Amuse-bouche: Pea-cream, vegetable sushi and vegetable shake.
The most memorable was the pea-cream. I still haven’t had a good vegetable sushi (including l’Arpege).
Sea Scallops, Caramelized Cauliflower, Caper-Raisin Emulsion (4.75/5)
Memorable. Caper-raisin emulsion an inspired pairing.
Santa Barbara Sea Urchin, Black Bread, Jalapeño and Yuzu (4.75/5)
Sea Trout and Oyster Tartar, Lemon, Horseradish and Chive (5/5)
Diver Scallop Carpaccio, Sea Beans, Green Chilies and Spring Herbs (4.25/5)
Yellowfin Tuna Ribbons, Avocado and Spicy Radish, Ginger Marinade (4.25/5)
In spite of this being a JG specialty, I’m not enamoured with the soy-ginger marinade, which to this Asian palate was one-dimensional salt.
Warm Asparagus Salad, Hollandaise, Truffle Vinaigrette (3.5/5)
Too much lemon. Unfortunately the Provencal Asparagus was overshadowed by the sourness.
Foie Gras Brulée, Dried Sour Cherries, Candied Pistachios, and White Port Gelee (5/5)
Spectacular. An unusual pairing of foie-gras, and the all-American breakfast, cherry granola. A dish to live in the memory.
Seared Gulf Shrimp with Baby Artichokes, Lemon Fennel Emulsion and Paprika Oil (4.25/5)
Salt and Pepper Sweetbreads, Sweet Chili Emulsion, Pea Shoots and Golden Garlic (3.5/5)
I didn’t like the licorice braised sweetbreads, it was a bit tasteless to me.
Steamed Cod with Potato-Leek Puree and Clams with Green Chili (4.5/5)
Chocolate: 35%, 40%, 64%, 66%, 70%, 100% (4.25/5)
Jean-Georges 2013 edition for Chocolate. In case you’re wondering, those numbers describe the chocolate content of the items on the plate. The 100% is the black drizzle on the bottom. Jean-Georges makes a homely (and great) chocolate cake, but the other components were dry and cake-y.
Citrus: Fresh and Candied Citrus Salad, Riesling Gelee and Buddha’s Head Snow Ginger Cake, Mandarin Gel, Olive Oil and Mandarin Powder (4.25/5)
Caramel: Black Pepper Creme Caramel, Hazelnut Sponge, Crunchy Praline, Milk Chocolate Cream (4.25/5)
Rhubarb: Orange Flower Yogurt, Almond Crumble, Spiced Rhubarb Compote, Alsatian Rhubarb Tart, Basil and Rhubarb Puree (4.5/5)
Conclusion: Jean-Georges is where I would go to in NYC for a no-nonsense French meal. The mains are generally technically excellent, and the early seafood courses (not the mains) are prepared to a high level of sophistication. One does not find a great deal of innovation here, and this may be due to Jean-Georges status as one of the linchpin fine-dining restaurants in NYC – customers expect good French cooking, innovation comes at a bonus. Therefore innovation is a bit lacking here. (It is a similar situation with Paul Bocuse’s 3 star Michelin restaurant in Lyon, which is also not known for innovation). I was taken most with the more unusual dishes – black bread with uni, foie gras cherry granola, and oyster salmon tartare.
Memory: black bread with uni, foie gras cherry granola, and oyster salmon tartare.