Jean Georges Lunch Part 2
Yes this is part 2 since this is the second of two recent trips to Jean Georges for lunch. Think of this as a Tarantino influence (yes yes I know he borrows ideas but I still like his movies).
The JG flowers are really interesting and I’ve never seen anything like them before. Like a sun bursting out from the heavens. Or, actually, the flower on the left reminds me of the insides of a fig. Figs are yummy (in retrospect I’m surprised my fig reminiscence didn’t lead to me eating the fig-lookalike…sounds like something I’d do).
The meal starts with an Amuse-bouche!!
Hooray for fried okra with sesame sesame, huzzah for carrot puree, and whoopee for uni on toast with jalapeno. The crispy okra was fun to eat for the little seeds inside – it almost feels like I’m chewing on tapioca. The sesame sauce was the bomb, I wish I could have a jar of it to slather on other dishes. The carrot had a very sweet and pure carrot taste, which was very refreshing. The sweet uni was creamy heaven on the tongue, but what made me enjoy this dish the most was the stinging burn that the jalapeno left – 10 minutes after I had finished the dish, I still had the pleasantly acidic sensation on the tip of my tongue. In the words of Monsieur Bourdain, “It hurts so good.”
1st Course: Charred Corn ravioli with cherry tomatos and basil fondue.
Oh my, this dish is one of the best pasta dishes I’ve had in a long long time. The pasta was perfectly cooked – it had a delicate but firm texture that gave way to every bite. The basil and corn summer combination was at first light and fresh, but then very intense with the sweetness of the corn and the aroma of basil. The tart tomatos cut through the intenseness of the flavors and lent a balance to the dish but I loved the corn and basil flavors so much I wouldn’t even had minded if it wasn’t there. I savored every ounce of the sweet corn ravioli filling and drank every last lick of the basil fondue (um was it mostly butter? Probably. But was it delicious? Oh yes! Quite so!).
Onto Course Numero Dos: Alaskan Skate with roasted pumpkin seeds, spaghetti squash, a soy-yuzu broth, and topped with thai chilis.
The skate was flaky and soft, with very sweetly flavored meat. The soy-yuzu broth and spaghetti squash both had a flavor profile that was mostly sweet. It was almost too-sweet of a dish – but not quite. Jean Georges shows its master chops by adding the earthy nutty crunch of the roasted pumpkin seeds and acidic spicy thai chilis. The pumpkin seeds added a real body to a dish that otherwise would have been too delicate, and the chilis certainly helped kick up the flavors another notch (the chilis were also helpful in making me feel less congested! ).
What followed were petit fours of chocolates, a crispy oatmeal lavender rice-cake-like contraption (so good!), macarons, caramel, vanilla marshmallows, and apricot jele. All of them are good. Pictures to be posted in Jean Georges lunch part 1. Do try Jean Georges for lunch, it’s a quasi-affordable way to truly really experience greatness.