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sickchangeup

Jean Georges and Nougatine 2009 & Beyond

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Finished with flourless chocolate cake, which I rarely have. I know molten chocolate cakes get a bad rap for being pedestrian, but damn, it hit the spot. After paying the bill, and was chatting with one of the bartenders about the main dining room menu, and inquired what petit fours were being served post-meal. She kindly offered to bring me a plate of them. Six adorably tiny macaroons (my favorite was what I think was apricot) and a few chocolates. It was a lovely gesture that I hastily had to tuck into a bag (had completely lost track to time).....but sampling the macaroons this evening was a treat. What can I say, I like cute food.

Let not forget that the Jean Georges molten chocolate cake is the original.

Seth, there is considerable debate as to who's molten chocolate cake is the original. While J-G is the one who seems to have popularized it in the US, few give him credit for being the originator of the cake. The name that I have most often heard associated with it is Michel Bras. Regardless, J-G's is great and can serve it forever as far as I am concerned.

Docsconz, I agree with you completely. It is a classic desert. I once had two at once. Wow!I heard that when Iuzzini started at J.G. he was given instructions not to touch that cake,

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Docsconz, I agree with you completely. It is a classic desert. I once had two at once. Wow!I heard that when Iuzzini started at J.G. he was given instructions not to touch that cake,

Seth, if you have any interest in baking, you can easily reproduce that cake at home. I'll have to look through my Jean Georges cookbooks to see which one(s) include the recipe; off the top of my head, I know it's in "Cooking at Home with Four-Star Chef."

I make it regularly. (How else do you think I console myself for not living in New York?)


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Docsconz, I agree with you completely. It is a classic desert. I once had two at once. Wow!I heard that when Iuzzini started at J.G. he was given instructions not to touch that cake,

Seth, if you have any interest in baking, you can easily reproduce that cake at home. I'll have to look through my Jean Georges cookbooks to see which one(s) include the recipe; off the top of my head, I know it's in "Cooking at Home with Four-Star Chef."

I make it regularly. (How else do you think I console myself for not living in New York?)

Thanks. Since I live 100 yards from jean georges, I think I will leave it to the master.

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The Bras, Nobu and JG versions are completely different animals.

Bras has a ganache center, Nobu has a center of pure chocolate couveture and JG's center is raw batter. Two are more of a souffle and one is like a brownie, or really dense genoise.

I like the Nobu version the best.

As a pastry chef its one of those things where you have to suck it up and remember that it is a business. I do shudder whenever I meet a girl and the first question is "can you make molten chocolate cake?". Either that or creme brulee. Ah well, such is life. It is undeniably yummy.


Edited by Sethro (log)

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I took my summer associate (intern, for you non-law people) to JG today, and given that our budget is rather more than the $28 lunch, I sprung for the egg caviar. I do think this is a startling dish, but I'm not sure I would pay for it out of my own wallet. Now, the scrambled egg on its own as a dish, perhaps topped with something else, or with brioche "soldiers" to dip? My perfect breakfast.

Also, I had the sweetbreads with the pickled peach, which I thought was excellent, though perhaps not quite enough food for a second course if I were hungrier.

I'm not a huge fan of the rhubarb dessert pairing, but I think that may have something to do with the "float" which I didn't enjoy that much. Too candy like in terms of flavor to me.

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Another fantastic lunch at Jean-Georges yesterday. The foie gras brulee is truly to die for -- they were doing it with slow cooked strawberries. Also loved the corn ravioli dish (as well as the old standbys -- the tuna noodles, sea trout, halibut with chili foam, skate). Amazing! Couple of notes - the price has gone up a smidge. It is now $29 per person and $14.50 for each additional course (it was $28 and $14). Also, the desserts appeared a bit smaller and they were only offering one flavor of marshmallow and one macaroon per guest at the end (compared to 3 flavors of marshmallows (if memory serves) and three macaroons). Still an outstanding experience but even the J-Gs of the world must be feeling the effects of the recession.

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Another fantastic lunch at Jean-Georges yesterday.  The foie gras brulee is truly to die for -- they were doing it with slow cooked strawberries.  Also loved the corn ravioli dish (as well as the old standbys -- the tuna noodles, sea trout, halibut with chili foam, skate).  Amazing!  Couple of notes - the price has gone up a smidge.  It is now $29 per person and $14.50 for each additional course (it was $28 and $14).  Also, the desserts appeared a bit smaller and they were only offering one flavor of marshmallow and one macaroon per guest at the end (compared to 3 flavors of marshmallows (if memory serves) and three macaroons).  Still an outstanding experience but even the J-Gs of the world must be feeling the effects of the recession.

Month by month, the deal get's less good :-(

Did they have three flavors in the jar in front of you? That would be mean.

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Month by month, the deal get's less good :-(

Did they have three flavors in the jar in front of you?  That would be mean.

No - there was just one flavor in the jar which I noticed as it was being carted around the room. Usually it is so colorful and yesterday it was just white. I suspect that this is a slow, long-in-the-works plan to get the lunch price up to a point where they might actually make money (or, at the very least, not lose money). I always judge the value of a potential meal by the JG lunch i.e. I can go to Marea (for example) but for the extra charge will it be better than JG? The answer, nine times of ten, is no but if the prices keep rising it might liberate me to try more places with less anguish :-)

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In an embarassment of riches, I had both lunch & dinner at JG this past week.

Lunch was the fabulous Tuna Ribbons, a delicate rendition of the garlic soup w. petite frog legs and a most delicious sliced veal tenderloin on artichoke heart.

I considered these delicious although, once again, I found the dessert plate far below the level of the savory. [i had the 'strawberry']. There were those very tiny macarons [where soft center is lost to shell] and 3 marshmallows, of which the ginger was exciting.

Three days later the dessert plate of 'chocolate' was horribly weak w. a cube of bread pudding that could not be dented with the fork & another selection equally inedible. The marshmallows were white only & our waitress told us that this was want JG wanted...perhaps to match the stark white of the room? Not as interesting. We did the Signature menu where a different batch of garlic soup was the loser and the egg, squab & lobster tartine were excellent.

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Another fantastic lunch at Jean-Georges yesterday.  The foie gras brulee is truly to die for -- they were doing it with slow cooked strawberries.  Also loved the corn ravioli dish (as well as the old standbys -- the tuna noodles, sea trout, halibut with chili foam, skate).  Amazing!  Couple of notes - the price has gone up a smidge.  It is now $29 per person and $14.50 for each additional course (it was $28 and $14).  Also, the desserts appeared a bit smaller and they were only offering one flavor of marshmallow and one macaroon per guest at the end (compared to 3 flavors of marshmallows (if memory serves) and three macaroons).  Still an outstanding experience but even the J-Gs of the world must be feeling the effects of the recession.

I had lunch there recently with my girlfriend and brother. The corn ravioli are indeed delicious, and I found the meal very pleasant and fairly priced but it was for me a very good 2 1/2-star meal on a 4-star scale. I recommend lunch at Jean Georges but would caution people not to expect to be blown away, merely to have a very enjoyable time, with good service and excellent ingredients in every dish.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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I couldn't disagree more with Pan, I am consistently blown away by a good number of JG dishes, even after eating them 5+ times. For what passes as "4 star", this is definitely right up there, failing only (in my eyes) to Per Se. And for the money? Yikes, I wish I could make it here more often.

At lunch today I learned that as sad as I have been to see a favorite item disappear from the menu in the past, I get just as happy seeing an old favorite re-appear! The charred corn raviolis are back (as noted) as is one of my very favorites, the peekytoe crab and squash blossom beignet.

And yes, it was $29 plus $14.50. And white marshmallows only, caramel macarons (although these were medium sized, not mini like in the past), and 4 or 5 different chocolates for mignardises. I actually prefer this arrangement, rose marshmallows weren't my bag. Amuse was a Keller style "compressed" watermelon cube, poached quail egg with bacon and lemongrass and kafir lime soup shot. I didn't have the stones to go for that Cucumber-Yogurt Soup that seems new to me on the menu, but I did notice that the sweetbreads were off.

Here is the obligatory frighteningly bad photo of the menu:

gallery_61507_6225_163006.jpg

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We have to agree to disagree, sickchangeup.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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Yanking back on the number of sweets seems like an awfully strange cost-cutting measure. A reduction in the number of pastry staff members, however, seems like a more likely explanation.

In other news, I've noticed that "Terrace at Jean Georges" has been added to the Jean Georges website. I've never noticed it before. But I don't make a habit of checking the website in summer, when the terrace is presumably open for seating. I mean, isn't it really just the outdoor option for Nougatine? The menu seems identical.


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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In other news, I've noticed that "Terrace at Jean Georges" has been added to the Jean Georges website.  I've never noticed it before.  But I don't make a habit of checking the website in summer, when the terrace is presumably open for seating.  I mean, isn't it really just the outdoor option for Nougatine?  The menu seems identical.

Yeah, it's Nougatine outdoors.

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Yanking back on the number of sweets seems like an awfully strange cost-cutting measure.  A reduction in the number of pastry staff members, however, seems like a more likely explanation.

You may be right (or maybe they are tired of seeing many of the sweets return uneaten). I know I never have room for everything at the end (of course I have no self control when it comes to ordering the savory items).


Edited by Mussina (log)

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Question for the group - do you think it's feasible to make a 2:00 show at the Lincoln Center if I have a noon reservation? Don't want to shortchange lunch, but trying to fit as much as possible in the few days we have in the city.

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Question for the group - do you think it's feasible to make a 2:00 show at the Lincoln Center if I have a noon reservation? Don't want to shortchange lunch, but trying to fit as much as possible in the few days we have in the city.

You will be rushing your lunch (or be late for your 2:00 show). Why don't you change your reservation to a dinner instead?

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Question for the group - do you think it's feasible to make a 2:00 show at the Lincoln Center if I have a noon reservation? Don't want to shortchange lunch, but trying to fit as much as possible in the few days we have in the city.

2 courses, I'd say easily - especially if you forewarn the house about your plans. 3 courses would be a bit rough, I'd agree with ellenost's assessment. I would honestly call them and ask.

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I've been in and out in an hour when I've made my schedule clear to the servers.  Figure you get there shortly before noon, you could could easily be out in an hour-and-a-half.

Thanks Bryan, that helps. Schedule is pretty tight so I really would prefer not to try to reschedule (also don't want to give up on lunch pricing).

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The madai is indeed sensational and along with the corn ravioli and broiled shrimp dusted with mushrooms would make a really delicious lunch.

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