Jean-Georges lets me get my Johnny Iuzzini crush on

I have to say, it does take a lot to impress me these days. If a restaurant has mediocre food, I won’t say it was good (except maybe to the wait staff). I will say it was decent. I probably also won’t say I like it. After my previous Michelin starred experiences, it does take a lot to impress me and I have high expectations for good food. Too salty is just as bad as too bland. In fact, I would probably prefer the food be bland than the salt-induced bloat that I have to feel afterwards.

But, Jean-Georges did not disappoint. If you ever have the time and the $$ to spare, I’d definitely recommend visiting Jean-Georges. I went for lunch on Saturday with a good friend. The food was good, service excellent and the ambiance was perfect. Good food, good company, ‘nuf said.

Let me just recount my experience at Jean-Georges, mainly for my benefit. (I really do want to re-savor the experience.)

I met with Will at Jean-Georges, located in the first floor of Trump Tower in Columbus Circle, around noon for their lunch service. This was a two course meal with dessert + complimentary petit fours.

The dining room was really light and peaceful looking. It gave me that “I’m-having-brunch-with-a-rich-aunt” feeling, except I don’t have a rich aunt.
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I’ve come to realize that lunch meals are the best time to take photos of food. There is enough lighting from the outside to produce clear and succulent pictures of the food, as well as beautiful macro shots.

They even produce good pictures of people!
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Will looking spiffy as usual.

They even had that vintage looking silverware. xD
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I kind of spent the beginning of the meal just admiring the decor and the silverware.

The menu:
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2 course meal for the price of $34. Then add on wine, dessert + coffee, and tip/tax and the total came out to be a bit more, but I’d say still not bad for a 3 star though.

Let’s start with the amuse-bouche, eaten in the order of the photos.
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Above we have watermelon with goat cheese and celery, popcorn in miso soup shot, and dill cucumber.

For our first course, I ordered the Foie Gras Brulee with Slow Roaster Strawberries and Aged Balsamic Vinegar. Will got the Seared Shrimp with Cucumber, Avocado and Chili-Garlic Emulsion.
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The foie gras tasted like pure butter. (I’m still drooling just thinking about it.) It had a caramelized top, with a biscuit on the top. The sugar and balsamic vinegar cut the richness of the foie gras making it equally rich and refreshing at the same time. (Still drooling.) It just kind of made me want to eat foie gras all freaking day. xD

For the main course, Will got the Red Snapper Crusted with Nuts and Seeds, and Sweet and Sour Jus. I got the Caramelized Beef Tenderloin, Goldbar Squash with Parmesan Cheese and Buttery Hot Sauce.
Nut encrusted Red Snapper at Jean-Georges
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The beef tenderloin was good, but it was probably the squash that stole the spotlight in this course. It was so well done I kept having to remind myself that there was cheese on it and not just wonderful roasting of the squash on the chef’s part. The buttery hot sauce was also a nice enhancement. I just wanted to keep dipping in it.

I paired all of this with a Malbec, which thinking back to it, I probably should have ordered a drier wine.

Look, the plate is pretty even after I eat all the food!
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At this point, one could probably stop eating. I was perfectly satiated and could have gotten up and left. But what meal is complete without dessert?

So, we ordered dessert.
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I got the strawberry theme and Will got the chocolate them.

Look who our chef patissier was:
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Hehe.. I was getting my Johnny Iuzzini crush on. I miss that cowlick from Top Chef: Just Desserts.

So here are our dessert pictures.
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The desserts were fabulous, but then again, I do have a crush on Johnny Iuzzini. They were a tad on the sweet side for me again (at least my strawberry was). But, I really liked the sorbet, and normally I am not a sorbet person. I would rather have my milk/cream based ice cream any day over water/fruit based sorbet. However, paired with the marzipan layed cake, it provided a lightness to the dessert. It made it a very nice un petit divertissement. 🙂 Will’s chocolate desserts were also pretty tasty. I particularly liked the play on a banana split at the end of his dessert.

At some point in the dessert photo-taking, I shoved my lens too close to the food and got some powdered sugar on it. That’s why there’s a blur on the right side of some of these photos. -__-;;

Then we got petit fours! House chocolates, marshmallows and lavender macarons! =D
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Lavendar Macarons @ Jean Georges
Lavendar Macaron II
Chocolates @ Jean Georges
House Marshmallows
The macarons were good. The lavender was still a little too strong for me, so it came on a little bit like soap. But maybe lavender is doomed to be that way? I feel like the lavender was already pretty light, so maybe any lighter and one wouldn’t have gotten the flavor.

After lunch, we walked around the Time Warner Center, attempted to go to Bouchon, but I was so full I couldn’t stomach any more food, even if it was sweets.

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