If you want to try a three Michelin star restaurant in New York without breaking the bank, I recommend dropping by Jean Georges for their $39 two-course lunch.
Their dinner menu features a three-course meal for $110 while their tasting menu is priced at $198, so their lunch prix-fixe is certainly a steal! Their seasonal lunch menu is surprisingly extensive with a heavy focus on seafood. If there are more than two items which catch your eye, extra courses are $19. If you’re in the mood to splurge for lunch, a tasting menu is available for $148.
Jean Georges (@Jean_GeorgesNYC) is Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s flagship restaurant which is located in the Trump Hotel across from Central Park. I loved the dining room’s high ceilings and enormous windows which made the room feel very bright and airy. The décor featured neutral colours and had a classic and elegant feel to it.
The dress code is quite strict at the restaurant – men are required to wear jackets. But if you drop by for lunch, they’re a little more lenient. Shortly after ordering, they started us off with some complimentary bread.
Up next was the Amuse Bouche which they called the “Amuse Trio.” The first item I tried was the broccoli and garlic soup which was topped with a chili foam, giving it a nice kick. This was my favourite item of the three.
Another component was a slice of rhubarb which sat on top of a piece of sticky rice which looked like a piece of nigiri. While it was very cute and playful, it just didn’t work for me. The third and last component was a sweet pea and cardamom crumble which had a very concentrated pea flavour.
For my first course, I went with the Foie Gras Brûlée – with dried sour cherries, candied pistachios and white port gelee for an extra $5 supplement. As the name indicates, it had a nice crisp top from being torched, resembling crème brûlée. The foie gras was sitting on top of a piece of brioche and I particularly enjoyed the candied pistachios garnishing the dish. Overall, it was a solid dish but not one of the best cold foie gras dishes I’ve ever had.
I enjoyed Mike’s first course a lot more, the Sea Scallops – with caramelized cauliflower and caper raisin emulsion ($8 supplement). The perfectly seared scallops sat on top of an incredible caper raisin emulsion which had the perfect balance of sweet and salty. The crunch from the caramelized cauliflower made it a perfect dish.
For my main course, I went with the Crispy Confit of Suckling Pig – with rutabaga pudding and smoked bacon marmalade which was a $10 supplement. It consisted of pulled meat which had been shaped into a rectangle. I really liked how they made such a normally hearty dish look so pretty and dainty!
The skin was crisp like it should be and the meat was moist and seasoned well. With each bite, I made sure I got a little bit of the rutabaga pudding (aka puree) and bacon marmalade. Was it worth the $10 supplement? No. But it was a pretty tasty dish!
You’ve probably noticed that we’ve ordered a lot of dishes which require supplements. Don’t worry, most of the lunch items don’t require an extra cost. They just happened to be the dishes we were drawn to.
Mike definitely ordered better than me at Jean Georges. He went with the Steamed Flounder – with potato-leek puree and clams with green chili which was my favourite dish of the meal. I don’t see flounder on the menu very often so I was glad he gave this a try.
The flounder was very moist and just melted in our mouths. The clams and green chili paired with the fish perfectly and the potato-leek puree was a wonderful carb to go with the fish.
Dessert isn’t included in the lunch prix-fixe but you can always order something off their dessert menu. Surprisingly, we were pretty full after our courses so we decided to skip on dessert.
Even if you skip dessert, they make sure you end your meal with something sweet! They end you off with a small plate of complimentary petit fours which included rosewater macarons, pistachio nougat, assorted truffles and fruit jellies.
Just as we thought our meal was over, our server brought over some housemade vanilla bean infused marshmallows. Light, fluffy and certainly not your average store-bought marhsmallows.
Overall, we had a nice lunch at Jean Georges. The food was delicious and the service was exactly what you’d expect from a three Michelin star restaurant. Food-wise, we were most impressed by their seafood dishes, so I’d recommend sticking to these.
At a glance:
• Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s three Michelin star flagship restaurant
• Located across from Central Park in the Trump hotel
• Two-course lunch menu for $39 (extra courses are $19); extensive options to choose from
• We were most impressed by their seafood dishes
• Jackets are required for men during dinner service but they’re more lenient for lunch
Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 4 stars
• Service: 4.5 stars
• Atmosphere: 3 stars