NEW YORK, NY, USA
PRICE PAID: $140 PP (LIST PRICE- PRE-CHALLENGE)
FINAL SCORE: 7.5/10
Update: As of the 2018 New York guide, Jean-Georges was downgraded from 3 to 2 stars, in no doubt as a (small) geopolitical gesture. We will keep an eye on this lovely establishment as time goes on!
As the United Airlines half-marathon ran in the background, I enjoyed lunch at the famous Jean-Georges restaurant in the Trump Tower. One of Jean-Georges Vongerichtgen's anchor properties in the United States, Jean-Georges has a serene, open feel that seems a bit out of place next to the classless, gaudy polished bronze lobby of the Trump building. Vongerichten himself has been an understudy to many of the most successful names in fine dining- Paul Bocuse, Paul Haeberlin at L'Auberge de L'Ill, among others.
The first bite of the afternoon was super creative and paired well. A tiny tower of Scottish salmon with a roasted Cremini mushroom. The mushroom was firm and not overly salted, and the Salmon was perfectly fresh, tangy, and stuffed with delicious herbs. 9/10.
Topped with a healthy ration of black truffle, the caesar salad was a cool and original take on the dish that left me impressed. The dressing was exceptionally rich, and the long leaves required a knife to cut. They practically snapped with freshness, and the dish worked really well overall. 9/10,
The parsnip soup was an extremely interesting combo- the foam on the right is coconut milk, and the froth on the left is lime and elderflower with a shaving of herbs overtop. The sweet of the lime and coconut did wonders for the starchy parsnips. 10/10.
The biggest disappointment of the meal, by far- an enormous, rather dry slab of pork in a very autumnal squash-based pudding with some distracting shoots sprinkled about. The central story of the dish didn't make any sense the way it was prepared, but the aesthetics were quite lovely. 6/10.
The citrus dessert was a real high point- seared chunk of grapefruit on top of shaved grapefruit ice, and a slice of lemon cheesecake with fruit toppings. An absolute delight, 9/10.
The petit fours were delightful, but nothing terribly special. A Pâte de fruit, a handful of chocolates, and a macaron. Pretty standard fare. 7/10.