Nougatine at Jean-Georges Review + Photos
Photos are available here: http://www.donuts4dinner.com/2010/09/...
My boyfriend and I were convinced that we hadn’t gotten the true Jean-Georges experience at The Mark back in July and decided to try again with the tasting menu at the more established Nougatine.
• homemade ginger-lemon ale and passion-fruit-lime sodas
Easily the best part of our last Jean-Georges meal, these proved to be a highlight at Nougatine, too. I cannot urge you enough to go to one of the Jean-Georges restaurants just to drink. I am so serious about it that I am not contracting the words cannot and I am. Check out the photo and look at the way the bottoms of the glasses are all dark. That is PURE FLAVOR, people.
• poblano and corn fritter with tomato soup amuse bouche
The poblano flavor was basically non-existent, but boy, do I love a corn fritter. Like, what’s more delicious than breaded carbs?
• tuna tartare, avocado, spicy radish, soy-ginger marinade
The tuna and avocado were entirely unnecessary in this dish except to give something for the marinade to marinate. The sauce and radishes were so flavorful that we didn’t taste anything else, but they were so delicious we didn’t care. The crunchy radish was a wonderful contrast to the super-soft tuna and avocado.
• strawberry foie gras brulee, strawberry, balsamic microbasil
We considered this the first dessert course. It was SO SWEET. And I am not complaining. The crispiness of the smoky burnt top juxtaposed the melt-in-your-mouth foie gras, and the slab of bread underneath it all soaked up that strawberry-balsamic sauce.
• salmon, crispy rice, heirloom tomatoes, onions, miso broth, silky tofu
I’m a fish-disliker to begin with, and cooked salmon is one of my least-favourites, because raw salmon is actually halfway delicious! It’s such a shame. I hate–I mean, really HATE–tomatoes, too, so this dish was basically made to test me. And I’ll admit that I did like it. The miso soaking made the fish much better, the silky tofu made the miso better, and the crispy rice made everything better. Oh, crispy rice. Crispy rice, I dream about you. Seriously, it was like a crouton made of rice that I could make less-crispy if I wanted to by dunking it in the miso.
• beef, carrot top pesto, carrots
Suuuuuuuuper-spicy and crunchy pesto and a carrot puree that resembled sweet baby food? Yes, please. I think my boyfriend thought the pesto under the beef was too spicy, but I appreciated how opposite the puree it was. I’ve never had a legitimately crunchy pesto, but I really enjoyed it with the tender beef.
• strawberry sorbet, molten chocolate cake, vanilla bean ice cream, fig tart
Individually, all of these desserts were fine, and I appreciate being able to try a wide range of a menu, but there’s a lot of be said for cohesiveness, and this had almost none. The figs, which are one of my very favourite things in the universe, were the least-interesting thing on the plate, and the chocolate cake, which I usually find boring, was the best.
• fruit gels
These little gels are making the rounds at every restaurant I’ve been to lately, but the strips of bitter orange dipped in chocolate were treat.
This was a solid half-star better than our first Jean-Georges experience, and I would go back for the tartare with the spicy radishes, the foie gras with the burnt top, the crispy rice in the salmon dish, and the crunchy pesto under the beef. AND THE GINGER ALE.
1 Central Park West, New York, NY 10023