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Jul 7, 2014 07:19 PM

Jean-Georges' Tasting Menus

My friend and I are visiting Jean-Georges for dinner in the near future, and as I was combing through the two tasting menus, saw dishes on both the Signature and Summer menu I was interested in trying.

Has anyone visited and been able to "mix and match" dishes between the two? For example, take the first two courses from the Signature menu to replace the first two from the Summer menu? Or is this a request you think the restaurant wouldn't have an issue handling?

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  1. I would just call and ask.

    What's the worst that can happen? They say, "no". Well, then you know and can have plenty of time to decide between the two menus, right?

    No matter what happens, enjoy dinner!

    12 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Totally agree. Why ask others when you can go to the source? And, yes, any meal will be wonderful. Even though I've only eaten there twice, I feel confident about that.

      1. re: ipsedixit

        I wanted to see what other's experiences were, as I've had instances when I've called the restaurant and the host/hostess on the phone line gave me one answer, but when I arrived at the restaurant on the day of, was given another answer by the waitstaff.

        1. re: kokoro

          So what answer did you get when you called?

          1. re: c oliver

            I recieved a straight out "No, that won't be possible" answer.

            1. re: kokoro

              Well, then, I'd take that answer as the worst case scenario and see if you can live with that possibility. If not, then I'd cancel my res.

          2. re: kokoro

            Definitely a lot of times where people on phone say one thing, and the service staff says another. That might ruin the general mood of the experience.

            Folks describing mix and match is usually what prompts me to consider it. Especially when the advertise tasting menu is problematic at spots. But usually when a restaurant permits mix and matching, the practice gets mentioned often in online reviews/reports.

            1. re: villainx

              I can't imagine at J-G that those answering the phone would be any less trained and professional than any of the rest of the staff.

              1. re: c oliver

                The person I spoke to on the phone was actually a lot ruder than I thought she'd be. She gave me a flat out "no" when I asked, and refused to either speak to a manager or transfer me to one.

                And actually, the night that we went, our server checked with the kitchen when we asked and was fine with having us switch two dishes between the two tasting menus.

                1. re: kokoro

                  I would certainly have a talk with a manager regarding that. That's certainly not acceptable.

                  1. re: kokoro

                    That is frustrating that for whatever reason the woman on the phone was rude, but it sounds like they were ultimately able to accomodate you....
                    How was the meal??

                    1. re: Ttrockwood

                      I think it would be difficult for folks on the phone to answer that question, because who knows what kind of weird substitutions guests would want.

                      We can all think of reasonable requests, but I bet they get really weird requests sometimes.

                  2. re: c oliver

                    I don't think the folks answering the phones would be less trained or professional. But when guests are there, and the service staff is specifically trying to please guests, they'll see if policies can be bent. Sometimes it involves finding out what substitutions are desired, and seeing if the kitchen can accommodate.

            2. My guess, somewhat based upon experience, is this isn't a unique request. We have made substitutions on the tasting menu due to GF being a vegeterian and they were fine with it. I know it's a different reason and your swaps may be a slightly bigger request but JG is a fantastic restaurant that does an excellent job of catering to the diner.

              1. Most restaurants of JG's tier will have no problem changing courses between tasting menus if:
                1. You're willing to pay any supplement
                2. The two tasting menus have the same number of courses.

                At JG, a lot of thought actually goes into crafting their dishes and menus. When I had a friend who couldn't eat a certain ingredient, they insisted on changing the entire preparation of a dish rather than providing the same preparation minus the one ingredient. I would imagine that more thought goes into the progression of the seasonal menu, and that substituting from the seasonal onto the signature would be easier than the other way around. Personally I just prefer the prix fixe to their tasting menus.

                1. I had a great dinner recently at Jean-Georges. I chose the Summer Tasting Menu, but I wanted the sauteed foie gras from the Prix Fixe Menu (different prep from what's now showing on their website). I asked to substitute the foie gras for the fish course, and there was no problem (I, of course, offered to pay any surcharge).

                  1. Probably the easiest thing to do would be, assuming they're the same number of courses - one of you get the Sig and the other get the Summer. The just share. I've done that before, they're fine with it.