Friday, 16 July 2010

Jean Georges part 1

After the slightly disappointing experience at Le Bernadin the night before we really needed a spectacular meal to get us back on track. Jean Georges gave us that and more.

Jackets were again required but this time when we walked through their dining room to our table we could see and hear people relaxing jackets on and off. The table we were shown to was in an intimate booth overlooking the rest of the room. Instantly we felt it easy to relax and enjoy our meal. Our waiter led us through the dining options while we sipped on a glass of champagne, and we opted for the 4 course prix fixe menu so we could mix it up a bit. We started with an amuse bouche or camomile and ginger broth, served with a piece of chilli infused watermelon and a chunk of mozzarella with pickled raspberry. An intriguing and fun start to the meal. We wanted something local(ish) to drink so with the help of our waiter/sommellier picked a Californian Pinot Noir. this went very well with our starters. I had sea trout sashimi with trout roe and a lemon and horseradish sabayon. Wowsers this was good.

Fresh trout was delicious with the fresh and sharp sauce and I love trout and salmon roe, the little pink salty balls bursting under my bite. (note:should edit that last sentence). Claire had scallops with roasted cauliflower and a caper and raisin emulsion. Claire is a sucker for cauliflower and capers so this was a no-brainer for her.

She declared the cauliflower the best she's ever tasted and the flavour combination sublime.
Next up we went more fish. Claire had turbot (or turbo!! as they call it over here) with a sauce made from a french fortified wine, chateau chalon, and a lot of butter by the taste of it.

This was the first time we've had turbot and it won't be the last. It was a huge piece, slow cooked, and they sauce had a rich sherry like flavour.
I had the largest piece of halibut I have ever eaten served in a spiced broth.

This thick slab of fish flaked beautifully and the broth, which was more of a butter sauce, was infused with lemongrass and other spices. I nearly cried when I finished it.
So far so good for Jean Georges.
Next up were the entree (main) dishes of the meal. Claire had one of the courses which called out to us both from the tasting menu. A rack of lamb with minted pea purée and peas in their pods cooked in butter with toasted almonds. OMG this was good. I'm glad Claire ordered the lamb medium because if it had been any rarer it would have baaed and eaten the peas. But it was just right for Claire and I could have eaten a whole bowl of those peas and almonds just to myself.

For my main I decided to face an old enemy, game meat. Now don't get me wrong, I love game. I love rabbit, pheasant, pigeon, venison and guinea fowl. But I have never enjoyed it in a restaurant. St. John, Moro and Marcus Wareing have all let me down, so this was a true test. I had crunchy rabbit with a spicy jalapeño sauce. This was the best rabbit I have ever had (apart from my mother in law's Maltese rabbit stew of course). The large fillets were rolled and I presume poached with a chilli stuffing. The whole rabbit croquette was breadcrumbed and fried to crispy perfection. This was served with a chilli gravy and another quenelle of the chilli stuffing if I wanted to add more heat which of course I did. The true quality of Jean George was shown in this dish, they reversed my restaurant game fortunes! Hooray!

I will leave it there for now, Claire will write about desserts in the next post.

Disclaimer:the second half of this post was written under the influence if the following beer.

Location:New York

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