Anniversary Dinner at Jean Georges

Thomas and I recently celebrated our anniversary in New York City, where we first met. We love to revisit our old stomping grounds, hang out with friends, catch a Yankees game, and eat at fancy pants restaurants while we are there. We’ve dined at Gramercy Tavern and Marea on previous anniversary trips (here is a pic of us with Chef Michael White), but this time, we reserved a table at the world-renowned Jean Georges. I usually hate when people say that they ate the best meal of their lives because a) I feel like they don’t get out much, and b) I usually think they are just being dramatic attention hogs. I have to say, though, that our meal at Jean Georges was the BEST meal we have ever eaten! Ever!

For the sake of this blog, I took one for the team and photographed every delicious course that we enjoyed at Jean Georges. Like I said, this is a fancy pants restaurant, so I looked like a total goober as I chronicled each course of our gastronomic journey. This really didn’t faze me though because our audible oohing and awing alone made us look enough like goobers. The pictures from our epic meal are below. I apologize if they look dark and grainy. As you can probably guess, I couldn’t waste any time perfecting my photography skills when these plates of perfection were sitting in front of me. So, enjoy…I know we did! And yes, we do get out quite often. And no, I’m not being dramatic.

We reserved a specific, more private table for our dinner, so there was a bit of a wait once we arrived at the restaurant. We honestly did not mind at all, but as a consolation, we were graciously supplied with champagne as we waited (see above photo). We were also given complimentary dishes once we were finally seated. Now slightly tipsy from our bubbly, we started on Jean Georges' signature egg caviar with soft scrambled eggs, cream, and sturgeon caviar. It was a lovely presentation that successfully made scrambled eggs not only look elegant, but also fun to eat.

We also had egg toast with dill and caviar. This dish shared similar flavors as the egg caviar, but differed in texture. Thick egg yolk was sandwiched in between toasted brioche and then topped with a good amount of sturgeon caviar. Both were incredibly innovative and delicious - the perfect way to begin our meal.

This was our amuse bouche of poached shrimp, yellow pepper gazpacho, and a jalapeño-corn fritter. I found this to be very generous by amuse bouche standards and, of course, I wanted more.

Next up was my favorite part of our meal - Foie gras brûlée with slow-roasted strawberries and 20-year-old balsamic vinegar. I love foie gras on its own, but what made this course extraordinary was the crisp and sweet brûléed topping, which was absolute perfection with the strawberries and balsamic. This would without a doubt be my last meal request on death row.

Thomas had sea scallops with caramelized cauliflower in a caper-raisin emulsion. The scallops were perfectly seared while the sauce had a deliciously balanced sweet-to-salty ratio.

For the next course, I had charred corn ravioli with cherry tomato salad and basil fondue. This plate couldn't be any fresher with ripened tomatoes and sweet corn. The basil fondue was a great complement to the soft pillows of handmade raviolis.

Thomas had slowly-cooked Arctic char with basil, heirloom tomatoes, and olive oil. Again, this dish was incredibly fresh. Honestly, this course could have just had tomatoes drizzled in olive oil and it still would have been fantastic - the tomatoes and olive oil were that good! I have to find out where the olive oil came from...

For our third course, we both unintentionally enjoyed the beef tenderloin with Comté beignets and pear-horseradish sauce. Thomas originally ordered the lamb chops, but our server took them back because they were freakishly fatty. (That must have been one lazy lamb!) Once he tasted my beef tenderloin, he ordered it as well. As you can see from the photos, the server sliced the tenderloin for me. What service! Even though the meat was expertly seasoned and cooked, we both agreed that the star of this dish was the pear-horseradish sauce. I will definitely try to remake this at home, so stay tuned!

Desserts at Jean Georges are served by theme as quartets. I ordered the chocolate dessert, while Thomas had the strawberry. These quartets were such fun to eat - just when we thought that our next bite couldn't get any better, it did! All components of my chocolate dessert were stellar, but the star was definitely the spiced ice cream. I still can't quite put my finger on the exact flavors, but I tasted hints of cinnamon, cayenne, coffee, and sea salt.

Thomas' strawberry quartet was just as impressive. His favorite part was the strawberry sangria sorbet. It was a deliciously bipolar sorbet - frozen, yet melted and tart, yet sweet. We were also given petit fours of mini macarons, gourmet marshmallows, and chocolates. We devoured them as soon as we saw them, so suffice it to say, there is no photo. And if the petit fours weren't enough, we were also served an adorable complimentary anniversary cake!

Our meal at Jean Georges was unforgettable to say the least. The service was top notch and the food kept us guessing. Each course was exciting, titilating, and appealing to all of our senses. I can only hope that we will one day return for another dinner at Jean Georges - perhaps for our next anniversary? Done and done!


Yum Foodie said...

Always wanted to try that place. Looks fab!

Anonymous said...

While I, on the other hand, am sitting in Memphis eating a Caesar Croque Monsieur with home-made dill pickles.

Chrissy @ My Fare Foodie said...

Haha sounds delicious! I hope you are at least wearing your fancy pants :)

Anonymous said...

My beret!