NYC Shower Day- Jean George Nougatine

I had the pleasure of spending a fabulous day with my Mother-in-Law to be and her two sisters last week. They all came into the city to take me out for a day of pre-martial celebrations. We started out with some shopping at Bergdorf Goodman near the Plaza. This store has always been my favorite for its Christmas windows but I had never actually been inside! It was quite a spectacular place- too expensive for me but a fun place to walk around.

After some serious shopping we walked over to our first food spot of the day Jean George Nougatine. Located at the front of the Jean George restaurant the space inside was light and airy. We got a seat right near the open kitchen which is always fun to enjoy all the hustle and bustle inside.

To begin I started with the Yuzu Cocktail. Sparkling wine, yuzu juice and a hint of sage; this was basically a Bellini that walked on the sour side of life. There are two options at lunchtime the a la carte or prix fix. Most of the options I wanted were offered on the 3 course prix fix so I went that route and began with the Fried Calamari with Basil Salt and Citrus Chili Dip.

I knew the calamari here was made with egg whites rather than breading. I was surprised how well the texture and flavor of the calamari really stood out with this method. Although the dish was a tad on the greasy side I thought it was very tasty. The basil salt and chili dip really brought this dish to a whole new level. The dip was so light and foamy it was almost like air.

For my entrée I chose the Roasted Red Snapper with Spaghetti Squash and Chili Oil. The description did mention the chili oil but I wasn’t prepared for just how spicy this dish was going to be. The chili oil was dispersed around the bottom of the dish but there were also some peppery spices rubbed into the fish as well. The heat overwhelmed this dish a bit for me. It’s too bad because the snapper was perfectly cooked with a crispy brown top and flaky moist innards.

For dessert I had to go for the signature Jean George Warm Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. Molten Chocolate Cakes are hardly anything special these days- they grace almost every menu in the city. However I really enjoyed Jean George’s version. The top crust had some extra sugar that gave it almost a caramelized texture and the ice cream came with some crunchy chocolate nibs underneath. Ice cream cake anyone? Yum!

The best dish of the afternoon I didn’t get a picture of but needs mention- the Foie Gras Crème Brulee. It wasn’t offered on the prix fix menu so I passed it by but never again would I make that decision. I got to try a bite and it was absolutely decadent. The brulee had been caramelized on top and came with a thick fig jam on the side that complemented the rich fatty dish perfectly.

Now although we had a wonderful meal I have to say the service could use some improvement. We had to wait an extremely long time to place our order and my cocktail sat up on the bar for about 15 minutes before I reminded my waiter and he finally grabbed it. However they did give us a complimentary dessert at the end which was nice, so maybe that helped make up for the delays. Overall it was a pleasurable lunch and I still saved some room for that nights dinner at Keens as the celebrations continue!


kim said…
Glad you had a great time with your family!

I find it really difficult to get a lunch reservation at JG. Did you make one beforehand?

I went to JoJo yesterday and had the molten chocolate dessert as well. A bit too sweet, but enjoyed the balance with the vanilla ice cream.
Roze said…
We had made the reservation about 2 weeks in advance. I find on Fridays and Saturdays you always need to book early. I once got a reservation for lunch day of but it was a Monday. Good Luck!