Jean-Georges 6-course lunch tasting menu...little bites of heaven.
We had our anniversary celebration at lunch at Jean-Georges this Monday. It was fabulous, much better than I had dreamed it would be (why, below). Here is a brief rundown with photos.
Amuse-gueules: Not entirely sure what they were. Golden broccoli soup? Some vegetable sphere? A picked radish sushi. All terrific, especially the last.
First course: Oh brother. Super-tart Meyer lemon gelée, yuzu cream, lots of caviar. You were enjoined to mix them together. I didn't. I ate them in little bites. Please give me this on my deathbed.
Second course: Tuna ribbons, avocado purée, chili broth. Proved what the pic on the cover of that izakaya cookbook promised, a marriage made in heaven.
Third course: Hot egg custard (chawanmushi style), lightly candied pistachios, slightly pickled beets, tart cream. Another one to mix together and I did. Oh mama.
Fourth course: Line-caught cod with crisp rice? Crisp skin? In a tart savory jalapeno broth. Yes, indeed.
Fifth course: Suckling pig, plum sauce, baby beets. Superb.
Sixth course: Rhubarb desserts. A little tart, a dessert soup with passionfruit, a semifreddo with rhubarb heart with meringue disc and straws, with a few wild strawberries, and a crisp that was a bit overspiced for me.
Friandises: pâte de fruits and 2 chocolates, one a bittersweet ganache-centred one and one with crisp bits in excellent chocolate.
Les fleurs et le vin (Châteauneuf du Pape 2011) for the last savory course. Before this, my first Aviation (nice but a bit sweet, I should have had a Martini) and a Pernod for him, and Chablis from a small producer, I forget what year. Wines were great and the sommelier was wonderful, remarkably helpful and unpretentious. The wine list is wonderfully varied, with a good number of bottles less than $100.
General remarks --
Nothing was too sweet, which is the besetting sin of a lot of of the luxury places here. Everything was bright with tartness.
Their porcelain is gorgeous and must be a nightmare to keep up. Each dish seems to be a slightly different shape. Beautiful and fun to eat from.
Service was impeccable and we were not rushed, despite having a late-ish reservation (1:45 pm). We had only been to the restaurant once before, when it first opened, and we had a 10 pm reservation. At that time, we were told we could not order the tasting and were rushed through dinner while other tables were lavished with attention. That treatment had kept us from going back, since we had better experiences in other restaurants such as the Modern and Per Se.
At this point I cannot wait for the next opportunity to enjoy le grand luxe (et calme, et volupté) that is Jean-Georges now.