This is a food review for Jean-Georges prix fixe lunch menu for a birthday celebration with a friend. This will be solely my opinions based on my food choices.
I went to Jean-Georges to celebrate my birthday. I've been to Jean-Georges many times for lunch; I find it to be the nicest place for lunch in the City. I am pretty familiar with the prix fixe menu, and was able to easily navigate through my favourite choices.
I decided to stick with some old favourites, however also try the newest dish on the list, the Roasted Beef Tenderloin and crunchy potatoes, tomato comote with chilies and garlic.
I asked to speak to the sommelier to help pick a bottle of red wine to go with the meal for my friend, Florian, and myself. He recommended a fine Bordeaux, but then nostalgia came over me and I decided to flip through the many pages of the wine list to find the bottles from Provence. Provence was were I lived in France - the place where I first began to enjoy, appreciate even, the intricacies of wine. In vino veritas. We decided on a classical Provençal meaty wine.
First came a lovely starter dish which is always on the chefs whim and a glass of champagne. I'm not quite sure what it was. Now is a good time to note I'm allergic to all fish and seafood, so it was slightly different than my friend's dish. I forgot to take a photo at the beginning of the dish, but I remembered halfway through...
The second course soon arrive, their original, creative goat cheese gnocchi. The goat cheese was brilliant, very soft when bitten into, and the dressing was just the right tenderness that complemented the cheese well. My one gripe was the sauce was a bit tannic, which did not mix with the wine we picked. Though that's okay, as I wasn't expecting a meaty red from Provence to pair well with goat cheese gnocchi. The champagne was just right for this course.
Soon after, a beautifully done parmesan crusted confit leg of chicken soon became visible. It was gently placed down and I was visibly excited. This is my favourite dish at Jean-Georges, and for good reason. The skin is perfectly fried while the chicken is impossibly moist. The asparagus and lemon butter sauce made for a wonderful after thought. Now the wine was breathing from the decanter, and tasted beautifully with the chicken.
Next came the fourth course, the beef tenderloin. The wine was beginning to open, and was a pleasure to discover it throughout this next course. The potato was amazingly crunchy, and beautifully designed. Unfortunately the tenderloin was overcooked, and even with the spinach, few juices found its way to savor in this course. A true disappointment as the wine was ripe, and would have complimented this dish beautifully.
Finishing the wine, I sat and discussed the day with my friend. We were shown the dessert menu, but as my friend declined dessert, I did also as to not eat alone. We continued talking, when out of the corner of my eye I saw a splash of light. I saw our captain smiling, and bearing a birthday cake. She placed it in front of me, a beautiful strawberry sorbet. I really was taken aback - I did not expect a cake for a lunch sitting; it looked delicious and was a great treat to finish off a wonderful lunch.
I made a wish, blew out the candle, and began enjoying the strawberries. The cake was truly amazing, cheers to the pastry chef! The birthday cake at Per Se paled in comparison.
As I finished the cake, we were brought the usual treats Jean-Georges serves with lunch: the chocolates, the colourful marshmallows, the Luxemburgerli-like truffles. We finished our drinks, and gracefully left after a wonderful meal.
This lunch was amazing. It was great tasting old favourites, and enjoying a beautifully done birthday cake. The lunch was not perfect, however, the beef tenderloin dish left lots to be desired. With everything considered, I give this experience four stars.