By grace.g.yang ยท May 24, 2007
Under: Dinner,My Life,Prix-fixe,UWS

On Wednesday night, my friend from college, Nick, invited me out to dinner at Jean Georges’ Nougatine Room, located in the Trump Tower and Hotel by Columbus Circle. We both decided on the tasting menu ($68/person for dinner), which allowed us to sample a little bit of everything. We started out with a treat from the chef, which was a piece of shrimp with a mint pesto on top paired with a mango soup:

And a close up of the mint and shrimp:

The shrimp was cooked JUST right – like it had just been dipped in hot water and then taken out so it wasn’t overcooked. It went really nicely with the mint pesto, which felt like you were cleaning your mouth AND eating food at the same time! The mango soup was tasty, but tasted kind of like juice…a small portion of juice. I’m not quite sure why Jean Georges thought the shrimp and the mango juice paired well together.

Next, we had a champagne mango and goat cheese salad with black olive and micro basil:

This was actually my favorite course of the night. The mangoes were sweet but not too sweet (good thinking of soaking the mangoes in champagne) and the goat cheese was so incredibly creamy it melted in your mouth. The basil was a fresh twist (I swear, I LOVE basil and I’m still working on a lemon basil sorbet) and the olives added the salt that the goat cheese was missing. It was great and also paired really well with the Riesling the waiter recommended.

After our wonderful mango and goat cheese salad, we had a foie gras brulee with muscat grape, tarragon, and ruby grapefruit salad:

One of Nick’s favorite dishes of the night. I, on the other hand, didn’t find the dish to be that special. It was too salty (especially with the burnt crust) and the grapefruit couldn’t balance out the heaviness of the foie gras. Also, the foie gras was placed on a small piece of bread, but the proportion of foie gras to bread was 2:1, which added even more salt to the dish.

The fish we had was a skate fish (it’s closely related to the stingray) with a spinach ravioli and bacon bits on top:

The fish had a nice crust on the outside and was very flaky and had a very similar texture to scallops. The ravioli was a little too plain for my taste (it didn’t need salt or anything, but the actual pasta was either overcooked or just too big compared to the filling inside).

Our final dish (before dessert) was short ribs marinated in various vinaigrettes with lima beans and a hint of lime:

The short ribs, another favorite of Nick’s, was a little too salty for me. I didn’t think the lime added a good flavor to the short ribs (the waiter said that the chef recommended we use it) and I think they marinated the short ribs in the vinaigrettes too long. There wasn’t the natural flavor from the short ribs, only a salty taste (in my opinion). Nick really enjoyed it, though.

For dessert, we had another sampling: jean-georges chocolate cake (a chocolate molten cake), vanilla ice cream with cookie crumbs, a strawberry rhubarb soup with vanilla chantilly, and a spongecake with coconut vanilla mousse with a side of passion fruit:

Jean-georges chocolate cake tasted exactly like a lava cake:

The cake was REALLY sweet (lava cakes usually are) and the vanilla ice cream with chocolate crumbs didn’t help. Nick really liked the chocolate cake (he’s a fan of all kinds of chocolate) and he also like the cookie crumbs with the vanilla ice cream (they were very similar to oreo cookies, so it was like cookies and cream ice cream!).

The spongecake with coconut vanilla mousse and passion fruit was slightly less sweet, which I preferred (even though I’m not a huge fan of coconut):

The passion fruit was just the right amount of tang that the mousse needed. I would’ve preferred a lighter spongecake (this cake was similar to spongecake but was actually cheese based). Overall, I think the tasting menu was heavier than the menu from Babbo (the original tasting menu, at least), but not better. The tasting menu was a great way to try out the restaurant’s menu, especially since the regular menu had a lot of choices that were interesting. It was great seeing Nick (I haven’t seen him in over a year!) and catching up with all the changes in Champaign and Chicago – thanks for the wonderful evening! ๐Ÿ™‚

Nougatine at Jean-Georges on Urbanspoon

Reader Comments

I like the review on the dishes you tried. You are true to your review. I agree that a lot of chefs make dishes either too salty, spicy or too sugary. Salty, spicy or sugary food should not be treated as tasty or spicy. The best kind of chefs are the ones that appreciate the natural flavor of the ingredients and only use herbs or spices to bring the true nature of the food they work with to inspire and delight us…… Keep up your good work and authentic comments

Written By Martha S on May 28th, 2007 @ 10:59 pm

You actually didn’t go to Jean Georges. You went to the Nougatine room. They are adjacent, but the menu is different. The dinner menu at the real Jean Georges is $98, and $148 for tasting menu. I noticed the difference when you didn’t mention the egg caviar – Jean Georges would never serve a tasting menu without that dish.

Nougatine room is a fine place, but it’s not fair to attribute your review of this restaurant to the real Jean Georges, which I consider a much superior establishment.

Written By Peter on November 23rd, 2007 @ 2:39 pm

Ha, that’s right, go ahead and delete my comment. Don’t be angry just because I exposed your ignorance about which restaurant you even went to. I love these self-appointed “gourmets” and “foodies” writing restaurant reviews when they can’t even figure out which restaurant they are reviewing.

Perhaps you should go to Bar Masa and tell people that you went to Masa? Or maybe go to Cafe Boulud and write a review about Daniel. How about Aquavit Cafe as a substitute for Aquavit?

Keep telling yourself that you went to Jean-Georges – face it, given your ignorance, it’d just be a waste even if you really could afford it.

Written By John on November 28th, 2007 @ 3:19 pm

Granted a mistake was made, and I’m sure that Grace has made a note to be more careful in the future, but to be so incredibly rude (I’m referring to “John” above) is unacceptable. It is one thing to inform and criticize, but it is another thing take on arrogant/condescending tone as a means to insult (and not inform). You really need to learn to do better things with your life.

And Grace, please make the correction in the future. I’m sure you will. Keep up the good and honest reviews, and I’m sure the wisdom you’ll learn along the way will only make your page that much better.

Written By John James on November 30th, 2007 @ 8:24 am

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