This culinary temple in the Trump International Hotel and Towers focuses wholly on chef celebre Jean-Georges Vongerichten's spectacular creations. The chef may now have restaurants sprinkled around the globe but this is the spot in his culinary empire you want to be at. Some dishes approach the limits of the taste universe, like foie-gras brûlée with spiced fig jam and ice-wine reduction. Others are models of simplicity, like slow-cooked cod with warm vegetable vinaigrette. Exceedingly personalized service and a well-selected wine list contribute to an unforgettable meal. It's prix-fixe only. For Jean Georges on a budget, try the prix-fixe lunch in the front room, Nougatine.
Aug 15, 2012
Not Perfect My spouse and I dined at Jean Georges for Sunday lunch in July 2012. We had looked forward to eating at this Michelin 3-star restaurant for years, but we were only satisfied (not awed) with our experience. Our Sunday lunch reservation was not difficult to obtain, made easier by booking through Open Table. Although jackets are required for dinner, they are optional for Sunday lunch. When we arrived at 11:30 am for our 11:45 am reservation,
we were told that they did not begin seating until precisely 11:45, and we were directed to wait in either the Trump Hotel lobby (which was smallish and very busy, probably because it was check-out time), the bar at Nougatine (which was full), or the outdoor patio at Nougatine (which looked lovely; however, the weather was steamy, hot, and humid). We elected to wait in the hotel lobby, along with two other couples who were also waiting to be seated. We weren’t offered drinks as we sat in the lobby; however, someone did come to fetch us at 11:45 when our table was ready, which was a pleasant surprise; we thought that we would be forgotten and have to present ourselves again to the hostess desk. The Jean Georges restaurant is attractive, with stark white modern decor, high ceilings, and three walls of windows; however, you must traipse through casual “little sister” restaurant Nougatine to enter; on Sunday at 11:45, it seemed that all the hotel guests were present having breakfast. The doors between the two restaurants remained open the entire time of the lunch service, so the Jean Georges setting was less than serene. To compound things, we were seated at the front corner of the room, and although the table position gave us a great view of Jean Georges, it also allowed the noise and commotion from Nougatine to color our dining experience. A service stand was positioned right next to our table, so servers were constantly stopping there to enter orders and pick up/put back wine bottles and water pitchers. I’m not sure that there is an ideal table in this space; several service stands surround the room, and some of the tables are a bit close together. One table for two was tucked into an alcove; a nice, private spot except for the table immediately fronting it. The dining room appears to hold approximately 50 or so guests, at tables for parties of 2, 4, and 6. Two menu options are available for lunch – a 6-course tasting for $128 (set menu without choices), or a 2-course menu for $38 (with several choices from each of three categories); with the 2-course menu, additional course are available for $19 and dessert is available for $12. For the 2-course menu, certain dishes such as egg caviar, foie gras, white asparagus, and scallops come with a supplemental price. We chose the 6-course tasting menu, and were mostly happy. We (and all diners, even those with the 2-course menu) started with a 3-part amuse-bouche of a shooter of popcorn soup, a cube of marinated watermelon topped with feta cheese, and a sort of pickle slice. Next came an egg custard topped with caviar and complemented by a basil sauce. We also dined on yellowtail ribbons with avocado and radish, ravioli with peas and tomatoes, skate with spring vegetables, and rack of lamb with a chili sauce. All the dishes were beautifully presented, and the ingredients were delicious; however, the accompaniments for the skate and the lamb were absolutely redundant in both appearance and taste. The cherry dessert tasting was amazing, with four components – a sort of deconstructed black forest cake, cherries jubilee, crème brûlée, and sorbet. Following dessert, we received chocolate mignardises and the Jean Georges signature homemade vanilla bean marshmallows. Service was acceptable, with some servers clearly having a better handle on things than others. One of our wait staff appeared to just be learning, and she cleared our bread plates and glasses much sooner than they should have been. We felt that the beverage service was a bit slow, and our glasses were often empty (which is surprising – if they had offered more drinks, they would have made more money). Our lunch was not perfect, but it was a good meal with decent service at a fair price (when you compare its price with the other Michelin 3-stars in town like Per Se and Masa).
Oct 24, 2008
Outstanding! Excellent for that special occasion with service that is second to none. You won't be disapppointed.