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Jean-Georges | New York | 27/05/13 | “clean flavour combinations”

16 Aug
Address: 1 Central Park West, New York, NY 10023
Phone: (212) 299-3900
This was my second visit to Jean-Georges. The first was a birthday visit a couple of years ago. I think of Jean-Georges as a restaurant emphasising nice clean flavours, French with a little Asian twist. There are few surprises here, the kitchen is not a risk-taking one. The exception in this meal was an unusual foie-gras-cherry-granola dish! Dishes are generally made to emphasise a combination of 2-3 flavours. Desserts generally fall short of the standards of the main courses.
The egg-caviar here (which I didn’t have this time) is a 5/5 dish, one I would recommend. It is a variation on the chaud-froid theme for eggs (scrambled eggs with cold vodka cream and caviar). Here, you can watch Jean-Georges prepare it.

2013-05-28 02.42.08

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).

2013-05-28 02.53.50

Sea Scallops, Caramelized Cauliflower, Caper-Raisin Emulsion (4.75/5)

Memorable. Caper-raisin emulsion an inspired pairing.

2013-05-28 02.54.01

Santa Barbara Sea Urchin, Black Bread, Jalapeño and Yuzu (4.75/5)

2013-05-28 02.54.05

Sea Trout and Oyster Tartar, Lemon, Horseradish and Chive (5/5)

2013-05-28 02.54.18

Diver Scallop Carpaccio, Sea Beans, Green Chilies and Spring Herbs (4.25/5)

Too spicy.

2013-05-28 02.54.48

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.

2013-05-28 03.14.38

Warm Asparagus Salad, Hollandaise, Truffle Vinaigrette (3.5/5)

Too much lemon. Unfortunately the Provencal Asparagus was overshadowed by the sourness.

2013-05-28 03.14.47

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.

2013-05-28 03.14.54

Seared Gulf Shrimp with Baby Artichokes, Lemon Fennel Emulsion and Paprika Oil (4.25/5)

2013-05-28 03.34.21

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.

2013-05-28 03.34.47

Steamed Cod with Potato-Leek Puree and Clams with Green Chili (4.5/5)

2013-05-28 03.35.21

Black Sea Bass Crusted with Nuts and Seeds, Sweet and Sour Jus (4.5/5) 2013-05-28 03.50.03 2013-05-28 04.02.49

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.

2013-05-28 04.03.04

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)

2013-05-28 04.03.40

Caramel: Black Pepper Creme Caramel, Hazelnut Sponge, Crunchy Praline, Milk Chocolate Cream (4.25/5)2013-05-28 04.03.32

Rhubarb: Orange Flower Yogurt, Almond Crumble, Spiced Rhubarb Compote, Alsatian Rhubarb Tart, Basil and Rhubarb Puree (4.5/5)

2013-05-28 04.03.45 2013-05-28 04.03.59_____________

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.

Verdict: 16/20

Memory: black bread with uni, foie gras cherry granola, and oyster salmon tartare.