Manhattan, New York – Jean-Georges

Restaurant: Jean-Georges
Fine Dining/French/Fusion/Euro-Asian/Global
Last visited:
September 8, 2011
Manhattan, NY (Upper West Side)
Address: 1 Central Park West (Inside Trump Tower)
Nearby subway stops: 59 St – Columbus Circle
Price Range: 

1Poor 2OK 3Good 4Very good 5Excellent 6Tres Excellent!!

Food: 6
Service: n/a
Ambiance: 5
Overall: 6
Additional comments:

  • World renowned Chef Jean-Georges
  • Jean-Georges’ flagship restaurant
  • 3 Michelin Stars
  • AAA – 5 Diamond Award
  • Mobile Travel guide – 5 stars
  • Multiple award winning
  • Lunch Mon-Sat 12pm-2:30pm
  • Dinner Mon-Thur 5:30pm-11pm
  • Dinner Fri-Sat 5:15pm-11pm
  • Closed Sunday

**Recommendations: Tasting menu.

The name really needs no introduction.

It is the one and only Jean-Georges. He’s trained some of the best chefs and is undoubtedly one of the best chefs in the world. Jean-Georges is one of the meccas for fine dining in New York and this is his flagship restaurant. To be invited to dine at his restaurant was an honour, and definitely a major highlight of my culinary tour in New York.

I wanted to save it as my last post, but I just couldn’t wait any longer. It was one of those meals where I held the food in my mouth for as long as possible just to savour the moment. It could have been due to the fact that it was in New York and it was a whole experience entirely, but honestly, some of the dishes were so smart and unforgettable.

This is New York, not Vancouver, and fine dining is not only for special occasions but easily part of the daily routine. It’s the hub for fine dining and with world renowned chefs and restaurants all over the city, you can expect only the best at any establishment of this caliber. This is definitely worth trying once in a life time. I know that sounds cliché, but just wait until you see this tasting menu.

I have dined at Market by Jean-Georges in Vancouver, BC, but it’s almost incomparable to the experience you’ll get here. This is the seed of the Jean-Georges empire. The ingredients, chef, menu, and style are different, and although it all stems from one man, it blossoms with a dedicated team.

From the kitchen to the floor, I could observe the room and see that each table and every guest was well attended to. The timing was impeccable, from the minute your plate touched your table to the minute you set aside your utensils for it to be taken away. It felt like you were the only table. Even better was that this kind of care translated back into the food and it felt personal.

I was presented with the summer tasting menu with wine pairings. Honestly, along with Spring, it’s the best season to dine at his restaurants because his style takes on a lighter flare. Some dishes are not necessarily new to the palate, but they embrace the use of vegetables, fruits, and herbs with an appreciation for natural and aromatic flavours. The presentation was clean, the ingredients were well treated, the details exquisite, and Jean Georges quirky liking for a hint of spice in everything was still there. The menus are seasonal, but his style is consistent.

Also to top things off, one of the wine critics from the New York Times was celebrating his anniversary with his wife at the table across from me. I’ll leave him unnamed, but if such an established wine critic will come here on his day off to celebrate a big occasion, it really speaks for the restaurant, and definitely the wine.

Note: This dining experience was compliments of Jean-Georges and there are no expectations for the outcome of my post. Photos are compliments of photographer Ernest Hon and a few of them are mine (you’ll be able to tell).

On the table:

Doyard Brut Blanc de Blancs 1er Cru Cuvée Vendémlaire NV

Complimentary House Made Bread & Butter

  • Sourdough Rye, Swedish Rye, Ciabatta
  • Sourdough Rye – It was a very rustic and earthy bread with large holes, a great chew and subtle sourness. It kind of stuck to your teeth due to the moisture of a great sourdough, but it didn’t have a crispy crust.
  • Swedish Rye – It was a moist spiced bread with a sweet licorice flavour from perhaps star anise and it had a nice nuttiness.
  • Ciabatta – It had a crusty and powdery exterior and a moist, chewy, and stretchy centre and the flavour was distinctly salty.
  • The breads were more country style and I would love to see even one of them being served at Market by Jean-Georges in Vancouver.

Egg Caviar 6/6

  • What a way to start off a tasting menu.
  • This was one of my highlights. A classic way of presenting fine caviar. Eggs on egg.
  • The sustainable California-American sturgeon caviar was accompanied with a lemon vodka whipped cream, which is another classic pairing.
  • Vodka and caviar is traditional and the hint of citrus helped brighten the dish up while keeping things light and fresh since the rest was so decadent.
  • The caviar was soft and rolled smoothly in the mouth and it had no pops or crunch (high quality caviar shouldn’t pop/crunch).
  • The fishiness was not sharp, but clean with a briny finish.

  • The creamy eggs were loosely scrambled and very soft and it was the perfect cloud for the caviar to sit on.
  • It was a warm, rich, liquid egg with a silky melt in your mouth quality and it was almost like curdled cream, but in a good way.
  • The little bits of egg had a nice yolk flavour that was rich but not overpowering.
  • The caviar played as the salt and the egg was spiced with some chili powder for heat, but not for spiciness.
  • Even for caviar, he couldn’t resist his like for spice and found some way to incorporate his signature kick.
  • Sometimes egg caviar is served with a little brioche or crostini, but I enjoy it either way.
  • The best version I’ve had of this was at C Restaurant featuring sustainable Northern Divine Caviar – see here.

Scallop Sashimi & Santa Barbara Sea Urchin5/6

  • It was sashimi showcased in 2 ways.
  • On the left: Scallop Sashimi, Chipotle Mayo, Crispy Rice – I actually tried this at Market by Jean-Georges – see here.
  • Although it’s likely the same recipe, it still tasted different because of the ingredients, interpretation and execution from the chef.
  • For one, this scallop was from Maine, while the other one was from BC. I liked that it kept to local ingredients.
  • It was a creamy sweet scallop on deep fried sushi rice that was warm and well seasoned with a tang, so there was great contrast in texture and flavour.
  • The sushi rice was lightly crusted in what seemed like finely ground rice crackers, or it could have just been potato or rice flour.
  • There was a sweet soy sauce glaze, but I found the chipotle mayo quite spicy for the scallop sashimi, although it was sweet initially.
  • A little spice is good to open the palate for sashimi, but this one was a bit much.
  • Traditionally it would be wasabi and I would be very curious to see a wasabi emulsion, although this was still great.
  • The slight crunch of raw spring onion helped cut through the richness, but in this case it also added to the spice.

Santa Barbara Sea Urchin5/6

  • Santa Barbara Sea Urchin, Black Bread, Jalapeno and Yuzu
  • Sea urchin (uni) goes great with toast, and unfortunately I didn’t see this version in Vancouver.
  • I loved that I could see the whole piece of uni and it was very healthy, plump, and fresh.
  • It was super buttery as expected, but the flavour was different and much cleaner than most uni.
  • It was actually quite mild, not fishy, and easy on the palate.
  • It was bubbly and it almost had the texture of sous vide egg white.
  • The supplier of this sea urchin was fantastic.
  • The richness was enhanced by a thick and creamy crème fraîche, but because it was tangy, it wasn’t overpowering.
  • The crunch of toast and crispy bite of jalapeno made for great texture and the citrus yuzu kept the flavours fresh while the heat of jalapeno followed.

Yellowfin Tuna Ribbons4/6

  • Yellowfin Tuna Ribbons, Avocado, Spicy Radish, Ginger Marinade
  • Wine pairing: Weingut von Hövel Rieslin Spätlese Oberemmeler Hütter, Mosel, Germany 2004
  • This was another East meets West dish, which is a common theme from Jean-Georges.
  • The combination of ingredients weren’t new, but the execution and presentation was.

  • In simplest terms, it was raw meat in a marinade.
  • It was my first time seeing tuna executed in this manner and I’m not sure how I felt about it, although it could have been a fusion of cooking styles.
  • Sashimi cutting is such a technique, and although the ribbons allowed for more surface area and absorption of marinade, the marinade ended up outshining it.
  • The marinade was excellent though. It was a fresh puree of ginger juice that wasn’t bitter or too spicy and it had a good amount of lime juice to keep it bright.
  • There was also some soy sauce for salt and I think ponzu for more acidity in the marinade.
  • It was reminiscent of the traditional apple, onion and ginger Japanese salad dressing, but interpreted in a new way.
  • The creamy avocado was a roughly mashed semi-puree and it acted as a thickener that easily melted into the ginger juice.
  • It was all drizzled with chili oil for an extra kick that is different from what ginger can do.
  • There was enough spice and flavours going on, but I could only get the creamy buttery texture of the tuna, but not so much its flavour.
  • It was a very saucy and delicious dish, but with such a vibrant sauce, a little less is more.
  • I almost wanted some crispy millet or rice for more texture as well.

Charred Corn Ravioli6/6

  • Charred Corn Ravioli, Cherry Tomato Salad and Basil Fondue
  • Wine pairing: Weingut von Hövel Rieslin Spätlese Oberemmeler Hütter, Mosel, Germany 2004
  • Oh gosh… if this is what they serve every summer, I look forward to coming back next year. This was amazing.
  • It was savoury, sweet and tangy and also a bit smoky and everything just came together so well. Summer had arrived.
  • I could smell the basil immediately and the basil fondue was almost like a thin pesto sauce, but it wasn’t nutty or thin in flavour.
  • It was a very delicate and savoury sauce enhanced with basil oil and it was aromatic enough to stand up to the charred corn ravioli.
  • There were sweet corn kernels in the sauce and fresh cherry tomatoes for acidity.

  • The tiny pieces of charred corn ravioli had paper thin skins and I was surprised none of them broke.
  • They were also cooked to al dente and kept their shape and texture.
  • Each ravioli was filled with whole charred corn kernels and a filling that seemed almost like a super creamy polenta.
  • The filling was mashed corn mixed with pops of corn which gave the ravioli dynamic corn flavours and textures.
  • I could actually taste the charred smokiness and see the grill marks on the kernels too.
  • The corn was very well showcased and it was almost depressing eating each ravioli because I knew it was one step closer to being a done dish.
  • The only thing I wanted was maybe some mint for the tomato salad instead of micro herbs, but really, anyone could appreciate this course… even carnivores.

Seared Shrimp3.5/6

  • Seared Shrimp, Cucumber, Chili-Garlic Emulsion
  • Wine pairing: Weingut von Hövel Rieslin Spätlese Oberemmeler Hütter, Mosel, Germany 2004
  • This was very good, but it was a bit forgetful, although I did enjoy it and could smell every layer of the dish.
  • I think I’m too spoiled by Asian cuisine and its interpretations for shrimp that this just felt a bit common. I was looking for the shrimp heads…
  • It was Florida shrimp, which isn’t as local as I would like, and it wasn’t dry, but also not juicy so it didn’t seem as sweet.
  • It was a lemony prawn grilled with fresh thyme and there was a sweet orange peel flavour reminiscent of orange jelly candies coming from the emulsion.
  • The chili-garlic foam was also infused with shrimp shells and there were some mild citrus notes keeping it bright and summery.

  • There were crunchy warm slippery cucumber strands that made it like a salad and it almost reminded me of refreshing soba noodles.
  • In Asian cooking I would expect to see julienne cucumber or a shredded daikon salad, so the cucumber noodles were a fresh idea.
  • I loved the warm lemon poached avocado balls and they played into the chili-garlic sauce well.
  • There was a mild heat, but the sweet orange flavour really played its part in keeping the dish balanced and unique.
  • I would have loved to see more fruit in this dish whether it was actual orange segments or even some compressed cantaloupe.

Black Sea Bass6/6

  • Black Sea Bass Crusted with Nuts and Seeds, Sweet and Sour Jus
  • Wine pairing: Weingut von Hövel Rieslin Spätlese Oberemmeler Hütter, Mosel, Germany 2004
  • Oh my, I never thought I could enjoy sweet and sour coming from a non-Chinese establishment.
  • This was a very smart dish and so very Jean-Georges in many aspects.
  • It smelt sweet, nutty and citrusy and the spices were on the fish and not infused into the broth.
  • At first I thought they removed the skin, but thankfully it was only hidden by a unique crust.
  • As if fish skin didn’t have enough flavour already, now it was literally packed with an added layer of ingredients and I couldn’t be more excited.

  • Say good bye to the over done breadcrumb, panko or brioche crust and say hello to the new nut and seed crust!
  • The crust was made from freshly ground coriander, sesame seeds and other ingredients that gave it salty flavour, a nutty and earthy aroma, and a hint of spice. It almost reminded me of cornmeal and there may have been some in it.
  • It wasn’t as heavily spiced as Indian cuisine, but it reminded me of it and I loved the fusion of cooking techniques.
  • The fish was very buttery, moist and flaky and the sweet and sour broth was incredibly intense with layered flavours.
  • The broth was a representation of East (sweet and sour), and West (brown butter sauce), yet it didn’t have the heaviness of butter.
  • Instead of relying only on butter, the broth was enhanced by the aromatics of citrus fruits and sweet and acidic vegetables.
  • The sour vinegar was replaced with what I think was tomato juice or lemon, or maybe even apple cider vinegar.
  • There may have been some acidic wine, and fresh thyme which kept the broth bright and fresh.
  • The sweetness wasn’t just from sugar, although there’s probably some cane sugar in it, but it was enhanced by the sweating of sweet onions and perhaps some fruit juices.
  • The broth was almost like a lobster bisque, but thickened and flavoured with vegetables and a bit of butter rather than cream or flour.
  • I could smell brown butter in the broth, which gave it a bit of creaminess and it was incredibly rich in flavour, but not in weight.
  • The vegetables included sweet creamy onions, juicy bursts of the most perfectly round cherry tomatoes, buttery fingerling potatoes, pops of pearl onions and for some Asian influence, some edamame.
  • The broth was amazing and it had more flavour than a heavy butter sauce which is impressive because it probably had a lot less fat.

All the dishes came out with lids and even the timing of lifting the lids was to a tee.

Slowly Cooked Arctic Char5.5/6

  • Slowly Cooked Arctic Char with Basil, Crushed Tomatoes and Olive Oil
  • Wine pairing: Brooks Pinot Noir Janus, Willamette Valley, Oregon 2008
  • The flavour of the fish intensified moving from sea bass to arctic char.
  • I was pleased that this one also included the skin, but instead of having it presented skin side up, it was skin side down.
  • Upon serving this fish, they also sprinkled it with another crust like topping of what was “house made opal and sourdough bread crumbs”.
  • This topping made for excellent texture and almost mimicked a topping for fruit crumbles.
  • It was likely made with the complimentary sourdough rye bread, which I think is fantastic when chefs don’t waste.
  • This topping could have used a bit more seasoning or ingredients, but it did make for added crispy and crunchy texture and nutty flavour.
  • I think it was dehydrated rather than baked, and it was great having them absorb the broth and I just wanted more of these croutons.
  • The opal (micro greens) was just used fresh and they carry a basil like flavour.
  • It would be interesting to try this topping with crispy rice, crispy arctic char skin and toasted sesame seeds too.

  • The fish was steamed in a low temperature oven, and I almost guarantee that you won’t experience anything overcooked here.
  • It was flaky, moist and infused with a bit of jalapeño giving it a gentle heat, and some chili oil gave it a pinch of spice.
  • The fish had a great oil content which kept it buttery and it was stuffed with lots of fresh basil which was a nice surprise.
  • On the other hand the flavour of the basil was a bit muted and it almost seemed like spinach.
  • I expected the basil flavours to really infuse into the fish, but it was very subtle and I don’t know if it was strong enough to stand up to it.
  • The sauce was more like a broth again, which is Jean-Georges in style.
  • This dish embraced the heirloom tomatoes of the summer and it was incredibly juicy.
  • Every bite was a burst of juice and the tomatoes were so well showcased that it made me want to go to the market to buy some. Kudos to their supplier.
  • The skin was removed from the cherry tomato and it was so sweet and salty that I savoured the moment it burst in my mouth.
  • The other beef like steaks of heirloom tomatoes were sweet and acidic and of full of juicy flavours and their pulp just added to the broth.
  • The broth seemed like tomato juice infused with lime zest, fresh chili peppers, and a sprinkle of chili oil.
  • It was light, bright and tangy, but it carried heat and it was more flavourful than it appeared.
  • The heat and acidity was everywhere in this dish, but the spice never dominated the fish although there were various levels of spice in it.
  • I could have used a sweet aspect (other than the tomatoes) to this dish and that was the only thing missing.

Gently Smoked Squab 4.5/6

  • Gently Smoked Squab with Butter Summer Squash and Peppermint
  • Wine pairing: Elvio Cogno Barolo Vigna Elena, Italy 2004
  • I was guessing it was going to be lamb for some reason, but the squab was a great surprise.
  • At the table they sprinkled it with a pepper infused grape seed oil.
  • This smelled like a Christmas ham and the salty aroma was just lifting off the plate.
  • I usually prefer rich and heavy meat au jus to accompany a game meat, but since it’s not Jean-Georges style I was expecting something to this degree.

  • As you can see, the squab was perfectly cooked and the meat was, buttery, silky, and moist and it’s actually very similar to duck but not as fatty.
  • The meat was well seasoned, sweet, and very tender and I almost thought it was sous vide.
  • It was as silky as the finest quality filet mignon, and the way it was executed made it taste like a hybrid of duck, bacon and a slowly smoked ham.
  • It had a smoky thin layer of fat, but it was very chewy instead of crispy or buttery and that part was the only part I wasn’t liking.
  • The squash was warm, very tender, juicy and sweet, with bursts of natural juice that leaked into the sauce.
  • There was a drizzle of minty puree which reminded me of something that would be served with lamb.
  • It was almost like a mint chutney and it was a good contrast to the meat.
  • Some crispy mint leaves would have been great or even some toasted pine nuts and I just wanted some crispy or crunchy textures.
  • The sauce was oily, buttery and fruity with a hint of citrus, and due to the pepper infused grape seed oil, it was peppery, but not spicy.
  • The squab didn’t have a dry rub or pepper crust, so the hint of pepper from the oil was appreciated.
  • The dish didn’t have a heavy sauce, but it was still very rich and I’m glad the squab was smoked which intensified its flavours so that it didn’t require a bold sauce.
  • It was a different interpretation for squab and if it had a crispy skin, like how it’s prepared in Asian cuisine, I would have eaten every scrap of it.

Foie Gras Brulee5/6

  • Foie Gras Brulee, Slow-Roased Strawberries And Aged Balsamic Vinegar
  • Wine pairing: Marceno Brachetto d’Acqui Pineto, Italy 2009
  • What a way to come down from a meal. Magnifique! A beautiful dish to slowly approach dessert with.
  • Foie gras and strawberries is a classic pairing, and on top of brioche… it was as traditional as it gets.
  • Of course it was very rich, but it was well balanced by sweet, savoury, and tangy flavours and condiments.
  • There was a thick and syrupy aged balsamic vinegar reduction and a sweet local strawberry coulis. These sauces would have been great drizzled over salad, ice cream and of course foie gras.

  • The foie gras was actually foie gras pâté and it was served chilled.
  • The top had a thin crispy caramelized brûlée crust and it was sprinkled with freshly cracked black pepper and fleur de sel.
  • The salt and pepper really made a difference and it enhanced the flavour of the foie gras so much more.
  • The salt and black pepper gave it that savoury flavour and the strawberry preserves it was stuffed with was tart, sweet, and a bit salty.
  • It was almost like jam, but much thicker and I could bite into the strawberry seeds.
  • This rich and hearty bite of deliciousness did need some moisture and that’s where the balsamic reduction and coulis came in.
  • The brioche was charred so that it had smoky flavours and overall it was fantastic. Some toasted spiced or candied pecans would have topped it off.
  • Another great foie gras I’d recommend in Vancouver is the Foie Gras Parfait from Hawksworth Restaurant and the Seared Foie Gras with Apple Tart Tatin from La Belle Auberge.

Okay. I think this was the highlight of my trip. This is Phillipe Vongerichten who is the manager of Jean-Georges restaurant and also his younger brother. He was preparing the pineapple for my pre-dessert course… hello? Are you still there? I almost fainted too. This was definitely the French way of carving a pineapple. I’m so used to the street vendors in Asia shaving it within seconds, but the way he did it, he made it seem like a lost art. This was definitely a show stopper.

“Ananas au Kirsch”5.5/6

  • This was the pre dessert following the pre dessert of foie gras. I almost died.
  • It was so simple, but so detailed and the source of ingredients were very precise and chosen for a specific reason.
  • The pineapple was from Costa Rica and it was sweeter than a regular pineapple and there were hardly any fibres.
  • It was so unusual and the pineapple didn’t make your throat scratchy like it sometimes can.
  • Every bite was incredibly juicy and it was drizzled with a bit of Kirsch (cherry infused brandy) and sprinkled with crystallized mint and crispy bits of rose petal crumbs. The sprinkle gave it aromatic and floral notes.
  • Forget the cinnamon and sugar, this was naturally sweet and bright with flavour and colour.

  • It was topped with a Kirsch infused New Mexico cherry and they even seeded it.
  • I could have gotten drunk off of this cherry and it must have been soaking in the Kirsch for a while.
  • It was a sweet and plump black cherry with a thin skin and a bit of a crunch.
  • The details were exquisite to this dish.
  • Although the fruits were not locally sourced, I could still appreciate it because it was chosen for texture and flavour that can’t be found in locally sourced fruits.
  • Yes, it was a pretentious fruit dessert, but this is Jean-Georges, not Swiss Chalet.


Finally, it was time for dessert, which is always one of my most anticipated courses. I was even more excited that the pastry chef at Jean-Georges was celebrity chef Johnny Luzzini, who is the head judge for Food Network’s Top Chef Just Desserts.

Dessert Tasting: Best of Desserts Platter

  • This was a special tasting platter featuring the “Best of Desserts” at Jean-Georges.
  • Oh god. Ladies (and gentlemen who aren’t afraid to admit they like desserts)… control yourselves… or don’t, because I could barely retain myself.
  • I had tried the marzipan layer cake and the chocolate lava cake before, so I was very pleased to be reunited.

Cherry Sorbet & Ricotta Cheese Ice Cream5/6

  • I started with what I considered the palate cleanser.
  • Yes, please make my fruit and cheese plate into an ice cream.
  • The ice cream was smooth and creamy and the sorbet was icy and it was the perfect combination of tart and sweet.
  • The ricotta cheese ice cream almost tasted like a yogurt with a hint of lemon zest and it was mild with cheese flavour since ricotta is a light cheese.
  • It was rich, but also light from the raspberry sorbet and I’m not sure if my palate was cleansed or just eager to continue to the next best thing!

Stonefruit 6/6

  • Almond Shortcrust, Poached Peach, Crème Fraîche, Blueberry Hibiscus ($8 a la carte)
  • It was a soft, tender and nutty tart full of crispy and crunchy toasted almonds and it was also quite loose and crumbly like a crumble.
  • It was layered with poached peach slices that were naturally sweet and almost stringy from being so tender. They were caramelized and cooked with perhaps some alcohol and they still carried a bit of a tartness.
  • The crème fraîche was generous and it was very fluffy like a mousse and it gave the dessert a nice tartness but I would have loved if it was whipped with vanilla bean seeds for added flavour.
  • There was a sprinkle of fleur de sel and sugar and it just enhanced the flavours of every layer.
  • The blueberry hibiscus was potent and strong with blueberry and it was quite tart and a nice accompaniment to the overall dessert.
  • It was a country style peaches and cream like dessert with sophisticated presentation.

Marzipan Layer Cake6/6

  • Marzipan Layer Cake, Fresh Strawberry Jam ($8 a la carte)
  • I had this at Market by Jean-Georges in Vancouver and I fell in love with it.
  • I’m a huge fan of marzipan (ground almond meal and sugar) and anything almond, so naturally, it sweetened up to me nicely.
  • It was a very creamy cake and almost like a tiramisu because of the cream and it had a melt in your mouth quality.
  • There were lots of almond textures and flavours and the cake part was made with marzipan, ground almonds and crunchy slivered almonds.
  • It was equal layers of cake and cream, and I could have used more cake, but the cream was very good.
  • The cream wasn’t even really a cream though and it was almost a bit mousse like and very light and airy.
  • Lastly the cake was wrapped with a thin layer of fresh marzipan which gave it flavour while keeping the cake insulated and moist like fondant would.
  • The marzipan wasn’t stiff, dried out, or grainy, and it was the sweeter aspect of the cake.
  • The fresh strawberry jam was the tart aspect to the cake, which was needed for contrast and balance.
  • I didn’t find the cake too sweet, and I loved all the textures and layers and it was ideal for any almond lover.
  • I almost love it as much as my favourite cake which is the Blueberry & Pistachio Cake from Patisserie Nouveau.

Jean-Georges’ Valhorona Chocolate Lava Cake5/6

  • Jean-Georges’ Valhorona Chocolate Lava Cake, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream ($8 a la carte)
  • I had to eat the other desserts quickly before the ice cream melted and the cake got cold.
  • Chocolate is always my dessert after dessert, so I had it last.
  • It’s another level of sweetness that can’t be achieved through anything else.
  • On the other hand I can always finish chocolate with ice cream… and then I’ll just go back and forth until I burst.
  • I had this dessert from his Summer Love Tasting Menu at his restaurant Market in Vancouver.
  • It’s funny because reading my notes on this one, and re-reading my post on the Vancouver one, I wrote the exact same stuff. Nice to know they’re consistent!
  • This molten chocolate cake is the Jean-Georges signature that he apparently invented.
  • It was a classic chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream and as unoriginal as that sounds, it was probably the best versions of those components.
  • Any warm dessert served with ice cream is usually a solid bet for me, and as simple and predictable as it was, it was perfectly executed and delicious!
  • It was a rich dessert, but light in texture and not too sweet.
  • The house made vanilla ice cream was bursting with vanilla bean seeds and the flavour was incredibly floral and almost like a custard.
  • The ice cream wasn’t as creamy as expected though, but it wasn’t hard either. It was a bit thin, but the flavour was intense.
  • The only difference was that in Vancouver they served the scoop on top of crumbled almond cookies, and this time it was on dark chocolate cookie crumbs. Either way it gave a nice crispy texture.
  • This one also didn’t have the brulee crisp, but the full size version probably does.
  • It was actually featured on Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate (chocolate episode) and celebrity chef Aaron Sanchez highlighted the chocolate tasting plate here as his best chocolate dish. It included this cake.

Lavender Macarons followed the platter… and just as I thought it was done…

… it wasn’t. It was followed by assorted hand made chocolates (peanut butter and jelly chocolate, cherry chocolate, praline, cinnamon chocolate, banana chocolate, mint chocolate, and chocolate orange straws)

Madagascar Vanilla Bean Marshmallows

  • This was served to every table as the last last course.
  • Each marshmallow was bursting with real vanilla bean seeds and they were super soft and fluffy.
  • They were airy light, floral, and almost foamy and sponge like they were so moist.
  • I was brought back to memories of the delicious foie gras marshmallows from Chef Hamid at The Apron.
  • And when I thought it would never end, it did, but at least I can relive it all on here.

Jean-Georges on Urbanspoon


  • KimHo says:

    Out of curiosity, had this been a regular paid meal, do you know how much $$$ it would have been? I know that I myself is not necessarily his target clientele (specially when Laws of Diminishing Returns are applied) but that’s always one of those questions for me!

    BTW, I have always slit and sliced pineapples like that. My mom does it that way as well. Am I missing something?

  • Mijune says:

    @KimHo – I’m not sure, but you can check the website.. they have different tasting menus for lunch and dinner and if you want wine pairings you of course have to add. There are also supplements for caviar and foie gras so there’s a wide range. It’s New York though… definitely not inexpensive.

    My mom cuts pineapples like that too, but not the way he did it. You had to be there to see it.

  • Edda says:

    I have just been to Market in Vancouver, and just like you; the experience is not the least bit comparable. Even the sweet sour broth differ in terms of depth and finesse. Mind you, Market was good but not JG in NYC great.

    @KimHo – The JG in NY does not have lunch tasting menu (Mijune, you were special!), but have a cheaper 3 course for $38 and $16 for each additional course, $8 for any dessert selection- making it one of the most affordable 3 michelin places I have ever been to. We went there for lunch, added caviar supplement and an additional course along w dessert – i think the bill was about $160 (including, a glass of wine, coffee, tax & tip) for 2.

  • Edda says:

    oh wait, i shud add I think we got comped a dessert and one of our additions. That is why it was about $160.

  • Mijune says:

    @Edda – thanks for the extra info Edda! I’m on the same page… Market good, but NYC JG is in comparable. Different ball game entirely…. although there are a handful of dishes that I have really enjoyed at Market… just have to select carefully.

    Wow… those prices are really reasonable considering Eleven on MG, Per Se etc. run way higher than that…even Cirque seemed higher I think!

  • Bow says:

    I’ve always admired Jean-Georges’ vision and his willingness to step out of the box and embrace Asian fusion. He surprised a lot of people when he opened in Shanghai; many chefs never thought of Shanghai as a hot spot . Pierre Salinger did a PBS special on fine French dining in the ’80’s and the best French restaurant was Haeberlin in Alsace(better than Alain Chapel, Roger Verge, Paul Bocuse and the Troigros brothers !!!). Le Crocodile is one of Vancouver’s greatest French restaurants…La Brasserie is a great bistro. The Alsatian born chefs seem to to come to mind when you reflect upon who’s food is the best…Jean-George is terrific. Here’s a link to his blog:

  • Linda says:

    wow, i have never been so envious of you mijune! this experience was amazing! thank you for sharing it with us 🙂 i might need to plan a surprise dinner night for my bf when i head to nyc and it’s all because of this post… we were going to go to a broadway show but i think this experience would be much more memorable! 🙂

    wow… i’m in so much awe right now 🙂

  • Mijune says:

    @bow – I always love your insight bow.. thank you! Wow.. kind of embarassing that I don’t know much about Haeberlin in Alsace! I’d love to try just one of those listed restaurants. Shanghai is SUCH a hot spot right now.. luckily he got in before people discovered it to be one! Very smart business man and chef!

    @Linda – aww hun!!! I have to admit… I was jealous of myself lol.. it was crazy!! uhoh! I hope your b/f doesn’t see your comment lol… or the surprise is done! You’re too cute Linda!!! It’s comparing apples to oranges… but you’ll spend the same amount on a good broadway show and this dinner. They sell Marry Poppins tickets for $30 or so at the TKTS box office so you can balance it out and I heard it’s a good show! An older one, but at least you get to do both! 🙂

  • Amy says:

    Wow, lucky you! This looks like a once in a lifetime meal!

  • Fionarina says:

    As my partner and I stumbled across Recipes to Riches earlier this evening, I was a tad curious to take a peek at your blog.
    Jean-George’s is hit and miss. More miss than hit. He is no longer relevant. Market in Vancouver is absolutely terrible. On two separate visits I ordered the $50 lobster pasta as my main, both times I left it untouched after first bite. Even my dog wouldn’t eat it, which is rather telling considering my dog is a garburator.
    If anything, in NYC I always head to Babbo(granted you have to know someone who knows someone who knows someone who is someone to get in), Alain Ducasse (Benoit, not the St. Regis) or Circo(las Vegas Circo better however). For lighter the spotted pig and Scarpetta is a little gem of an Italian restaurant. Rice to riches is a fun place just for rice pudding.
    Wish you best of luck in your future endeavors.


  • Mijune says:

    @Amy – it was definitely memorable 🙂

    @Fionarina – Aw thanks for checking out my blog!! Hope you enjoyed Recipe to Riches! Jean-Georges has a very specific style though so perhaps the style isn’t too your liking? Market is incomparable to the NYC experience, but I don’t think it’s terrible. I guess food is personal though… and in the end it’s in the hands of the chef who executes the recipes too. Babbo was on my list, but I didn’t have time and I wrote on Spotted Pig, which I thought was generally pretty good as well. I think a lot of restaurants it depends on what you order. I also went to Rice to Riches and I did enjoy it, but did find it a bit sweet..ironically also a problem with my pie lol. Thanks for commenting Fionarina and I hope you find my blog helpful or at least honest and entertaining 🙂

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