Jump to content


Photo

Jean Georges


  • Please log in to reply
543 replies to this topic

#541 Evelyn

Evelyn

    Advanced Member

  • Admin
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,300 posts

Posted 05 December 2016 - 06:18 PM

Originally posted by Adrian:

 

 

So this is where you guys lose me. 2.5 years since anyone has posted about this place and, yet, it appears to be exactly what everyone is asking for.

 

To wit, lunch last Friday. The NYC trip was a bit of a last minute thing and, for a variety of reasons, one of the counters or tasting only joints was a bit out of the question which left us with lunch at one of my favourite restaurants in the city.* This is good cooking with good service in a good room. This is a menu that, a handful of classics aside, changes with the seasons and is constantly adding new dishes. It's food with a perspective.

 

Yes, there are quibbles. You can say that the otherwise excellent service (water glass never less than half full) was occasionally a bit self-serious and once oddly casual (those first few bites were good, thank you). You can say that the crowd was all uptown money, midtown business and instagram tourists (but what does one expect at lunch and the room remains comfortable, bright and attractive). You can say that the cooking is not, at every instance, three star cooking. But, by and large, the restaurant is successful and well worth the price (maybe not the wine, but, looking down from up north, the wine list is a relative bargain, which says more about things here than anything else).

 

The latter is the most reasonable criticism. A gluey risotto had an intense parmesean flavour, but was clunky compared to the white truffle risotto at Toronto's Edulis the week prior**, a spring-roll like amuse undistinguished, perhaps the hunk of pear with the sweetbreads was out of proportion to the dish. But Jean Georges is also constantly reminding you why it is three stars. The balanced proportions and flavours of the urchin-brown bread appetizer, the richness of the bruleed foie perfectly offset by a ring of poached apple and apple coulis, a technical marvel of a lemon "jam" with the licorice roasted sweetbreads was made of rind which and been brunoised, boiled, and candied (wash rinse repeat) to the point where it retained texture but had no bitterness, only acid-sweet intensity. Even the hake (combi-ovened I think), served over a perfectly poached rectangle of celeriac and with a Thai green curry-like jade emulsion, managed to feel properly polished and not refined to the point of banality like many Thai inflected fine dining dishes manage to be. Was it as good as the classics? No, but it was good nonetheless. Desserts - one organized around concorde grapes and one around chocolate - were less high concept than they were in Izunni's days but maybe more satisfying.

 

Of course, you have to like JGV's style. This is an intense cuisine. I don't think it's a dumb intensity - flavours are clear and pointed - but I don't think it's as sophisticated, subtle and complex as some other three stars nor is it as cerebral as, for example, my meal at the Willows Inn in August. The Asian influences don't seem as fresh as they once did, but they are incorporated in a very characteristically JGV way. Risotto aside, the technique is three star level. 

 

Yes, even the lunch can get expensive and dinner moreso, but here is a restaurant, serving in a formal style, generally "unstuffy", that offer you table clothes and menu choice, at a reasonable price ($138 per person for dinner) for this level of cooking.

 

So, why 2.5 years between posts?

 

*Of course, the location, and the attendant barricades due to afternoon protests due to the location, made for a very weird entrance experience. 

 

** I won't post about this, but Edulis was serving kinmadai, white truffle over aged rice, squid in its own ink, chantecler rouge chicken with lobster and turbot with porcini last week.

So this is where you guys lose me. 2.5 years since anyone has posted about this place and, yet, it appears to be exactly what everyone is asking for.

 

To wit, lunch last Friday. The NYC trip was a bit of a last minute thing and, for a variety of reasons, one of the counters or tasting only joints was a bit out of the question which left us with lunch at one of my favourite restaurants in the city.* This is good cooking with good service in a good room. This is a menu that, a handful of classics aside, changes with the seasons and is constantly adding new dishes. It's food with a perspective.

 

Yes, there are quibbles. You can say that the otherwise excellent service (water glass never less than half full) was occasionally a bit self-serious and once oddly casual (those first few bites were good, thank you). You can say that the crowd was all uptown money, midtown business and instagram tourists (but what does one expect at lunch and the room remains comfortable, bright and attractive). You can say that the cooking is not, at every instance, three star cooking. But, by and large, the restaurant is successful and well worth the price (maybe not the wine, but, looking down from up north, the wine list is a relative bargain, which says more about things here than anything else).

 

The latter is the most reasonable criticism. A gluey risotto had an intense parmesean flavour, but was clunky compared to the white truffle risotto at Toronto's Edulis the week prior**, a spring-roll like amuse undistinguished, perhaps the hunk of pear with the sweetbreads was out of proportion to the dish. But Jean Georges is also constantly reminding you why it is three stars. The balanced proportions and flavours of the urchin-brown bread appetizer, the richness of the bruleed foie perfectly offset by a ring of poached apple and apple coulis, a technical marvel of a lemon "jam" with the licorice roasted sweetbreads was made of rind which and been brunoised, boiled, and candied (wash rinse repeat) to the point where it retained texture but had no bitterness, only acid-sweet intensity. Even the hake (combi-ovened I think), served over a perfectly poached rectangle of celeriac and with a Thai green curry-like jade emulsion, managed to feel properly polished and not refined to the point of banality like many Thai inflected fine dining dishes manage to be. Was it as good as the classics? No, but it was good nonetheless. Desserts - one organized around concorde grapes and one around chocolate - were less high concept than they were in Izunni's days but maybe more satisfying.

 

Of course, you have to like JGV's style. This is an intense cuisine. I don't think it's a dumb intensity - flavours are clear and pointed - but I don't think it's as sophisticated, subtle and complex as some other three stars nor is it as cerebral as, for example, my meal at the Willows Inn in August. The Asian influences don't seem as fresh as they once did, but they are incorporated in a very characteristically JGV way. Risotto aside, the technique is three star level. 

 

Yes, even the lunch can get expensive and dinner moreso, but here is a restaurant, serving in a formal style, generally "unstuffy", that offer you table clothes and menu choice, at a reasonable price ($138 per person for dinner) for this level of cooking.

 

So, why 2.5 years between posts?

 

*Of course, the location, and the attendant barricades due to afternoon protests due to the location, made for a very weird entrance experience. 

 

** I won't post about this, but Edulis was serving kinmadai, white truffle over aged rice, squid in its own ink, chantecler rouge chicken with lobster and turbot with porcini last week.



#542 Wilfrid

Wilfrid

    Advanced Member

  • Admin
  • PipPipPip
  • 87,011 posts

Posted 10 September 2019 - 06:51 PM

Huge menu overhaul at the flagship.  What strikes me, at a quick glance, is that just about all the classics are off the menu now. 



#543 Sneakeater

Sneakeater

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 65,026 posts

Posted 10 September 2019 - 07:03 PM

People of good will certainly can't go THERE.


Bar Loser

MF Old

#544 Rich

Rich

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 8,820 posts

Posted 10 September 2019 - 07:57 PM

Maybe that's why the classics are gone.