Being a Chef and well-travelled foodie I often seek inspirations on my travels. I have been fortunate to visit cities all over the world and eat at some of the finest restaurants in cities from Hong Kong to London and Cannes to Montreal. So when I recently was in New York I wanted to see what the well reviewed Jean-Georges was really like.
My best restaurant in New York City to date was Daniel Boulud. I went there over 13 years ago and the experience was second to none and still fresh in my mind. So when I was in New York last week I had a hard time deciding where to eat. Nobu is always a favorite but I didn’t want to go back to a place which I had already tried. So, my wife and I managed to book Jean-Georges at the Trump hotel.
I knew this would be pricey, but living in Minneapolis there really is nothing of this caliber and since we only had one night, we thought let’s try what’s supposed to be the best restaurant in New York.
Jean-Georges has two dining areas. One which is less expensive and far less formal but we decided on the formal one where a jacket is required.
The dining room was exceptionally decorated and not overcrowded with plenty of room on each table. They do two seatings and there is absolutely no rush.
We started with a glass of champagne and scoured the menu. The menu is a choice of a 3 course with no desert or 2 x 7 course menus. We both chose the 3-course menu as they suggest that everyone in your party do the same menu.
So, can a Chef live up to the expectations of being one of the best in the world and charge close to $500 for two people?
In my opinion yes. It was a Gastronomic experience.
We started off with a sashimi of scallops with a basil infused olive oil. It was not over complicated but you could tell every single ingredient was the best money could buy.
Next was a Tuna Tartar. This one was again spectacular and as you would expect the best part of the tuna was used. A sauce was poured around the tuna. It was very well done as tuna will cure very quickly with a sauce that’s been absorbed over time. It was a Japanese flavor of sesame, soy and some acidity. Perfection
We were then complimented with a shrimp dish. This consisted of three cooked tiger shrimp in a lemon, saffron sauce. The best taste of the night. It is so hard to get saffron to taste as it’s a very overpowering ingredient. But this dish was again flawless
Next was the sea bass in a very typical French brandy and cream sauce. It was hard to find fault but if any, this was a little rich and I would have preferred something a little lighter on the sauce
At $480 with service it was a high price to pay. But it also was a unique dining experience. And as a contrast the next day, we spent $150 on lunch that was quickly forgettable at a steak house.
My advice is be smart about dining out in New York. In the city there are hundreds of eateries charging a couple hundred dollars for 3 courses with a bottle of wine so combine two nights into one and indulge in the best. Go to Ben’s Deli for the second night and enjoy a great cheap meal that’s very hard to find in other US cities.
Daniel Green, the Model Cook is a Celebrity Chef known for his healthy approach to food and living well. With TV, books, magazines and live appearances, Daniel spends his time helping fans to cook better, feel better and live better. He’s also an avid traveler and a self-confessed Foodie.