Trip de Americae: Jean Georges ☆☆☆ Three Star Michelin Restaurant

This has been one of the more exciting episode that I am really looking forward to. I have been wanting to share my by dining experience with you for quite some time. I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to dine at the Jean Georges when I was in New York City. The lunch was also something that I have been really awaiting since making the reservation. This is my very first time dining at a Three Star Michelin Restaurant! I have always love occasionally treating myself to a fine dining experience from time to time and it has always been more cost efficient to do it overseas. Somehow I feel that fine dining back in Singapore is so much more overpriced. I was really blown away at my previous trip to the 2 star powerhouse, The Ledbury back in London, and I was expecting something even more impressive, this time around at Jean Georges! Feast with me!

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As per the norm, for all dining at a Michelin starred restaurant, make reservation as soon as they opened up, it differs from restaurants, some open up 2 months in advance while some open up 3 months in advance. Some of the really popular ones are hard to make a reservations. Thankfully the Citi Prestige Concierge helped me with it! I would say that for all 2 star and 3 star restaurants, reservations are compulsory, some of the one star one, you need them too! If you would like to experience the food at a lighter touch of your wallet, go for the lunch, they are usually much much more affordable than the dinner offerings.

Jean Georges is located in the Trump International Hotel and Tower, it is located in Upper Manhattan, just adjacent to Central Park. The location is scenic and perfect. Jean Georges is the brainchild of the highly acclaimed Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten! It have been ranked as number 3 in the United States and 51 restaurant in the world by La Liste. It also holds 3 Michelin Star from the Michelin Guide till 2017. Now let’s see whether the restaurant is really “Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey”! I certainly made a special journey to dine here! Follow me on my epicurean journey today!

I was promptly welcomed when I entered the restaurant, It was fancy and glamourous. Full glass windows, white finished and staff decked in black suits. Everything speaks of fine dining. The Jean Georges actually consists of two parts, on the exterior lies their more casual sister restaurant, Nougatine. The inner exclusive room then lies the Jean Georges. It is cosy and warm, filled up with much natural light, which is something that I really love! I love a bright day in New York City! The room probably had about 10 tables or so? The service is really attentive, I guess the ratio is about 1:2. Never once was i left awaiting.

Polished crew, neatly ironed uniform and attentive service, there is nothing to fault. The place were bright, glamourous. I love the style they were going for. It just speaks comfy and chic. Surprisingly to see, all of the guest except one table were chinese. Seems like chinese are the one now spending the bucks, certainly not stingy, spending on food. As I mentioned earlier, Jean Georges may might as well be one of the most affordable 3 star restaurant out there, the lunch menus, comes at a affordable $68. The menu changes every season, the time that I was there, they were presenting the “Tastes of Autumn”. You can choose from the list of dishes to your liking. An additional plate comes at $34. Dessert is extra though. For those who are interested, here is the menu!

As mentioned earlier, dessert is on another side menu, which comes at an affordable $12 per plate. There are 4 dessert choices on it!

This is why I say that a lunch at Jean Georges might just be the next best thing beside coming to New York City itself. A set lunch would have cost you $80 for two plates and a dessert. That is a steal. Heck! Some steakhouse might require you to blow more cash than this! Add it a generous tip! You would come back with some pennies back from a $100 bill! That is not too bad for a 3 Star Michelin Experience! In fact, you always get more food that what you see on the menu! Now let me take you thru my lunch!

The food arrived roughly 10 mins after ordering, starting with the bread and then with the chef Amuse-bouche. The starter probably arrives in another 15 mins or so, which I spent checking out the place and taking pictures. The bread was pretty normal and underwhelming! It is pretty disappointing since I actually expect quite a lot from this at really good restaurant. I have been blown away by some of the restaurants bakes and the handmade cinnamon whipped butter at The Ledbury were some of the best I ever had! Thankfully the bread were warm and crispy! I really love the little croissant like roastmarry bread though!

As per the norm, something to start would be the Amuse-bouche, which changes day to day according to the chef creation. I love that you have totally no idea what it actually is and be surprised. The Amuse-bouche also gives you a little preview of the meal you are having. On the day that I was there, there are 3 in total. The first two was a little mushroom spring roll and a little cold scallop starter with orange and rocket. I find the spring roll to be normal, but have to say that it is crunchy and moist inside, while the scallop provides more refreshness.

The last one, which is also my favourite was a little savory cocktail that is actually super concentrated chicken broth with cream and chives. It is actually served in some wine glass as well. I love how rich the soup is. With some chives, it is simple, yet elegant. It tasted like the collagen soup that we are used to in Singapore!

For the first course, I had the Pumpkin Ravioli with Parmesan Cheese and crushed Amaretti. Coming fresh from my cooking class back in Florence where I had a little experience I had in making ravioli, I am keen to see how the professionals do it. I have to say that it was a pretty standard dish, but I really love the filling. The pumpkin was really creamy and smooth. I love that the dressing came in a little vinaigrette which is kind of a balance to the sweet pumpkin and the crushed amaretti added some texture. My parents had the Peekytoe Crab Risotto with Nori and Lime as well as the Gulf Shrimp with Water Chestnut, Saffron, Silken Kabocha and Chipotle.

I had a taste of both, both of them were great and my mum especially love the chestnut in her dish which was crunchy and refreshing. But what was really impactful was that sauce! From both courses, I can see that the chef really love to incorporate some asian flair into this dish!

For the main course we had the Seared Salmon with Chilli Pumpkin Seed Broth, Roasted Squash and the Wild Hake with Flowing Yu Choy and Jade Emulsion. While I had the Parmesan Crusted Organic Chicken Confit, Artichoke, Basil and Lemon Butter. The salmon was well done and the crust was perfect. My mum love the flaky hake as well as the sauce which was made from blending the greens. A little asian style as well.

For my Chicken Confit. It was unbelievable! The chicken was so so tender, it was the most tender chicken that I have ever add. Although I have to say that it is a very heavy dish. Very rich as well! It was perfectly executed. I wipe off all of that lemon butter sauce as well  which is so good. The sauce was a little tart, that cuts off the greasy chicken! The artichoke was nice as well!

For the dessert, we decide to go all out and order one each for all of us, even though we were full at this point. Moreover, it is not everyday that we dine at a 3 Star Michelin Restaurant. We got the Chocolate, Chestnut as well as the Young Coconut Semifreddo as recommended by the waitress! All 3 dessert were like fine art, each perfect for the camera. I would say that the Chestnut is the comforting one, perfect after a meal. The chocolate is the local favourite that never goes wrong. While the Young Coconut Semifreddo is the playful one that comes it a little chocolate icing ball that you have to crack open! I will let the photos do the rest of the speaking. At $12 buck each, they are affordable!

As if we are not full enough. To finish up the meal, the staff brought over 2 huge stands of petit fours to finish up the meal as with any fine dining. The setting is gorgeous as well. There were chocolate truffles, sweets, nuggets and the star of the show was this handmade marshmallow that Jean Georges is famous for. The staff brought over the whole cart and snipe the marshmallow right in front of us! It was so tender and nice! The meal came to about $97 per person after tax and tip which I would say is pretty worth it!

Overall I felt that the meal was awesome, although perhaps lacking the mind blowing aspect that I was expecting! Perhaps my expectation was a little high after knowing that it is a 3 Star Michelin Restaurant! My favourite was the River Prawns, Confit Chicken and the hand made marshmallow! All 3 of the desserts are perfect! In fact the desserts at Jean Georges are amazing and well priced! Recently I heard that the restaurant have been downgraded to a 2 star restaurant from the michelin guide. Getting simply a star is no mean feat, furthermore, 3 star on the rating. To be said as really “Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey” ? Judge it for yourself when you visit Jean Georges and let me know what you think? I certainly enjoyed my very long lunch here. Everything was well executed and service was excellent! Price point, it is one of the cheapest 3 star restaurant in the world and definitely in NYC, perhaps now one of the best 2 star restaurant?

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