I'm in the process of reviewing J&G Steakhouse, and I can honestly tell you the meal I had wasn't that impressive.
I also had the lamb chops, but they didn't really do much for me. Some of the food was fantastic and easily recommendable, but none of it was amazing.
Here are my tasting notes on the courses I had (4/5 = recommendable):
1. Fried Calamari, Pickled Chilies, Yuzu Dip: The most delightfully crispy, oily calamari in the whole district. The fry job is phenomenal, creating an incredibly crunchy and flaky texture that is nevertheless extremely light, so that you taste the calamari perfectly. And it’s really that big calamari taste that sets these apart, as the calamari is cooked with a bit of firmness, so that it’s very chewy and very juicy. The restaurant also adds some salt, giving the calamari a somewhat seafood-like, fishy taste that I found a bit too much at times. As for the extras, I really can’t say the pickled chilies made a big showing on the dish, though there were a couple pieces laid on the dish to add a briny, tangy, heat for the adventurous. The yuzu dip, too, was a nice idea in theory, but wasn’t my favorite. It was very light, like a creamy foam, which I appreciated. The tangy, citrusy flavor helps to balance out the calamari’s fishiness, too, and that tanginess leaves a nice, fresh aftertaste. Still, that tanginess is a double-edged sword, at times overpowering. Finally, the calamari suffer from an overload of oil, gushing out. . 4.3/5.0
2. Rack of Lamb, Black Olive Crumbs, Root Vegetables, Aged Balsamic Vinegar: This dish is a mixed bag. While I really enjoyed the lamb, I found it a little overcharred, while the root vegetables just came out bland. The lamb itself was deliciously cooked—black on the outside, but with just enough redness inside to make it chewy and succulent (it was cooked medium-rare). The outside, however, was so charred that it felt somewhat burnt at times. The lamb itself did taste very good, though—it had that slight gaminess to it that I love in lamb, but the black olive crumbs added a bit of salty crunch that I found satisfying, if not enough. I would have liked it seasoned just a bit more, though. The salt wasn’t distributed all that well either, as some bites were very neutral while others were overly salty. The root vegetables—carrots, mushrooms, onions—were all a little bland, drenched in some oil (or maybe just the vinegar), so that they didn’t really have a natural, fresh taste to them. They come on a vegetable puree (of what I’m not sure), which I felt was actually nice, having absorbed the tangy sweetness of the veggies. 3.2/5.0
3. Warm Chocolate Cake: Not quite as molten or warm as I’d like, but incredibly well-executed. The chocolate cake has a nicely crunchy exterior, with a very nice cakiness on the inside. I like that they left a rather thick layer of cake in there, filling only the center with fudge, so that you actually do feel like you’re eating cake. The fudge is really the star, though, as it’s deliciously rich and thick but smooth as can be. It’s also rather nicely balanced, so that even though you get a really big dark chocolate bitterness, it’s always soft on the palate, blending nicely with the cake. Helping that balance is a nice dusting of powdered sugar all across the top in just the right amount. The one part of the dessert I didn’t care for was the vanilla ice cream, which doesn’t have much flavor to it. It’s also too frosty, suppressing the flavor a tad. 4.2/5.0.
I know it's lengthy, but I hope that helps.
The Food Buster
814 S. Bond Street, Baltimore, MD 21231
515 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20004