If you go to New York one of the best deals you can get in terms of fine dining is the $38 dollar two-course lunch at Jean-Georges. Although it might seem a little steep for two courses Jean-Georges is a three Michelin star restaurant and I’d take two courses there over four courses in a lot of places.
Plus you get an amuse bouche and a mignardise course at the end. Not to mention a very diverse bread basket. As for the amuse bouche it varies but with the mignardise there are always many types of chocolate, cookies, marshmallows and pate de fruit. So reallyyy you kindof are getting four courses for $38.
AMUSE BOUCHE: For the amuse we had a toast with wild mushrooms, root vegetable soup with chili oil and salmon with pistachio pesto. All quite nice but I think the salmon was my favorite.
BREAD BASKET: They have various types of bread; I tried the ciabatta and a Swedish rye bread. Both were excellent and the butter is of amazing quality.
APPETIZER: For the appetizers we tried the Yellowfin Tuna Ribbons which came with avocado, spicy radish, and ginger marinade. In terms of flavor these are a familiar taste profile nothing out of the ordinary but the way they cut the tuna ribbons was impressive and created interesting texture. So much tuna too.
We also ordered the Butternut Squash Soup which comes with black trumpet mushrooms. Usually I’m not a fan of butternut squash soup as I find that most have too much cream and sugar so it feels like you are eating some weird soup-dessert hybrid. This one was incredibly smooth and just the right amount of savoury with the mushrooms.
Lastly we also tried the Peekytoe Crab Dumplings that come in a Celeriac-Meyer Lemon Tea. These were pillowy and all lump crab inside, no fillers here. Together with the fragant lemon-y “tea” sauce they were quite nice. Next time though I want to try the Hamachi Sashimi with avocado, yuzu and radish as that is a constant in their menu and JG is known for it.
ENTREE: For entrees we ordered the Hake which came with a spicy jade emulsion and tender celeriac. The braised celeriac had great texture and taste I’ve never had it before but it reminded me of braised artichoke hearts. The spicy jade emulsion was lovely and the only thing I didn’t love was the very flaky texture of the hake but I think that’s just a personal preference of mine.
One of their largest entrees and the most picky-eater friendly entree as well is the Parmesan Crusted Organic Chicken. Its a huge piece of super juicy chicken and with the cripsy crust and the rich sauce its hard not to like it.
The last entree we ordered was a supplement to the regular menu, the Caramelized Beef Tenderloin it comes with miso butter, parsley root puree, brussel sprouts and is a $20 supplement. They always have a variation of a beef and sucking pig supplements which are usually $20 and $10 dollars respectively. Last year I ordered the beef one and got probably one of the best steaks I have eaten in my life, super charred on the outside and perfect medium-rare inside, it came with caramelized squash and a spicy butter sauce and was worth every penny. This year the steak was nice but not amazing, I don’t think it was worth the $20 price tag and the combination of flavors in the plate wasn’t that novel or fantastic.
DESSERT: Because we could not help ourselves we ordered a dessert course to share (this is not included in the two-course meal). Their desserts come as ‘tastings’ usually with four elements that are supposed to complement each other and all share a common theme (like ‘cherry’ or ‘chocolate’). We naturally went with chocolate and it came with white chocolate ice cream with yuzu crumbs, milk chocolate panna cotta (the tube thing) + mango gel + smoked salt meringue +candied orange, and their famous warm chocolate cake with a vanilla bean ice cream on some other type of crumbs I forget.
BIRTHDAY CAKE: We had a birthday in our midst and so we were presented with their Happy Birthday cake which is a rich multi-layer chocolate and chocolate ganache cake. Amazing. Definitely lie about it being someone’s birthday for this baby.
MIGNARDISE: Whoops. I feel like I do this in 50% of my restaurant posts but yes did not take any pictures of the mignardise because they were promptly devoured. They included two kinds of pate de fruit, a crispy almost rice crispy-like cookie that was lavender flavoured I believe, chocolate truffles in a flavor I can’t remember, macarons and the most heavenly cloud-like vanilla bean marshmallows.
All in all a fantastic lunch experience and the service here is really top notch. There is a more formal air but everyone is very polite and friendly. Last year when we had to somewhat rush lunch because I had a flight to catch they were more than obliging. Their food is basically fine French food with Asian elements and they really nail it. No weird molecular gastronomy stunts or foams and jellies but just amazing quality extremely well-prepared food. And for $38 dollars its definitely a steal. Just make your reservations a couple weeks ahead of time.
1 Central Park West, New York, NY 10023