Sunday, September 7, 2014

Jean George's

           If you've been reading you know that I recently went to NYC for a long weekend and got engaged! You can read more about it here. That was the first night of our trip. We spent the whole next day celebrating, and ended with an amazing dinner at Jean George's!

          Before I get to the food, here's a quick pic of the two new bags I bought before dinner (since it was a celebratory weekend, I had to.) The new bags are the Never Full (largest in the back) and the matching wristlet to snap inside. The rest are the bags I'd planned to bring with me because I definitely needed three for three days... I wore the white one to Jean George' back to dinner!

          I'd been to Jean George for dinner once several years ago. It was one of the first Michelin starred restaurants I've ever tried, and I still remember the egg caviar. It's one of my favorite dishes of all time, so when we decided to go to Jean George I naturally checked the menu to see if it was something they still had. I was excited to learn that the egg is a classic dish that always stays on the menu(s). Jean George's offers three menus, a prixe fix, a seasonal tasting menu, and a classic tasting menu. The whole table has to order the same number of courses, but doesn't need to order the same menu. I ordered the classic menu, and the fiancé ordered the classic tasting menu.

          We both started with three small bites, and it was recommended that we try them in this order. It was perfect because the sweet raspberry and cool tomato was just the right ending after the spicy watermelon.

          My egg caviar was the first course, and it was just as amazing as I remembered! A soft scrambled egg served in the shell, with vodka infused whipped cream and caviar. This is still one of my all time favorite dishes, and possibly the most decadent.

          The fiancé also started with caviar; his came with Meyer Lemon Gelée and Crème Fraîche and he enjoyed it just as much as I enjoyed mine.

          We each had a scallop dish for the second course, his was a carpaccio with anise and lime and mine was seared with Caramelized Cauliflower and Caper-Raisin Emulsion, toasted cauliflower and a hint of curry. Both were beautiful in presentation and flawlessly executed. The two dishes together were a really fun and interesting contrast.

          Next we each had a soup course, again two perfect representations of fresh summer flavors and Classic French cuisine. Mine was a young garlic soup (chicken broth based) served with crispy frogs legs. Our server explained that the frogs legs were meant to be eaten with your hands and dipped in the soup. This was another dish I'd had the first time eating at Jean George's and again it was just as good as I remembered. These were the first frog legs I've ever tried, and still my favorite preparation (although I've had them a few times since).

          The fiancé is very picky about tomatoes, he only likes them when they're extremely fresh and in season. He loved the tomato gazpacho which was full of bright, fresh flavors. 

           This was a towel they brought me to wash my hands after the frogs legs. It was dehydrated and they poured warm water over it to make it like a real warm towel!

           The two fish courses were next, and I absolutely loved my butter poached turbot with Château Chalon Sauce. Our server told us this sauce was one of Jean George's most famous, and I can see why. It was rich and full of flavors of white wine and butter. The fiance also enjoyed his roasted hake with basil, crushed tomatoes and olive oil.

           The lobster courses were next, and they were both delicious. I had the lobster tartine with lemongrass and fenugreek broth, while the fiance had butter poached lobster with gnocchi and smoked butter kale.

          The tasting menus each included two final savory courses; lamb with yogurt cucumber sauce and broiled squab with onion compote, corn pancake and seared foie gras.

          We decided to add a bonus course before dessert, because we just weren't ready for the meal to end. We had planned to share the two preparations of foie gras, but each enjoyed the dish in front of us so much that we finished them without sharing.

          I love seared foie gras and figs, so naturally I loved this dish! I liked the twist of serving it with some crumbled pastry-like topping rather than the traditional brioche.

           Although I didn't try the fiancé's -a foie gras torchon with strawberry granola, aged balsamic, and sorrel, it hands down wins the award for prettiest dish of the night! He said it tasted just as good as it looked! 

          The foie gras dishes were incredibly rich, and the perfect transition to the dessert courses... and there were several starting with this mini trio of sorbets! 

          I had the chocolate dessert which was a sampler of several mini desserts including white chocolate ice cream with yuzu sorbet, milk chocolate custard with piedmont hazelnuts, smoked salt meringue and candied orange, bitter sweet chocolate tart with fudge, and red wine sorbet, and a warm chocolate cake with vanilla bean ice cream.

          The fiance had the strawberry dessert with strawberry red wine sorbet with vanilla crumble chantilly cream and shiso syrup, sponge cake with caramelized balsamic meringue, and warm pâte à choux with strawberry jam.

          Our server brought over an extra dessert course, with an adorable congrats note! It came with sparkling plum soda with riesling and raspberries, frozen apricot parfait with candied corn, orange sponge cake and currants, stone fruit gelee with almond crunch ice cream, honey whole wheat cake and warm pain perdu with blueberry jam and lemon thyme roasted peaches.

          Just when we thought we couldn't possibly eat any more, they brought out even more desserts! This time, house made chocolate truffles, macaroons, and marshmallows. Somehow I managed to eat one of the chocolates, and it was amazing!

          The meal at Jean George's was outstanding, and the perfect way to end our celebratory weekend. 

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