Dinner at Jean Georges

I know, I know, we're supposed to be getting ready for the London Brussels Lyon Paris run. But when old friends called and said they'd be passing through and wouldn't it be fun to meet at JG, what was I supposed to say? No, join me in a tuna on rye while I match socks and check the hems on slacks? really.

M. Vongerichten has establishments in many parts of town; the one at the Trump international Hotel is the flagship. Cabdrivers get expensively confused when you ask for this, because Mr Trump has modestly named so many buildings after himself. Unless it's really coming down, therefore, have the cab drop you at the TimeWarner Center (there's only one of those) and walk from there.

The entry to the restaurant is simultaneously formal and unprepossessing. Beige walls, beige desk, some thin serious people in black. If the flowers were more exuberant, you might feel you ought to sign in and pay your respects to the family. DO NOT BE DETERRED! Press on!

The first dining room, with long bar, is actually a separate and less formal JG restaurant called Nougatine (different menu, different prices). You will be led through this room to your table in the formal dining room, where you can relax with a glass of blanc de blanc at your table while you order.

The amuse-bouche was an infinitesimal wild mushroom canneloni, a slice of radish, and a glass of spiced carrot broth.

I started with an amazing soup:

Warm parsnip and leek soup with coconut foam and lime froth. This sounds overly imaginative but what an astounding concatenation of flavors! I would happily have had another serving of this and smiled and called it a night.
Himself started with morels in hollandaise over asparagus.

Next courses - mine, caramelized foie gras with powdered olive (loved the foie, couldn't quite figure out the olive powder) and a mousse of yuzu (loved the foie, couldn't quite figure out the yuzu).

Himself had turbot with a brunoise of tomatoes on top and chateau chalon sauce for his middle course. I asked him if he was happy. He gurgled.

My main course: lamb chops topped with a bolognese of wild mushrooms. A little broccoli rab on the plate as well.

His main course:

This is called crispy rabbit; it's a roulade of the boneless rabbit meat.
Others at table had - well, there was some duplication; a sea urchin first course stands out.
Desserts are on a separate planet here.

The chocolate included a chocolate and mulled red wine sorbet that tasted like lounging in front of an open fire on a cold night. In a green velvet dress. Barefoot.

They brought us candies with the coffee, too...
I loved everything, except the powdered olive.


  1. Hello:
    When is an olive not an olive one asks....presumably when it is powdered.

    By strange coincidence we are also writing about food today on our blog. Good times and good food are being enjoyed by us all!!

  2. Yes powdered olive. That would be extremely hard to execute, olives are so oily. How to reduce to a powder?
    You are like a balm to the soul my dear. I have a dreadful headache and I have to make dinner for The Rascals. It will be a hideous pasta. Le sigh.

  3. I asked. Black olives are slivered, dried in slow oven until dehydrated, then the little corpses are whirled in a blender until powdered. Said to be nice in a crust on garlicky leg of lamb, also sprinkled on baked ripe tomato halves. Olive flavor gets very intense.

  4. Oh my gawd. You went to culinary heaven and reported back...THANK YOU for sharing! I haven't splurged on an experience like that in a while. Must make up for it this summer when in Paris.


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