A meal at Jean Georges was going to be the meal of all meals. I knew this was big but I never imagined how big this experience could possibly get. I had reserved a spot in the Main Dining Room, which I felt would give me the most brilliant experience overall. Fortunately, I was also given the best table in the house in my opinion...the corner table overlooking the whole room. It couldn't have turned out better. It was perfect.
The moment I was brought to my table, I was pampered like a princess. Such flawless service, it was like a symphony perfectly orchestrated to produce the most beautiful experience possible. The floor managers, the servers, the busboys...all worked in harmony with nothing but a glance to each other. Not a word spoken. The mood at times can be interpreted as somewhat stiff and pompous, but everyone was doing a fine job keeping everything running superbly smooth, so this was graciously appreciated. Hands down, the best service in a restaurant period.
As I sat down, the floor manager brought me my requested libation...the Gewurstraminer Grape Juice. I know, ordering juice at a fine establishment like this?!? Indeed it was only 12:30 and I had drinks planned for later that evening and did not want to be passing out while walking the streets of NYC. I shall save my narcoleptic episodes to amuse the children and grandpas another day. Once again, I digress... The juice was amazing. Floral and lightly sweetened, it was like a taste of springtime in each sip. Beautiful prelude to the meal ahead.
The meal began with the Amuse Bouche, a rectangular plate adorned with three separate items: Salmon Tartare and Roe, perfectly seasoned atop Garlic Crostini, Warm Parsley Soup sipped slowly only to be spectacularly surprised by the intense Lime Gelee hidden at the bottom of the thimble bowl, and a spoonful of Blood Orange Segments hidden by shavings of a hard cheese (name escapes me) and topped with a leaf of Tarragon. An absolute incredible tease of the palate. I was smittened.
My first entree was the Arctic Char roasted to perfection. Piping hot yet still medium rare and succulently moist inside, brown and salty on the outside, and topped with a piece of cracklin' skin...ooh, the fish was amazing. The fish was served with King Oyster Mushrooms, Jalapeno, and garlic steeped in a tart citrus vinaigrette and spooned onto the fish by the waiter tableside. Beautiful presentation and service.
Second entree was the Roasted and Smoke Squab a L'orange, served with medallions of Asian Pear and tiny wedges of Tamarind Candy. The squab was barely bathed in a sauce of anise and sesame oil vinaigrette, which poured tableside, immediately sent out a release of aroma that teased your senses. Indeed, it was a visual and olfactory feast. The squab was exquisite. The skin, perfectly crisp and seasoned, appropriately complimented the medium rare flesh hidden underneath. Drippingly moist and tender, I've never enjoyed a game bird more than I had at that moment. This is truly the best dish of the meal.
Dessert had four options to choose from: Citrus, Rhubarb, Spring, and Chocolate. I had chosen the Citrus plate. My rectangular plate came with two different desserts, each set on either side of the plate. The first was a parfait layered with Lemongrass Sorbet, topped with Candied Grapefruit, Crispy Tangerine Merengues, and Lemon Curd. The other dessert was a thin chocolate cake shell filled with Lemon Curd and topped with a Hot Chocolate Foam, served over an Earl Grey Tea Caramel and a dusting of crumbled cookies. Everything from hot to cold, sweet to bitter, crunchy to soft was experienced in harmony on this plate. It was indeed a complex and very enlightening lesson for the palate. Damn, it was good.
To think that I've eaten enough for my small frame, there was still more to come. The meal ended with Petit Fours...we're not talking about a little plate with a few cookies; we're talking about plates of different items of sweets to leave a memorable lasting impression. First came pieces of Chocolate truffles served on a rectangular glass plate. Each chocolate was filled with a different ingredient: Green Tea Ganache, Cinammon, Coconut, and my favorite, Banana Cream. Second plate was hand cut, homemade marshmellows: Expresso, Strawberry, Vanilla. Third plate held the Macaroons: Pistachio, Strawberry, and Vanilla. Everything was delicious but my favorite had to be the Macaroons...crispy and filled with flavored cream, it was, dare I say it, "Yummy!"
A perfect meal on a perfect day, there was indeed nothing more I could have wanted. Life was good.
Thanks to all for the recommendations!
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