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Jean Georges still amazing

Jean Georges is still amazing after all these years. I hadn't been there since Jean Georges himself was cooking. At that time the foie gras was the best foie gras I've ever had. Tonite we did the Autumn tasting menu. The food was exceptional. The dishes were perfectly prepared. Foie gras was not part of that menu but was on the prix fixe menu, the accomodating staff, had no problem giving us the roasted foie gras as an additional course. The foie gras was as good as it gets. We also wanted the chocolate dessert course in addition to our dessert course. That was offered to us at no additional charge as well as a most delicidious chocolate mousse "birthday" cake. THe chocoaltes were creative, but not for all tasted. For example i think one of the chocolates was flavored with cumin. The lamb dish, described as "minced lamb" was actually a lamb chop. So, although kind of suprised at what was served, it was prepared to perfection. The sea bass was made comparable to that which Le Bernadin, served back in its "hay day". The skin was cripsy, the flavor incredible, the meat juicy. The goat cheese and beet dish was beyond all expectations. The service was as good as it gets. All the staff was knowledgable and gave perfect service. After just returning from Chevre D'or in Eze, France, a tough act to follow, Jean Georges held its own. I still have to say ,this is the best "haut cuisine" in New York.

Jean Georges
1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

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  1. thanks for the review! I can't wait to go there for lunch in December - counting the days!

    1. We went 2 weeks ago and did the "Signature Dishes" tasting menu. It was first rate. Definitely remains in the top 5 in NY.

      1. Any opinion on the wine pairing? We're going to do one of the two tasting menus in a couple of weeks, but I'm not sure I want to do the pairing. It's pretty expensive, and I'm not sure I want to drink all that much wine.


        8 Replies
        1. re: egit

          Wine pairings with tasting menus can be a bit too much (of a good thing). My GF and I use to always go the pairing route but we changed our perference a while back. Now we are extremely up front with the Sommelier and tell them we have a high tolerence but don't want to drink too much, we usually ask for a bottle that would complement the majority of the courses and ask that if there happens to be an exceptionally good wine to go with any particular course that it be suggested and we usually get a full or half pour, it has always worked out nicely.

          1. re: Spiritchaser

            Funny, this is the conclusion we came to last night when we discussed it. We'll probably request a bottle that would go with the majority of the first courses (likely white). Then maybe ask for an appropriate glass or two for the last course/s.

            We did a similar thing at another restaurant with a many-course tasting menu (Compose, now departed). We asked for an abbreviated pairing; one wine for every two courses (or something like that... don't recall exactly).

            1. re: egit

              We also find a whole wine pairing per person to be a bit too much alcohol. JG has easily accomodated us by charging us for one wine pairing and pouring half of the amount in each of our glasses. This way we both get to enjoy the paired wines with each course -- and still be able to walk out of the dining room at the end of the meal!

              So glad you enjoyed the Autumn tasting. I think looking at the overall experience combined -- food quality, consistency, dining room, service, price -- JG is the best restaurant in NYC.

            2. re: Spiritchaser

              I've been to JG several times. The last dinner we did the pairings and that was one of the reasons my wife and I quit doing pairings. Now we go with a glass of something and a versatile bottle or a few glasses or whatever.

              Not that I wouldn't recommend JG to anyone. They do everything great except maybe the pairings but its been a while.

              1. re: HoosierFoodie

                I had a half bottle of a German Riesling 2012 Auselese that matched well with all of my courses (except the cheese). Unfortunately, I was saving a 1/3 of a glass of wine for my desserts, but while I had stepped away from the table for a few minutes, someone cleared my table (water, wine, napkin); the only service gaffe of the evening. One of the few hazards of solo dining.

                1. re: ellenost

                  Did the wait staff bring you another glass to compensate for the loss when you told someone, or did you just decide to let it go? I wouldn't at those prices.

                  1. re: Pan

                    As I was being re-seated by my captain, he realized that the glass of sparkling water was missing, but not sure whether he realized that the wine wasn't finished. He had another bottle of the sparkling water brought out, but I didn't want to ask for another glass of wine (since there wasn't a comparable wine by the glass available), and I certainly couldn't ask them to open another bottle of Riesling for me when all I had left was a 1/3 of a glass.

                    Same thing happened to me at Jungsik in December (left the table before dessert and the table was cleared by the time I returned); didn't happen again last Friday when I returned to Jungsik.

                    I think I need a sign to leave on the table to let the staff know that I'll be back.

                    1. re: ellenost

                      Yeah, another whole bottle wouldn't have been appropriate for you to ask for nor for them to bring. But that is a bad service lapse.

          2. i have been coming to JG for years; you have actually seen JG himself cooking? extra ordinary though i see him there frequently keeping an eye on the actual cooks.

            1. I'd like to write a review for JG but can't since ... we had a resrevation booked for 1:30 and were waiting for over 15 minutes to be seated and so I gave Masa a call and they had space so I walked across the street instead. We were not the only couple waiting - the place was very disorganied - so I would NOT recommend JG for lunch unless you are on a budget and don't mind waiting. YMMV.

              6 Replies
              1. re: acroyear

                or you are booked in the first lunch seating.

                  1. re: pizzajunkie

                    I guess thinking about it ... if JG wants to offer such cheap prices for lunch they should consider putting a limit of 1.5 hours to the first sitting ... if I was paying full price for a dinner I wouldn't want to be rushed out but in this case if people are going for budget reasons I don't think it is unreasonable for JG to ask you to leave after 1.5 hours or whatever. If I had an early seating reservation and they indicated they wanted me out by 1:30 I would have no problem (assuming of course the food came out on time and I wasn't getting my chococolate cake at 1:29 p.m.)

                    1. re: acroyear

                      It may have been a fluke, but I didn't wait when I ate at JG with a 2pm reservation. I do agree that an hour and a half for lunch seems like more than enough time to enjoy the frugal spoils.

                      1. re: masterofceremonies

                        I went for the Classics Tasting Menu dinner last week. I had been to Jean Georges many years ago and remembered it as one of the best meals of my life. I am not sure if I am more jaded or just didn't enjoy some of the classics,

                        During the first few courses the only one that wowed me was the egg caviar.

                        The last few courses made up for it, the lobster and squab dishes had the layers of flavors and textures that made me turn my opinion around.

                        I liked that they offered 1/2 glasses of wine. I was able to sample several wines and match them to the courses.

                        Jean Georges
                        1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

                        1. re: majmaj4

                          I went there today for lunch. Indeed, there was some disorganization at the front desk before being seated and we ended up waiting ~10 minutes past the reservation time. This aside, the food was amazing - every single plate was consistently excellent. While the presentation didn't reach EMP's levels, I feel the taste itself was better and more memorable in the end. Very, very satisfying experience.

                          Jean Georges
                          1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

                1. I think JG's pre-fixe dinner represents an excellent value for a 3 Star Michelin restaurant. For 98 dollars you get an amuse, 3 main dishes, dessert (which had 4 tastings) and petit fours. When my wife and I dined there in over the summer we left stuffed and satisfied. If JG was in Chicago I'd eat there all the time.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: PopMegaphone

                    PopMegaphone, I think Michelin may have been a bit liberal with that 3rd star ....

                    Being from Chicago would be interested to hear how you compare some of the Chicago establishments vs. JG (or other NYC restaurants for that matter).

                    I've been to Chicago many times and, off the top of my head, have been to Alinea, Tru, Trio (back in the day), and Everest . Also tried Moto. And on the more casual dining, Hot Chocolate. Let me know how you think JG compares.

                    1. re: acroyear

                      >> would be interested to hear how you compare some of the Chicago establishments vs. JG (or other NYC restaurants for that matter). <<

                      In Chicago I've been to Alinea twice (once the longer tasting menu, 2nd time later when they just had one shorter menu) and L20 once for their tasting menus (earlier this year, when they still had 3 Michelin stars, had the Singular and Seasonal menus).

                      In NYC I've been to Per Se, Le Bernardin (tasting menus split w/ wife), Daniel (tasting menus split w/ wife), EMP (just lunch, alas) and to Jean Georges twice (once for lunch, once for the two tasting menus split w/ wife).

                      Alinea is my favorite in the US and Per Se is a close 2nd (French Laundry probably 3rd). These three are in a different strata than the other places we've dined at (10 of the US Michelin 3*s).

                      The 2nd best meal we had in NYC was the two J-G tasting menus last month, which honestly surprised me since I had gotten the impression J-G was a bit tired. We dined there a night after Daniel and it was clearly better than Daniel. Would probably rank EMP next though they did miss a bit on one lunch item. Really creative way of cooking and we're looking forward to their tasting menu on the next trip to NYC next spring.

                      I would put the other three slightly behind J-G and EMP and well behind Alinea and Per Se. Probably rank the meal at L20 slightly higher than Le Bernardin and Daniel is probably last, though still good. For sure if I dined at each again I might change my views, but that's my first impression.

                      1. re: willyum

                        willyum - interesting feedback. Thanks.

                        I have always had good experiences at Alinea and Le Bernardin. Congrats on finishing the longer tasting (24ish courses?) at Alinea - last time Grant came out and did dessert for us at our table - I was pretty full but managed to scarf things down ... the table next to us was seated when arrived and was still going when we left (we had the 14? course menu) .... how did you feel afterwards?

                        Daniel was "ok" but alas that was many years ago so not fair to comment at this point. JG was also "ok" last time (2 years ago) but after the recently lunch screw-up I'm not anxious to return if I'm back in NYC. In terms of where I would go back in NYC - Le Bernardin and Masa for sure.

                        West Coast - that is a whole other discussion .... some good meals ... Spago, CUT, Pacific's Edge, numerous Michael Mina establishments, brunch at the Ritz Marina del Rey and all the Vegas places but never been to French Laundry - too much planning and most of my west coast trips are not planned that far in advance .. my friend from SF went - he is sort of picky and his gf said they did try to accommodate him (he isn't into seafood) and they had good things to say ... on the other end of the spectrum another business acquaintance mentioned he was at FL and they served a couple of dishes without the wine being poured first and that put him off ... find that a bit shocking - might have been an off day. Only Keller experience for me has been Bouchon in Vegas ...

                        Back to Chicago ... almost forgot Charlie Trotter's ... been three times ... not in a huge rush to return .... was "ok" ... just not enough to pull me back like Alinea.

                  2. Pete Wells affirmed JG's four star rating in the New York Times.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: darren425

                      Their foie gras brulee is the best foie gras dish I've had in NYC. Can't wait to go back to do the tasting menu.

                      1. re: darren425

                        I find there is something very comforting in knowing that such an nyc icon can stand the test of time- it seems like all too often there are legendary restaurants that are no longer up to par....

                      2. I haven't dined at Jean Georges in many years, but when someone I trust tweeted that he had one of his finest meals ever at JG, I knew that I had to move JG to the top of my "bucket list". Surprisingly enough when I was browsing OpenTable yesterday afternoon, JG had an availability at 6:00. Called the restaurant and made the reservation.

                        I chose the Spring Menu, and asked whether it would be possible to substitute the seared foie gras for the listed halibut course, and after a quick check with the kitchen, was told that it would be no problem. Dinner had all of my favorite luxury items: caviar, foie gras and lobster. Almost as many mignardises as at Per Se.

                        Long story short: almost 3 hours of a nearly flawless dinner. Food was delicious; service (especially by my captain, Andrew) was the best in comparison to my previous 4 visits (which while I had found to be proper, Iacked the warmth of many of the other top restaurants). Even opted for the additional cheese course.

                        Based on last night's dinner, I plan to dine more frequently at Jean Georges.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: ellenost

                          It's 8:43 in the morning, and I seriously want that asparagus dish NOW. Are those morels on top? It all looks fantastic, especially the beautifully runny cheese (which I would also eat now.) I need to move JG to the top of my list, too. Caviar, foie gras and lobster - just another Thursday night in NYC. :-)

                          Thanks for the review.

                          1. re: VaPaula

                            Yes, those are morels on top of the asparagus; a "ton" of them. Sauce was more of a cream (not cheese) sauce. This was probably the best asparagus dish ever!

                            1. re: ellenost

                              Glad you made it there and had a great meal! I was very impressed with JG during my meal last year. Both my dining companions had the asparagus and loved it.

                              There is one thing I'm noticing though in that most of the menu options seem similar to the ones I had last year: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/900587

                              My favorite dish from last year that is on the current menu (as listed on their website) is the gently smoked squab. Might be the best squab I've ever had.

                              1. re: ellenost

                                Right, I figured that was a cream sauce. My runny cheese comment was referring to your cheese course - yum!

                                1. re: VaPaula

                                  Yes, the runny cheese course was delicious. I was glad that JG had a few selections for me since I prefer soft cows milk cheeses. The cheese course was an additional $35 (in case anyone is interested).