Nougatine at Jean-Georges – French – Upper West Side
September 23rd, 2010 by plumpdumpling

Dr. Boyfriend and I were convinced that we hadn’t gotten the true Jean-Georges experience at The Mark back in July and decided to try again with the tasting menu at the more established Nougatine.

Nougatine at Jean-GeorgesNougatine at Jean-Georges
homemade ginger-lemon ale and passion-fruit-lime sodas

Easily the best part of our last Jean-Georges meal, these proved to be a highlight at Nougatine, too. I cannot urge you enough to go to one of the Jean-Georges restaurants just to drink. I am so serious about it that I am not contracting the words cannot and I am. See the way the bottoms of the glasses are all dark? That is PURE FLAVOR, people.

Nougatine at Jean-Georges
poblano and corn fritter with tomato soup amuse bouche

The poblano flavor was basically non-existent, but boy, do I love a corn fritter. Like, what’s more delicious than breaded carbs?

Nougatine at Jean-Georges
tuna tartare, avocado, spicy radish, soy-ginger marinade

The tuna and avocado were entirely unnecessary in this dish except to give something for the marinade to marinate. The sauce and radishes were so flavorful that we didn’t taste anything else, but they were so delicious we didn’t care. The crunchy radish was a wonderful contrast to the super-soft tuna and avocado.

Sorry about the terrible quality of the following photos, but it got really dark in the restaurant halfway through our meal.

Nougatine at Jean-Georges
strawberry foie gras brulee, strawberry, balsamic microbasil

We considered this the first dessert course. It was SO SWEET. And I am not complaining. The crispiness of the smoky burnt top juxtaposed the melt-in-your-mouth foie gras, and the slab of bread underneath it all soaked up that strawberry-balsamic sauce.

Nougatine at Jean-Georges
salmon, crispy rice, heirloom tomatoes, onions, miso broth, silky tofu

I’m a fish-disliker to begin with, and cooked salmon is one of my least-favourites, because raw salmon is actually halfway delicious! It’s such a shame. I hate–I mean, really HATE–tomatoes, too, so this dish was basically made to test me. And I’ll admit that I did like it. The miso soaking made the fish much better, the silky tofu made the miso better, and the crispy rice made everything better. Oh, crispy rice. Crispy rice, I dream about you. Seriously, it was like a crouton made of rice that I could make less-crispy if I wanted to by dunking it in the miso.

Nougatine at Jean-Georges
beef, carrot top pesto, carrots

Suuuuuuuuper-spicy and crunchy pesto and a carrot puree that resembled sweet baby food? Yes, please. I think Kamran thought the pesto under the beef was too spicy, but I appreciated how opposite the puree it was. I’ve never had a legitimately crunchy pesto (pesto is made with pine nuts, in case you didn’t know), but I really enjoyed it with the tender beef.

Nougatine at Jean-Georges
strawberry sorbet, molten chocolate cake, vanilla bean ice cream, fig tart

Individually, all of these desserts were fine, and I appreciate being able to try a wide range of a menu, but there’s a lot of be said for cohesiveness, and this had almost none. The figs, which are one of my very favourite things in the universe, were the least-interesting thing on the plate, and the chocolate cake, which I usually find boring, was the best.

Nougatine at Jean-Georges

These little gels are making the rounds at every restaurant I’ve been to lately, but the strips of bitter orange dipped in chocolate were treat.

Rating One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarZero Stars

This was a solid half-star better than our first Jean-Georges experience, and I would go back for the tartare with the spicy radishes, the foie gras with the burnt top, the crispy rice in the salmon dish, and the crunchy pesto under the beef. AND THE GINGER ALE.

Nougatine at Jean-Georges
1 Central Park West
New York, NY 10023 (map)

11 Responses  
  • Heesa Phadie writes:
    September 23rd, 20102:58 pmat

    Man that all looks so good…especially that steak. I don’t think I’d be full after this though. Just curious, what would happen if you asked for seconds of certain items?

    • plumpdumpling writes:
      September 23rd, 20103:17 pmat

      I wonder. Kamran and I have been talking lately about how we should really be trying to get our money’s worth at restaurants. (Or, actually, I have, because he’s too classy for that.) But yeah, there was a time when I wouldn’t even ask for extra tortillas with my queso fundido; now I’m like, “Excuse me, bread boy, could you just leave the basket with us?”

      All of the dishes were so rich here that we filled up, but I wonder if it’d be too hard for the cooks to whip up some extra crispy rice if I asked. I imagine they’d charge you a la carte for something major like extra foie, though.

      Which reminds me, I have an e-mail of yours to reply to.

  • Tracey writes:
    September 28th, 20107:50 pmat

    I feel like the only comments I ever leave here are to mention little specific ways our tastes are different, but why would you ever want to make ANYTHING less crispy by dipping it in something?

    You know I think crispiness is close to to godliness.

    • plumpdumpling writes:
      September 29th, 20103:34 pmat

      Note the “if I wanted”. I did not want. Once I noticed it happening, I pulled those suckers away from that broth faster than you can say “wet things are dumb”.

      • Tracey writes:
        September 29th, 20109:07 pmat

        Should “wet things are dumb” be the name of the book we write together someday?

        The subtitle can be, “unless they are desserts”.

        • plumpdumpling writes:
          September 30th, 20109:39 amat

          Why, yes, I believe it should be the title of our I Don’t Cook-book.

  • Bachelor Girl writes:
    October 1st, 20105:07 pmat

    Strawberry foie gras brulee?!? YES, PLEASE.

  •» Blog Archive » Asiate Tasting Menu- American (New)/Japanese – Columbus Circle writes:
    July 11th, 201110:32 amat

    […] in fact, all of it was delicious. The problem with assortments like this one and the one at, say, Nougatine at Jean-Georges is that there’s just too much going on to ever seem like a well-composed dessert. As much as […]

  •» Blog Archive » Quality Meats – Steak – Midtown West writes:
    August 31st, 201111:33 amat

    […] Vongerichten’s food, but I credit him with the surge in homemade sodas simply because I had them there first and have ordered them everywhere I can since. So I guess it’s my own surge. Either way, these […]

  • NYC Restaurant Reviews –» Blog Archive » The Duckavore Dinner at Wong – Chinese – West Village writes:
    December 16th, 201112:16 pmat

    […] as a sort of plum soda; it reminded my boyfriend and me of the homemade sodas at the Jean-Georges restaurants that are really the whole point of dining there. It was light and refreshing, perfectly topping off […]

  • NYC Restaurant Reviews » Lunch at Jean-Georges writes:
    March 7th, 201312:42 pmat

    […] to acclaimed French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s less-expensive restaurants The Mark and Nougatine. There were definite highlights to each–the beets, the souffle, the strawberry foie gras […]

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