their recent experiences - food, wine and service? Also, if there are must-have dishes and nice wines (which won't break the bank), I would be happy to know about them. Many thanks. -MM

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    1. I would say Jean Georges, just based on my recent experience last week at Chanterelle. The food at Chanterelle was solid, nothing mind blowing or to exciting, but good. However the service down right sucked. We ordered a half bottle for our app, and was ready to order another, but before anyone even asked if we would like another, our entree's were at the table. By then we settled on a glass of wine, and If I didn't consciously put my fork down, they would of came by the end of the entree(however they did notice there slacking and comped us the glasses) but this off timing continued through the cheese course and dessert. It was our first anniversery and we wanted to celebrate in style but were hindered by poor service. So after all this and 400 bucks later, you think at least a thank you was in order-nope. Not a single staff person was on the floor when we got up and left, nor a host at the door.

      2 Replies
      1. re: NYPORK

        Thanks for your reply. I would definitely send a note to the owners...they would be horrified...and rightly so.

        1. re: mhm2109

          I did, and they invited me back, on them.

      2. Agreed- JG by far. I've been to Chanterelle twice recently and both times were disappointing. The last time it must have taken 45 minutes between our appetizer and entree, at which time the waitress came out and informed us that the chef wasn't pleased with one of our dishes and had started over. We finally got it 15 minutes later. Granted, they gave us a free dessert, but still I would prefer getting things right from the beginning. The food was fine- good even, but nothing all that memorable. Also, I know some really like their space, high ceilings and flowers, etc, but I find it a little cold and boring.

        On the other hand, we went to JG about two months ago and it was wonderful. Service was outstanding and several dishes completely wowed me. I think JG pushes the boundaries with its flavor combinations more than other high end French (Daniel, Bouley) so the highs are very high, though there may be some misses depending on your taste. We did the tasting menus- one each and wine pairing (it was great because we got to try 14 different dishes and wines, though it was rather expensive). My favorite dishes were both cavier preparations, the asparagus and the Turbot.

        1 Reply
        1. re: di82

          That Turbot in Chateaux Chalon Sauce is a total mind blower! We haven't been to Chanterelle, but I wouldn't hesitate to choose Jean-Georges. In addition to superb cuisine, service is faultless, and the surroundings have an understated elegance. Overall, perfect for a celebratory occasion.

        2. I have not been to either of those restaurants but this summer I ate at the bar room at the Modern in the MOMA museum. It knocked my socks off. You should go on their website to look at their menus and the restaurant. It was one of my most memorable dinners to date. The food is simply incredible. You could look at this one also.

          1. My husband and I went to Jean Georges for my birthday last month and it was wonderful. I haven't been to Chaterelle so I can't compare, but the food was delicious and memorable, the decor serene and the serivce attentive and wonderful. It's an experience I won't forget any time soon.

            1. Jean George, Jean George, Jean George... absolutely.
              I have never loved Chanterelle from my first meal there the year they opened when we were served scallops with rasberries, over twenty years later and I am still confused by that one. Most recent visit was three years ago and, while not shocked by anything terrible, certainly not blown away.
              Jean George, on the other hand... is to this day the site of two of the best meals I have ever had, most recently less than a year ago. Everything, the food, the room, the timing, the service, is effortless and full of pleasure. Now that is what I expect from a restaurant of that level!

              1. i havent been to CHANTERELLE in yrs, but foodies i trust keep reporting weird things and slippage just like i am reading on this thread.

                otoh, JG is as good as ever -- from food to smooth service.

                we went in august & here's the thumb's up report:


                1. We recently had a tasting at Chanterelle and have to stick up for them because the service and the food was outstanding. Maybe its becuase we have been frequently patronizing this place for the past decade or so, but we found the service impeccable and the food (especially my duck) to be beyond perfection.

                  JG is also excellent, but we much prefer the atmosphere of understated elegance and the warmth of Chanterelle. I'm sorry that other posters haven't had the same experience.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: RawTunaFan

                    I have said it before, and I'll say it again--it never ceases to amaze me how people can have such wildly different experiences at the same restaurant. I was at Chanterelle on Sept 29 and we had an absolutely perfect experience. The service was flawless. Everything was timed perfectly, and the food was phenomenal. I, too, had the duck entree (in a "smoky tea jus,") and loved it. My app was an onion consomme with leek and fontina dumplings, and dessert was a fig and huckleberry tart. Eating these 3 dishes in a row was like...well, the phrase I used at the time was "autumn symphony." And yes, we have been to JG as well--but I liked this meal better.