Went to Nougatine last night (the informal cafe within Jean Georges) and had a great meal and overall dining experience. We both had the $65 five course tasting menu (there is also a $45 three course tasting and a la carte)
To start the chef sent over a small amuse served in a demi-tasse cup - lobster bites served in a slightly spicy cold melon soup. Very refreshing and a palate opener. The first plate was cold peekatoe crab salad with a saffron cream. Crab was sweet and the dish very good. My husband enjoyed it but said he was waiting to be really bowled over. Next was frois gras - unbelievable - it had a very light but complex sauce that was slightly sweet, tart and faguely scented with cloves and served with fresh fig slices. The frois gras was slightly crispy on the outside and had a vauge pancetta or some type of porky flavor (but not overwhelming) and the inside still tender - perfectly cooked. This my husband declared the best frois gras he'd ever eaten. Next came a chilean sea bass on a bed of fresh bright green spinach, surrounded by golden raisins and a foamy almond cream topped it. Also excellent. Last were slices of very tender veal slices, beets - also excellent. This was followed by a selection of very good desserts - plum soup, plum tartlet in a puff pastry, excellent vanilla icecream sitting on a little bed of crumbly chocolate crumbs and JG's signature molten choclate cake. We also had coffee and a bottle of wine. With tax and tip about $260 for two. Service was excellent and the pacing between course was well- timed. We were there for about 2 1/2 hours. The bar is in Nougatine and though it was crowded we did not find it too loud or obstrusive. We looked at the JG menu which had more choices and was a good bit pricier. My husband who reluctantly went to Nougatine said he'd like to try the JG menu sometime (after we've recovered from paying for this meal!)but wanted to eat it in the cafe because he prefers the informality and said that all the diners in the JG room were over 65! I told him not to be an ageist - we all (hopefully) get there eventually. A great meal!