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mukki

Jean Georges and Nougatine 2005 - 2008

388 posts in this topic

An archive of discussion on Jean Georges and Nougatine from 2002 - 2004 may be found here.

We'll be visiting NYC in May and have the following meals planned: WD-50, Babbo, Mary's Fish Camp, Chikalicous, Papaya King and Grimaldi's. I'm considering the prix fixe lunch at Jean-Georges (or Nougatine, I guess it is) v. lunch at Gramercy in the main dining room. We'll have six people.

From what I've read, lunch at JG is a "great deal" but seems particularly limited in choices and the choices I've seen just don't seem that appealing (although there is no menu listed on the JG website and I can't find much info on what a typical PF lunch is there). Plus, it's at Nougatine (which I assume is a step down from JG) and I'm not sure if that makes much of a difference or not. We ate at Gramercy for dinner 2 years ago and loved it, so going back there has a certain appeal.

Opinions on the prix fixe lunch at JG? I just can't find that much information.

Edited to add: I suppose I'm also interested to know whether the JG/Nougatine lunch is representative of JG in general. Or is it just a good, cheap lunch?

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From what I've read, lunch at JG is a "great deal" but seems particularly limited in choices and the choices I've seen just don't seem that appealing (although there is no menu listed on the JG website and I can't find much info on what a typical PF  lunch is there). Plus, it's at Nougatine (which I assume is a step down from JG) and I'm not sure if that makes much of a difference or not. We ate at Gramercy for dinner 2 years ago and loved it, so going back there has a certain appeal.

It was a while ago and not lunch, so I can only comment on PF at Nougatine generally.

We had a wonderful time there, probably far better than we would have in the main dining room (which feels a bit too too for my tastes). We not only had an amazing PF tasting menu (only slighty different than the main one -- no lobster with the foie gras or something), but being in that room had certain unexpected perks.

For example, the sommelier, based at the bar across the room, was very attentive, and when I put myself in his hands he came up with an impromptu and amazing five-glass flight just for my meal for 25 bucks. He could have charged us twice that and I would have gratefully paid for the wines and the attentive, respectful treatment. In addition, our discussion about the dishes prompted the wait staff to bring additional little tastes of things that we hadn't chosen.

Finally, on the way back from the restroom, I stopped to watch the kitchen (open to the back of Nougatine), and started chatting with someone working the front of the house. After a while, he asked me if I was in the business and invited me back into the kitchen. I couldn't (sadly, we had to be somewhere), but as a home cook who dreams of the life of the chef (sans 14 hour days on the feet, of course) I will take that compliment to my grave!

Surely not every experience would be like this, but I daresay that these things would never happen in a place that treated the crowd in Nougatine as second-tier. We would have been very happy to leave with our fine meal, but all of these extras made it one of the best meals we've ever had.

So: one vote for Nougatine!


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I have had lunch at JG/Nougatine at least ten times and it has always been very good. The restaurant is divided into Nougatine Room and The Restaurant.

The lower prix fixe is offered at the Nougatine only. The prix fixe generally has good choices. There is also a la carte menu (slightly more expensive) if you do not like your choices. The waitstaff is very helpful in pointing out the good stuff.

The main restaurant also has a prix fixe of a different sort. They offer 2 plates for 24 or 3 for 36 dollars. The plates are somewhere between an app and an entree in size. In my opinion, the offerings at the main restaurant are better. If you are going to end up ordering from the ala carte in the Nougatine room (different choices than the main), you might as well go to the main room.

I have come to the point that I will go to JG for lunch only. It is my favorite highend for lunch. If you want to keep the bill under control, watch out for the drinks/wine.

hope this helps..have a good time in nyc.

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Lunch in the main dining room at J-G is one of the best deals in NYC. I go as often as I can.

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I concur about the lunch in the Jean Georges main dining room, but Nougatine is in my opinion a substantial step down. I would certainly choose Gramercy Tavern over Nougatine.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I concur about the lunch in the Jean Georges main dining room, but Nougatine is in my opinion a substantial step down. I would certainly choose Gramercy Tavern over Nougatine.

It is a step down but if they are still doing the $20.04 lunch deal and cash is a strong consideration, its pretty good.

Current "lunch" bargin is brunch at LCB Rachlou, where the $18.95 brunch can consist of an app, close to full size main, including boned lamb loin as an option, and dessert are quite good for that price. Perfect no, but its a lot of good food for $18.95.

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Ok -- I see now that I was confused and had commingled the lunch offering in the main dining room (2 plates for $24) with the prix fixe at Nougatine. We'll definitely be eating in the main room. Thanks, everyone!

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FWIW, I dropped in for lunch at the bar at Nougatine in 2004/for $20.04 during the extended restaurant week. It was extremely impressive; I took a friend of mine so we got six different dishes. A salad of some young greens with goat cheese and crystallized ginger and a touch of what was probably a reduction of juiced plums. A shockingly beautiful soup of melon with lavender oil, chili flakes, and cucumber brunoise, plus some sprouts I could not identify. Pork loin with cherry-vanilla sauce and israeli couscous, and the most amazing salmon I've had in my life - covered in thin shaved salt, cooked better than I've ever seen before or since, and served with a dazzling cumin oil/plum juice sauce and beets. Desserts were good as well.

A while later, I took a party of folks to Nougatine for dinner. It was disappointing across the board, aside from a nice amuse.

I'm guessing that there's a bit more talent put into the $20.04 menu, with perhaps the higher-end kitchen getting involved...

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I'm retarded and am having a hard time using the search feature efficiently. Anyway, I was wondering how much Jean Georges is charging for his 7 course tasting menu as of late. I saw some resources online that listed it at $115 but they were older sites. Is this accurate, has anyone been recently?

Again, sorry for starting a new thread when there is probably a dedicated Jean Georges thread. If anyone wants to PM and teach me how to use this search more effectively it would be very helpful.

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To add a follow-up question... Has anyone sampled the $20 prix fixe lunch, and if so do you recommend it?

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To add a follow-up question...  Has anyone sampled the $20 prix fixe lunch, and if so do you recommend it?

There's a nice thread on lunch at Jean Georges and Nougatine that came up pretty recently. When I did my search on trying to find info for this thread I saw a link to that one.

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To all--

JG's web site isn't the most user friendly--does anyone know if Nougatine requires jackets for lunch?

Thanks much

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nope, you'll be fine without.


does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

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Hi all, thought I would ask again, because I am not able to find the answer I am looking for in other threads. Perhaps you all can help me.

Has anyone had the $20 prix fixe lunch at JG? Do you get to sit inside JG or do you have to sit in Nougatine for it? What are the selections like? What's on the menu? Did you enjoy it? Thanks in advance!

Trish the curious

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Hi all, thought I would ask again, because I am not able to find the answer I am looking for in other threads.  Perhaps you all can help me. 

Has anyone had the $20 prix fixe lunch at JG?  Do you get to sit inside JG or do you have to sit in Nougatine for it?  What are the selections like?  What's on the menu?  Did you enjoy it?  Thanks in advance!

Trish the curious

Go up the thread -- to summarize:

$20.04 prix fixe is in Nougatine.

it's not as good as the $24 lunch in JG itself.

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I had it a couple of years ago and it was mediocre at best. Also, when one factors in the cost of extras at Jean-Georges, such as Water, Espresso, Wine etc, the deal becomes significantly less sweet. The overally experience was subpar, with uninspired options (roast chicken, salad etc.) and little choice. One can find more interesting and tasty lunches for less money IMO.

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Lunch in the main dining room of Jean Georges costs $12 per savory course, with a minimum order of two courses. So you can have two savory choices from the menu for $24. Dessert is $8. A full, satisfying, diverse meal would consist of three savory courses and dessert, which would come to $44. The choices at lunchtime are plentiful and excellent. They include house signatures like the scallops with roasted cauliflower and caper-raisin emulsion and the young garlic soup with frog's legs. There are some nice luxury items like morels on the menu as well -- the current asparagus and morels offering is quite exellent (I had it twice last month). There are very few dishes with supplements, and portions are good. Desserts are also a highlight, with each dessert consisting of two contrasting items within a theme (at dinner, the desserts are in groups of four). In my opinion, of the serious New York haute cuisine restaurants, Jean Georges offers the best lunch value in the city by far. It is truly a joy to dine there, and in the great but nearly forgotten tradition of fine restaurants the lunch experience is economically accessible to younger diners and others who don't want to spend $300 per couple on dinner.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Fat Guy, as always...brilliant. Thank you! :smile:

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. . . when one factors in the cost of extras at Jean-Georges, such as Water, Espresso, Wine etc, the deal becomes significantly less sweet. . . .

The taste and quality of NYC water is so good, that I'd question why anyone seeking value, or on a budget, would order bottled water. Coffee, that is espresso, really caps a meal for me, but it's not essential -- or at least I've learned to go without from time to time for one reason or another. Wine however, is something I find essential to the enjoyment of food such as Jean-Georges serves and I've noticed how many people neglect to consider the price component of wine in a restaurant meal. A restaurant with good wine values can often end up seeming like a bargain even if the menu prices seem no better than average. Likewise restaurants with lofty low end to its list are never going to be places for a budget meal.

Landmarc downtown for instance always seems a better buy when paying the check than it does when just examining the menu prices. Danny Meyer's restaurants always seem to have some good values on the wine list as well.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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One nice thing about lunch, at least for me, is that if I skip all those things and just have the food plus a glass of simple white wine (say for $10-$15) that I sip throughout the whole meal then I don't feel at all deprived. I still feel that I've had the full experience. And I think it is absolutely okay to say no to every single attempted add-on sale -- no bottled water, no espresso, no nothing -- and just to say to the sommelier or captain, "Hey, I'd love a glass of something economical and tasty with my meal -- what can you recommend?"

The one thing I would not skip, however, is dessert. The desserts at Jean Georges are superb and a steal at $8. Also, for the record, I think the wine prices at Jean Georges are roughly in line with the prices being charged at the other four-star and high-three-star places.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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. . . . for the record, I think the wine prices at Jean Georges are roughly in line with the prices being charged at the other four-star and high-three-star places.

I didn't mean to imply that they weren't, only that it's hard to get a bargain wine to go with the bargain meal at a top luxury restaurant for those really trying to do it all economically. I think nursing a single glass of wine can be a reasonable solution, although if you plan ahead, it's probably more economical to go with three companions and get a full bottle. You'll get more wine for the same money. Most places charge around a quarter of the bottle price for a glass that's closer to a fifth or sixth of a bottle. I have no problem with that either. There are costs involved in serving wine by the glass and they include the frequent loss of part of the bottle at the end of the evening. Wines by the glass are an additional service and should carry a small fee.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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I used to eat lunch in Nougatine weekly. For $20, it was (and to some degree still is) one of the better lunch deals in the city. Recently however, I've had some really mediocre dishes there. Staples of the menu in the past such as lightly cooked salmon, hanger steak, etc. seem to have given way to pedestrian pastas and dishes that seem to be engineered to have the lowest food cost possible. If you have time and a few extra dollars, I'd take Fat Guy's advice and bypass Nougatine for the main Jean-Georges dining room. The food is infinitely better on that side of the house.


Edited by Felonius (log)

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I will be in the area on Tuesday and may be free for lunch - I would love to try the main jean georges dining room - Two questions -

1. Do you need a jacket for lunch in the main Jean Georges room?

2. Would you be able to walk in for lunch around 1:30 without a reservation?

Thanks

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A jacket is not required for the main room during lunch. Many people are pretty casual at lunch. With that said, however, I always wear a jacket when I'm there, but that's just me.

Don't bet on walking in. Definitely try to make a reservation, as all the times I've been there for lunch, the room has been full.

On a personal note, get the strawberry foie gras terrine. It's an awesome dish.

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A jacket is not required for the main room during lunch.  Many people are pretty casual at lunch.  With that said, however, I always wear a jacket when I'm there, but that's just me. 

Don't bet on walking in.  Definitely try to make a reservation, as all the times I've been there for lunch, the room has been full.

On a personal note, get the strawberry foie gras terrine.  It's an awesome dish.

Ditto on the balsamic strawberry foie gras - I had a bite of my friend's last night, and it was FANTASTIC.


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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