Jean-Georges, May 21, 2007


I love Jean-Georges. To be clear, I'm referring to the restaurant, although the gentleman who runs the kitchen is no doubt a great guy. He's been cordial each time I've seen him, or rather him seeing me perched at "my" spot at the end of the bar. It should be noted that I have no right to call it "my" spot, as I've only sat there three or four times, but I enjoy it more than at the tables, whether inside, or where this experience found me, outside on the patio.

Danna was taking some liberties with her work schedule (it was her last week working at the same company for the last eight years) and had some time to meet me for a rare lunch together. We also had to return some stuff I got her from a store in the neighborhood, so Jean-Georges was a convenient place to grab a quick bite.

We were offered a place on the patio and, because it was one of the sunnier/warmer days we'd had in a while, we took it.

The tables and chairs were balanced, the umbrella sturdy despite some gusting winds and service, despite being further away from the kitchen, was still very good. The only issue Danna had, and I have to agree, was the cheap sunglasses on our waiter. It looked "off" and somewhat inappropriate.

Bread was good as usual, and they served us olive oil instead of the requisite butter, which was a welcome change...though I do like the butter there.

Since we were in a rush, we skipped the bargain prix-fixe (which seriously is the best deal in town, with exception to possibly lunch at Bouley) and just ordered an entree each.

Danna ordered the black bass, I ordered the skate - one of the last remaining "standard" dishes I'd yet to try. The skate was perfectly prepared - crispier on the edges, and elegantly plated with a vinaigrette of sorts poured around the fish tableside. Danna liked mine better than her black bass, which, aside from being par for the course with her, was also perfectly prepared and served with a nice collection of seasonal greens and a puree of celery root, if I recall correctly.

You can't execute dishes better than at Jean-Georges and the consistency is something that is truly remarkable. Service is never "bad" and you walk away content and satisfied each and every time.

The only problem is the space. There is nothing wrong with the space, it is lovely and comfortable, but it isn't "wowing". Then again, maybe it doesn't need to be. Afterall, I spend most of my time looking at my plate or my dining companion when at Jean-Georges, which is probably the goal of any good restaurant, or in this case, a great one.


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