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May 15, 2009 09:10 AM

Jean Georges- Dress Code/ Prix Fixe Question

Hey I need some help from my fellow chowhounders regarding Jean Georges' dress code. It says on opentable jacket required. Are they strict with this dress code or can i just go with a nice button down shirt and slacks?

Also I am a big confused about the prix fixe for $95 pp. It says on opentable 4 courses (which I guess includes dessert), while their site says three courses. I have read reviews on yelp and it seems like dessert comes standard with the dinner.

While on the subject what are some can't miss dishes there- I am considering taking my mother there for her birthday. I am a huge foodie and adventurous eater and the menu looks great to me, however my mother and sister (while getting better) are not so adventuruous as myself. They tend to stick to pasta, shrimp, scallops, lobster, chicken, etc. which I see appears in some form or another on the JG menu.

Dishes that have caught my eye are.... foie gras brulee, sweetbreads, gnocchi for beginners. Duck, Sirloin, Rack of Lamb for mains. All of the desserts sound amazing.

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    In the main dining room, jackets are required for dinner. For lunch, they simply ask no jeans, no tennis shoes. I've called and confirmed this.

    Wear a jacket.

    1. For dinner, you definitely want a suit jacket or blazer. They like "appropriate dress" in the main dining room. Nougatine across the hall is less formal. I believe that the system is still three courses, plus dessert - making 4 courses. You can double check when you make your reservation. I'm sure all of you will find dishes which you want to eat from familiar to unusual. I've never had a bad meal there.

          1. re: steakrules85

            Where should I begin?

            Turbot (at dinner or skate at lunch) with Chateau Chalons is a classic
            The seed and nut-crusted sea bass is perhaps my favorite.
            Many love the foie gras brulee.

            Aw, heck, see Here:



            and Here:

            1. re: ulterior epicure

              Thanks ulterior it looks like a great place. is going to be tough decision for me indeed. I am between Daniel, Jean Georges, Nougatine, Picholine, and possibly Gotham Bar and Grill.

              1. re: steakrules85

                If I were to rank them, I would rank them thusly:

                Jean Georges

                Gotham Bar and Grill


                1. re: ulterior epicure

                  Thanks a lot ulterior your posts and pics are extremely helpful. Any pun intended with the space between JG and everyone else.. and Daniel all the way at the bottom.

                  What separates them in you opinion?

                  Finally, I absolutely was bowled over by EMP when I went... how woudl you stack them up against these behemoths?

                  1. re: steakrules85

                    Also the asparagus with morels is a classic!!

                    1. re: steakrules85

                      No pun. Just a gap in quality and level of service, in my opinion.

                      Daniel's food isn't bad. But for the price, it's not anything to rave about. More troubling is the service, which seems to be wildly inconsistent.

                      Jean Georges and Eleven Madison Park are two of my top half-dozen (give or take) favorite restaurants in the city. I'd be hard-pressed to choose. I suppose I would look at the menu of each and decide based on what is being offered (note: JG's online menu is not always current). They also happen to both have the two best lunch deals in town.

                      Aesthetically speaking, they're quite different. In terms of physical space, EMP is big, airy, lofty, and festive. JG, on the other hand, is more small and intimate, perhaps a bit more refined.

                      In terms of food, both are French-based. But, whereas Jean Georges's food visit and linger more in the East, Humm ties in more Americana and other Continental influences. Pastries at both are equally stunning in very different ways. Chef Humm's pastries are more nouveau classics. Johnny Iuzzini's "four play" desserts at JG are more risque and avant garde, tying in more "molecular" techniques, as well as more wild flavor combinations.

                      Service at both is exemplary. Being a Danny Meyer property, EMP's staff will have bigger bounce and smile in their step. Jean Georges's servers tend to be a bit more reserved and formal.

                      In the wine department, I would give the leading edge to EMP. John Ragan is, in my opinion, a veritable maestro with il vino. I cannot complain about the wine service at Jean Georges, either. It has been excellent everytime I've ordered wine there.

                      Again, EMP and JG are tied neck and neck in my book.

                      Everything else your list comes a good two or three notches below these two.

                      1. re: ulterior epicure

                        Chef Humm doubles as Pastry Chef at 11 Madison Park?

                          1. re: Pan

                            Just to clarify a bit. When Chef Humm first took over the kitchen at EMP, Nicole Kaplan was the Pastry Chef. So, if you dined there during several months after his arrival, you were eating her desserts, not Chef Humm's. That was, indeed, the case the first time I ate Chef Humm's cuisine.

                            After she left, Chef Humm, who had experience doing pastry when he worked in Europe, took over the role while searching for a replacement. Currently, Angela Pinkerton is the Executive Sous Pastry Chef. From what I understand, she and Chef Humm collaborate in the creation of the desserts.

                            Btw, u.e., while the dining room at Jean Georges is a good deal smaller than EMP's, I'd hardly describe it as "intimate." In fact, during the daytime, because the J.G. space is surrounded on three sides by huge windows, I found it to have the same airy feeling as at EMP.

                            1. re: RGR

                              Thanks for all the help guys. Right now I have reservations at both JG and Gotham Bar and Grill. Since the birthday for my mother is 3 weeks away I have some time to think it over. I think in the end I will choose Gotham Bar and Grill only because the rest of the family is much less adventurous and "foodie" like myself. I also think the portion size at JG might not be to their liking especially for the price.

                              Gotham seems to be a much "safer" and familiar menu. Also portions are probably larger, however I know in the end the price tages will be similar. I def will make it to JG some time either way. Just need to decide when.

                              1. re: steakrules85

                                @ steakrules: As I have never been to Gotham Bar and Grill, I can't comment. But I suspect you might want to ask about the noise level at Gotham.

                                Noise is really not much of an issue at Jean Georges. And, as RGR rightly points out, the dining room at JG is surrounded by big picture windows looking out onto Columbus Circle. But the size of the dining room is - to me - quite intimate.

                                1. re: ulterior epicure

                                  Noise doesnt bother us. We actually love when a place is lively. It adds to the experience.

                                  1. re: steakrules85

                                    Well, I just want to point out that to me Gotham is just not as good as Jean George, not the food or the overall experience. I don't think Jean George's dishes are "that" adventurous. Do you think EMP will be too adventurous for your family?

                                    1. re: kobetobiko

                                      I did not go to EMP with my family, but rather a bunch of foodie friends. In all honesty EMP probably would be too adventurous for them. They will not eat things such as suckling pig, duck, lamb, or steak- All things I love being a meat lover and foodie.

                                      They are more into more familiar things particularly pastas, chicken, and the like. They will also eat crab, shrimp, lobster, but nothing too exotic outside of that. As far as fish goes they have been more open to trying newer things but have stuck to white flesh fish- think cod, sea bass, halibut, red snapper. If they see something that they are not familiar with they will steer clear (quail, squab, sweetbreads, foie gras, all great things).

                                      There are some things on JG's menu that i see they will eat.. I was trying to predict what they would eat for each course based on the website menu for JG. I'd assume for the first course they could select either maine peekytoe crab, scallops or gnocchi, shrimp or halibut, and parmesan chicken, red snapper, or lobster for third.

                                      One question I have is say for example there are two courses under the one category that they like as opposed to another category. Would they be able to choose 2 courses from say the (1st) and one from (3rd) if they do not like the selections under (2nd)???

                                      1. re: steakrules85

                                        I'm sure staff would accommodate you as much as possible.

                                        However, given your family's eating preferences, I'm not convinced that Jean Georges is the best place for this dinner to take place. The food at Jean Georges isn't as straightforward as the food at Gotham (again, speculation, since I've never been to Gotham). Take the gnocchi, for example. If you family member is expecting a bowl of hearty pasta, they might do well to take a look here first: (This is a lunch portion.).

                                        What about Chanterelle? Sure, it's a little old-school, but at least it's straightforward, approachable, and pretty good food (from what I hear).

                                        1. re: steakrules85

                                          Although our two meals -- dinner and lunch -- at Gotham were a lo-o-ong time ago, I do think it would be a much better option for a family of non-adventurous eaters than Jean Georges because Portale's food is much less "exotic" than J-G's. Also, I recall portion sizes that were much larger than J.G.'s, so unless that has changed considerably, that will please your family more as well. And, btw, I had that gnocci dish u.e. has linked to, and it certainly was not anything like any gnocci I've had previously. It was, essentially, little balls of soft cheese. Hearty? Hardly!

                                          We recently made a first-time visit to Chanterelle for lunch. The food was delicious, and portions are far from puny. Service was very cordial and attentive, the decor has understated elegance, and tables are the most widely-spaced I've seen in an upscale restaurants. One thing *I* truly loved about Chanterelle is that, in addition to the noise level being comfortably low, they do not play any music! To my mind, the epitome of civilized dining. Not sure how you would feel about that since you mentioned liking place that are lively.

                                          1. re: RGR

                                            Thanks for chiming in, RGR, and confirming my speculation with your experiences!

                                            1. re: ulterior epicure

                                              Thanks for the recs as always guys. You are very informative. What are your opinions on the food at Gotham?

                                              1. re: steakrules85

                                                As I said in my previous post, my two meals there date back many years. However, I have not read any reports that indicate Portale's food had gone downhill, so my view is that it's well-executed and quite tasty. The one dish that sticks in my memory was the salmon I had at lunch, which was delicious. At that time, Gotham was just about the only restaurant offering a 3-course lunch prix-fixe -- about $19 back then -- and for the price, the meal was a steal.

                                                Hopefully, other Hounds who have eaten there recently will chime in with a more up-to-date opinion.

                                                1. re: steakrules85

                                                  I had dinner at Gotham a few weeks ago for the first time in many years. All the food was well executed. It is nothing like Jean Georges but you will get a very good meal, although definitely not as exciting or exotic, as RGR said. I got a wild game foie gras terrine which was spectacular and a extra dry aged sirloin (niman ranch maybe?) which was very good.

                                                  FYI - The menu on the Gotham website is the same menu as I had in April, so its fairly current and you can see whats on it.

                                                  1. re: ESNY

                                                    I am very curious about the Niman ranch steak. Is it much different than the normal New York strip that they always have on their menu as one of the signatures? I see it is about 20 bucks more which I don't mind paying if the qualitys worth it.

                                                    Also how many ounces was it? Is it bone in?

                                                    1. re: steakrules85

                                                      Go figure, steakrules85 homes in on the steak. :)

                                                      1. re: steakrules85

                                                        The Niman Ranch steak is boneless and relatively small, compared to steakhouse sizes. I'd guess its maybe 10-12 oz. The long dry aging really comes through as far as taste and texture but if you are looking for a humongous cowboy size steak (judging from your prior posts), you will be disappointed by the size. It was cooked perfectly rare as I ordered.

                                                        I haven't had the regular steak there in many years so I can't comment on it.

                                                        1. re: ESNY

                                                          Thanks for your assessment. I have seen pics of it and it comes presliced I believe, while the normal steak does not. I have heard from many that Gotham's steak is the best steak they have had outside of a steakhouse.

                                                          I know it has been one of their signatures for a long time, however I am also interested in some other options like the pork chop, duck, and lamb. I don't really get to have duck or lamb much and when executed properly both are terrific. Has anyone tried these various dishes at Gotham? Very curious to know what you would recommend from the afformentioned above.

                                                      2. re: ESNY

                                                        ESNY, I agreed with your assessment of Gotham's food being well-executed. But at the same time I think it is quite, um, boring. Many restaurants, even tiny places like Falai or Perilla, have well-executed dishes, but they aren't as exciting as Jean George, so to speak. It's just that with Gotham's reputation as an upscale restaurant and the price that they charge, I would expect the food to be a little more interesting than just the dishes that they churn out.

                                                        steakrules, Have you considered Hearth? It has a lot of options for fish, meat, and poultry, and pasta (gnocchi!) and the food is more reasonably priced than Gotham.

                                                        Though the decor is not as grand as Gotham, if that is a big factor for your mom's birthday dinner.

                                                        1. re: kobetobiko


                                                          Hearth's decor "not as grand as Gotham" is, imo, putting it very mildly. More like "Early Warehouse" would be my description. However, steakrules would probably like the vibe in the front room because it's where all the large groups are seated, and it gets very lively, i.e., the noise level is rather high. Hearth's food is very good, but while not miniscule, I found portions to be on the smaller side. Overall, I don't think of it as a special occasion place. But, of course, others may think differently.

                                                          1. re: RGR

                                                            Anyone who wants an idea of what the place looks like can simply look at

                                                            I don't know why they took the photos with such a dark background, though. This Citysearch profile might have a better photo, albeit small:


                                                            1. re: Pan

                                                              Photos can often be misleading, so that when one is actually in the space, there is a very different feel. For example, the photos I saw of the revamped Picholine all made it appear very purple, i.e., not particularly appealing. However, when we were actually in the dining room, the coloration wasn't purple, but more grayish, which I found soothing and quite pleasant.

                                                            2. re: RGR

                                                              Hi RGR,

                                                              I agree with your comments on the decor at Hearth. That's why I noted in the previous post if the place needs to look celebratory for the occasion. I found the food at Hearth to be very filling, esp they have such good pasta, and to me i think the quality is more in line with their price point. With the food quality at Gotham, I consider it over-priced, albeit bigger portion.
                                                              I mean, who wants big portion of average food? I rather have smaller portion of great good.

                                                              1. re: kobetobiko

                                                                @ kobetobiko. Whilst I generally agree with you regarding portion vs. quality, I live in the Midwest, where you'll find a considerably different dining/eating attitude.

                                                                1. re: kobetobiko

                                                                  Don't get me wrong, kobe. We did not go away from Hearth hungry. But if portion size is an issue for steakrules, my recollection is that they were quite a bit larger at Gotham than at Hearth. That said, I'm sure it won't surprise you that I totally agree about portion size vs. deliciousness.


                                                                  There are plenty of people in our part of the universe who feel that if the portion is not the circumference of a hubcab, it's not sufficient, and they couldn't care less about the quality. This is especially true with Italian restaurants in my area of NJ. A new Italian opened early last year, so we decided to give it a try. Not that we were expecting much, but you never know.... When our main courses arrived, the waitress practically needed a forklift to carry the plates, which were so gargantuan, our table was barely big enough for both plates to fit. (I kid you not!) Frankly, I found the immense portion so off-outting, I pretty much lost my appetite. Just as well since the food was barely mediocre.

                                                                    1. re: RGR

                                                                      Very much agree with both of you, RGR and ulterior epicure.

                                                                      ue, your pictures look amazing! Mind if I ask what camera do you use?
                                                                      (moderator, this is the only question I am going to ask, so please no need to move this to another board....Thanks!)