There’s a reason why classic always remains in style.
Michelin star-rated restaurants are the height of culinary achievement. A friend introduced me to the Michelin star ranking a few years ago and since then I’ve aimed to cross as many of these restaurants off of my culinary bucket list. Michelin ranks the best restaurants in the world with 1,2, and 3 stars. These restaurants serve what I like to call inspired meals; elevated from your run-of-the-mill “high-end” restaurants. New York being a culinary capital of the world, houses a long list of Michelin star restaurants, perfect for this food connoisseur in the making. They range from American new to Japanese to High-end French, but only 7 make the list for 3 stars (i.e. a veritable Oscar of the food world).
Clearly these 3-star restaurants accompany extensive tasting menus and rather high bills. Yes, I am young for such high taste in food and frankly my payroll does not sustain such extravagance (YOLO?). But don’t be too sad, there is a secret with one of these Michelin 3 star gems. Why not try a weekend lunch at a Jeans George? 2 plates for $38 – Practically a steal.
My parents were in the city in the afternoon a few weekends ago and we decided to visit Jeans Georges. Spurred by Nance’s recent visit for her birthday, it was the cub’s turn to give Jeans Georges a whirl. My mother, the perpetual critic, loved everything from the ambiance, the dining room, and the service. I agreed. Jeans George does a perfect job of blending of refined, innovative, and classy without coming off as pretentious.
But of course the food is the showstopper. I had a first plate of Santa-Barba Sea Urchin on Black bread with Jalepeno and Yuzu. How can you go wrong with Uni? It was cooked perfectly, served with fresh and bright flavors, delicately plated atop crostini. The perfect bite. My dad got an elegant Sashimi with Trout Roe and my mother won this round with her Foie Gras and Strawberry Torche. Or should I rather say that in this tough stand-off of decadence, Foie Gras trumps Uni. It’s a close call.
For our mains, I can only say that each dish trumped the next. My mother got the Slowly cooked Cod served with Lettuce Puree and Herba-Lime Vinaigrette – Elegant and light, interestingly spicy. My dad got my second choice of Crispy Confit of Suckling Pig with baby beets and ginger vinaigrette – Simply rich, perfectly paired with the sweet accompaniments. While I decided to go for something lighter with the Black Sea Bass crusted with nuts and seeds, sweet and sour Jus. Now I’ve cooked black sea bass before and it is a good piece of fish, BUT in all honesty I have never had a sea bass as masterfully executed as at Jeans George. I’ve always said that the key to a perfect dish is a good sauce and that sauce was perfectly balanced in every way. Jean Georges, I’m still dreaming of that that Sea Bass.
As dessert is my favorite, obviously Jeans Georges playfully serves a variety of tastings of dessert options. You can choose between Caramel, Citrus and chocolate. I made the easy choice and chose chocolate. Once again, I was wowed with the presentation, finesse, and mastery of ingredients.
Jeans Georges is the epitome of classic. If you are not well versed in Michelin star restaurants, the dining at these top venues are on a different plane of excellence. Take my goo-goo-eyed blathering about the meal as testament to the height of culinary chops served at this Upper West Side landmark. The amount of flavor coaxed out the ingredients served, coupled with the world-class service and mother-approved ambiance, are simply masterful. Treat yourself, go have an extravagant lunch without having to forgo your rent check. Our taste buds all deserve to be treated every so often.
See more reviews at NYC Restaurants.