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May 27, 2009 08:31 AM

Your Favorite Jean-Georges Lunch Selections

I've taken advantage of the best value lunch in the past, but I always struggle with the choices. Short of walking around the dining room and peering over shoulders at other's selections, I thought I'd seek some guidance here.

What have you been particularly impressed with from the "2 for $28" menu (or 3 for $42)?

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  1. The Steamed Gulf Shrimp with Carrot Juice, Charentais Melon, and Wasabi is outstanding!

    9 Replies
    1. re: RGR

      outstanding is what I'm looking for.
      To facilitate I'll reproduce the spring menu below (can't paste, so I'm typing):

      *Sea Trout Sashimi Draped in Trout Eggs, Lemon, Dill and Horseradish
      *Tuna Ribbons, Avocado, Spicy Radish, Ginger Marinade
      *Sashimi of Madai, Muscat Grapes, Buttermilk Emulsion
      *Sweet Pea Soup
      *Warm Asparagus Salad
      *Goat Cheese Gnocchi, Carmelized Baby Artichoke
      *Watercress Salad with Feta and Cara Cara Orange
      *Peekytoe Crab, Asparagus, Mustard and Lemon Juice
      *Foie Gras Brulee, Pineapple-Meyer Lemon Jam (particularly like to hear opinions on this)
      *Young Garlic Soup with Thyme, Sauteed Frog Legs
      *Steamed Gulf Shrimp, Carot Juice, Charentais Melon and Wasabi (one vote above)
      *Sea Scallops, Carmelized Cauliflower, Caper Raisin Emulsion ($8 supp)
      *Nishiki Risotto, Parmesan, Yuzu, Thai Chilli
      *Skate with Chateau Chalon Sauce
      *Arctic Char, Roasted Cremini Mushrooms, Jalapeno and Garlic
      *Red Snapper Crusted with Nuts and Seeds, Sweet and Sour Jus
      *Halibut with Snow Peas, Ramps, Almond Milk and Chili Oil (also on pre-theatre menu)
      *Parmesan Crusted Confit Leg of Chicken, White Asparagus and Lemon butter
      *Roasted Veal, Quince-Pineapple Compote and Roquefort
      *Sweetbreads, Pickled white asparagus, coriander and orange
      *soy glazed beef short ribs, apple-jalepeno puree and rosemary crumbs

      Also, Desserts at Lunch
      Rhubarb (green tea cake and birch beer float)
      Caramel (chocolate bob, caramom ice cream, sponge, roasted pineapple sorbet)
      Chocolate (JG cake, vanilla ice cream, chocolate gnocchi...)
      Apple (toasted sesame cake, green apple sorbet, yuzu...)

      1. re: non sequitur

        I've had the Foie Gras Brulée, which one of Jean Georges' signature dishes. I'm a foie gras addict, and while it was delicious, I can't say it left me swooning. Also, I'm not sure why, but the Pineapple-Meyer Lemon Jam didn't do much to enhance it for me. However, despite what I've just said, I do think you should try it.

        Another J.G. signature is the fish in Chateau Chalon Sauce. At dinner, which is when I had it, the fish is turbot. And this dish did have me swooning because that sauce is ecstasy incarnate! At lunch, the fish is skate (which I don't eat). But if you do, this dish is a definite must!

        I would also recommend two other signatures: the Young Garlic Soup with Frog Legs and the Sea Scallops with Cauliflower and Caper Raisin Emulsion (though the latter's $8 supplement seems a bit like culinary robbery to me).

        You didn't ask, but two dishes which I thought were nothing special: the Asparagus Salad (excellent asparagus but still, just a salad) and the Goat Cheese Gnocchi (4 very small cheese blobs in a bowl).

        Re: Dessert. If you like chocolate and have never had J.G.'s signature cake, it is outstanding!

        1. re: RGR

          like RGR I was particularly fond of the young garlic soup and the scallops. however, i'm not sure if i felt like the scallops were worth the $8 supplement.

          i didn't order the asparagus salad but i tasted my mothers and i quite enjoyed it. although, like RGR said, it is just a salad. i would start with the soup. i cannot remember what wine I had with the soup but the pairing was great.

          and the chocolate dessert was worth $8 in my opinion. skip the scallops and get the dessert.

          1. re: scott.

            The scallops definitely are not worth a supplement, based on my one time having them.

          2. re: RGR

            Hi RGR,

            I agree with the foie gras creme brulee. As much as I like foie gras, somehow this dish didn't wow me as much as it didn to other hounds. I was ok with the scallops, but was much more impressed with the garlic soup, and skate with Chalon sauce (and I also preferred turbot at dinner than the skate at lunch, thought both were very nice).

            Other dishes that I enjoyed were the sweetbreads and Nishiki Risotto. For the risotto, just don't think of it as risotto but more of a rice dish (the texture isn't exactly risotto...) but the flavor was light and delicious.

            There is an egg dish with caviar which requires supplement but it was fantastic!

            1. re: kobetobiko

              Ditto per the foie gras. Its delicious but not in the same league as the best available(best I've had was at french laundry, and was one of the most incredible dishes I've eaten. Was hoping it would be in the ballpark at JG but wasn't the one time I tried). The short ribs are wonderfully rich, I'd repeat order without hesitation. Really enjoyed the tuna ribbons as well, although I'm not a sushi fiend so won't comment on its relative merits compared to top raw tuna elsewhere. I know your not asking about Nougatine, but FWIW I had an unbelievably good slow-cooked salmon in rhubarb sauce there last summer(looks like the preparation is a bit different now though). Looking forward to trying the skae/chalon soon. The parmesan chicken confit sounds interesting, have considered ordering it before, anyone have opinions?

            2. re: RGR

              Well, I love skate wing, so with the multiple recommendations here that is a sure thing now. And if foie gras brulee is a signature, than that will probably be on our table too.

              My wife loves scallops, but all the votes here say not worth the supplement, so I'll remind her that she loves dessert more (and get the chocolate). I love rhubarb, so I'll try that for variety's sake.

              I'd planned to omit the salad options, because as anyone who has surgically attacked a buffet knows: you skip the salad (especially if its the same price). I'm intrigued by the multiple votes for the garlic soup though.

            3. re: RGR

              I agree with RGR, the shrimp dish is amazing. Other wonderful lunch dishes include the Gnocchi, the new salmon dish with ramp ravioli, the tuna ribbons, foie.

            4. I always get the Skate with Chateau Chalon Sauce. The sauce is just amazing.

              Btw, Chateau Chalon is a vin jaune from Jura in eastern France (I asked last time). It's somewhat like dry sherry. The wine itself is a very acquired taste, but in the sauce with paprika and butter it's terrific.

              1. The short ribs leads my list of favorite dishes in NYC (note that they are usually on the menu at Nougatine as well.) I swear I could eat them every night.
                I would eat anything with that Chalon sauce.
                I like the Foie Gras-but it does remind one of dessert a bit - I could see how some might not care for it.

                1. Review from 05/19/08 - long and pretty comprehensive -

                  The goat cheese gnocchi and the sweetbreads are "don't miss"
                  The peakytoe crab was pretty bad

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: uhockey

                    We part company on the gnocchi rec. Essentially whipped goat cheese, and I didn't find much artichoke flavor in the caramelized and crisped strands in this dish. So many other, much more interesting and delicious options on the menu, imo.

                    1. re: RGR

                      I am loving this thread!! I cannot wait for my lunch there in July!!

                      1. re: RGR

                        RGR, I completely agree with you on the gnocchi. I was at lunch at JG on Monday and made the mistake of ordering the dish. I love gnocchi and I really love goat cheese so I figured this would be a win. For one, I don't know how they can call it gnocchi. Two, I don't know who sits some goat cheese blobs in a puddle of regular old olive oil and calls it gourmet. I can do that in my kitchen!

                        The foie offering was good but the jam did nothing for it. It's a shame, especially with Meyer lemon and pineapple being such strong flavors.

                        We also had the sweetbreads, which were great, and the halibut, which was awful. I actually complained about my halibut to our server. You could not taste the chili oil, the ramps OR the HALIBUT (star of the show) because of the strength of the almond milk. I wouldn't recommend that dish to anyone, not even someone who likes almonds. Such a waste of beautiful halibut, too. It could have been tilapia under there and I'd never have known.

                        The rhubarb dessert was good--but only if you like rhubarb and green tea. I would have gotten the chocolate but my partner is not a fan and we wanted to share. Staff gave us a second free dessert (ice cream on top of a large macaron shell) to make up for the halibut so we left happy.

                        1. re: canadianbaconette


                          I'm sorry to hear that your lunch at Jean Georges had so many imperfections. Too bad I couldn't have forewarned you about the gnocchi. :-( Your desciption is dead on. Like you, I had high hopes for this dish but was shocked and thoroughly disappointed when I tasted it.

                          Oh, and I see we also agree about the jam accompaniment to the foie. After spooning a little of it along with the foie, I gave up and ate them separately. I'm still trying to figure out why the jam failed to enhance the foie.

                          1. re: RGR

                            RGR, I wish you had been able to warn me, too! My partner and I went to EMP on Saturday during our trip to New York (I am writing out my review to post) based on your suggestions and passionate speak of EMP. I want to go back again and again and again! Unfortunately, I don't know that I would return to Jean-Georges unless they completely overhauled the menu and figure out how to make ALL of the ingredients shine.

                            1. re: canadianbaconette


                              The thing about Jean Georges is there are dishes on the menu that truly are rave-worthy. The Turbot in Chateau Chalon Sauce immediately comes to mind. (At lunch, the fish is skate.)

                              One of my friends posited the idea that J.G. includes some mundane dishes on the menu in order to satisfy diners who don't have an adventurous palate. So, I guess that accounts for the very blah faux-gnocchi, though it seems to me a true goat cheese gnocchi would taste a heckuva lot better and still not scare off those with timid palates. Of course, this does not account for your halibut, which you found to be just plain awful.

                              A complete overhaul of the lunch menu is not in the cards because it always includes some of Jean-Georges's signature dishes. But the rest of the menu does change with the seasons.

                              It's always nice to hear when a recommendation I've made turns out well, so I'm very pleased that you and your partner liked EMP. I look forward to reading your review.

                              1. re: RGR

                                It surprises me that jean georges,. with all these supposedly imperfections and a "need for a complete overall of its menu" has managed to maintain a 4 star NY Times review since its opening, a three star michelin ranking since the guide started ranking NY restaurants, a top 20 ranking in the annual Restaurant Magazine list, and a ranking as the second best restaurant in the country not three years ago by gourmet magazine. Jean Georges also seems to be busy lunch and dinner 7 days a week as well.

                                1. re: sethd

                                  I liked the Gnocchi and found the cheese and artochokes both flavorful - and I don't consider my palate timid.

                                  The butane accented foie gras did not impress.

                                  To each his/her own - I actually found the STRONGER flavored dishes (the crab) more unbalanced.

                                  1. re: sethd


                                    So, for you, Jean Georges is perfection personified. Quel surprise! However, the reality is that no matter how high ranking a restaurant may be on this or that list, nor how many stars it may have accumulated from this or that publication, it can never achieve total perfection. And that includes Jean Georges After all, it is staffed by human beings, not robots. Though Jean-Georges and his staff may strive for perfection, I'm sure even they will admit that they sometimes fall short.

                                    Though *you* have not found one itsy-bitsy fault with anything you've ordered the multitudinous times you've been to Jean-Georges, that will not be the case with everyone else who dines there. That's because diners have a wide range of tastes and preferences, so every dish will not please every patron. The French have the perfect expression for this: "Chacun à goût."

                                    1. re: RGR

                                      I never said that I haven't found one "itsy bitsy fault" while dining at Jean Georges. Of course I have; there are some dishes on the present menu that I don't care for, others that i don't enjoy nearly as much as prior variants of the dish (the lamb with black trumpet mushrooms come to mind); I have had some errors in service over the years there as well. I also realize that it is possible for patrons not to enjoy a certain dish as well. What disturbs me is when people on this board say because a dish was not enjoyable the restaurant is "terrible" or needs an overhaul.
                                      What I will say, , is that yes, I have had perfect meals at Jean Georges: I believe that it is indeed one of the three best restaurants in the city. I have also had "perfect" dining experiences at other restaurants here in the city as well as in Europe. I believe that Jean Georges reaches near or complete perfection more often than almost any other chef in the city and has for the last 2O years. There is a level of consistent excellence there that is amazingly impressive and it is for that very reason that he has achieved from critics and his peers so many (well deserved) accolades.

                      2. My gf and I went for lunch yesterday and had a wonderful meal. We split a sashimi of madai with rhubard "semifredo" and szechuan peppercorn oil, she had the tuna ribbons, followed by the halibut with almond milk and chili oil, and I had the skate/chateau chalon, followed by the parmesan crusted confit leg of chicken. Everything we had thoroughly satisfied. The rhubarb/szechuan peppercorn, and almond milk/chili oil flavor combos both really popped for us(in a very good way). The chateau chalon sauce was excellent as mentioned by others. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the chicken, with the crisp parmesan crust it became like an incredibly rich, sophisticated fried chicken :) Hope to be repeat ordering that soon. The slow cooked salmon in rhubarb sauce is on the formal dining room menu now--when I had this last summer at nougatine it was terrific, very rhubarby. Really enjoyed the peekytoe crab fritter that came as part of the amuse bouche trio. Was concerned the potato puree/lemon butter accompaniment to the chicken would be less interesting than other options, but it added a lovely enriching layer to the (already rich) chicken, which was then cut a bit by the fava beans. Was a great meal!